How to balance having a new flame with the fact that you’re human and need to use the restroom

The candles are lit. The roses are in their vase. Dinner is on the table and you’ve written a love letter so poignant it could make Hallmark jealous. All of a sudden, you’re overcome with the urge to say those three little words: “I gotta go.”

Here’s how to navigate the terrifying combination of having a crush and having to go No. 2.

Scenario 1: The restaurant/coffee shop/bar date

Usually, being in a public place makes it easier to keep up the façade. But if you’re gone from the table for a particularly long time, you’re gonna have some ‘splaining to do.

Option 1: Invent a long line. “Crazy how long the line was, especially given the fact that there are only three other people in this place.”

Option 2: Make a vague reference to an upset stomach and point to whatever you’re eating or drinking. This frames your trip to the toilet as a freak accident, rather than a regular occurrence.

Scenario 2: At your place

Yes, you know where the air freshener is, if the fan noise will cover any unsavory sounds and how trustworthy your flusher is. But, still. Your sweetheart is in the next room and you’re starting to second-guess everything.

Option 1: Decide you really want to bake something, feign ignorance when you realize you’re out of flour and run to the neighbor’s for a “cup of flour.”

Option 2: Take a shower. Even if you already took one earlier in the day. And don’t just run water to mask the sounds—that’s a dead giveaway. You have to actually get in the shower and get your hair wet.

Scenario 3: At their place

There may be nothing more horrifying than the idea of going No. 2 at the home of someone you want to kiss.

Option 1: End the relationship and leave immediately. It was fun while it lasted.

Option 2: Come clean and admit defeat. Use a bit of humor to diffuse the awkwardness. Tell your date you’ve gotta go, so you’re going to run the shower, turn the fan on and light a candle. Chances are, your beloved has been dying to go too, and will be relieved that the ice has been broken. Relationship saved.