2. The preemptive emergency
This one involves a buddy, so if you’ve got a friend who owes you a favor... time to call in that favor. It takes about 20 minutes to know how a date is going to go, so if you’ve got an 8pm meetup at a fancy restaurant, tell your friend to call at 8:20. Politely excuse yourself and answer the call, making sure to stay within sight of your date.
If it’s going terribly, react to the phone call as if you’ve just been told the worst news in the world. If you can muster up a few tears, do so -- extra points if you crumble to the floor like the husk of a man you're pretending to be. Tearfully tell your date the “bad news,” leave money for dinner, and GTFO. If the date’s going well, simply spout out a few numbers or genuine-sounding stats to make it seem like you’re the only person at your company who can solve a crisis.