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Never Say Goodbye

4 years ago by

Never Say Goodbye

I stopped saying goodbye when I leave parties. Yep. It may sound impolite, but I actually think it’s a lot more respectful.

Ever since we moved, Chris and I have been hosting parties. Sometimes planned (Chris used to be a bartender in another life, and with his current profession, he knows the art of how to plan a party in a snap) (I keep saying one day I’ll be the most amazing hostess and I’ll organize fantastic dinners) (patience, patience) sometimes impromptu. Sometimes we even have jazz concerts at home, it’s so cool. The first one was for my birthday, and we loved it, so that made us want to keep planning them.

Hosting a party creates a few moments of stress when you’re preparing because you really want everything to be lovely and you want everyone to have a good time. But there’s nothing like the stress of 7:30 when no one’s arrived yet, everything’s ready, and you say: “shit, no one’s going to come, our social life is a disaster” only to find yourself running around taking your guests’ coats and offering them drinks half an hour later.

But there’s also that moment when you’re getting crazy on the dance floor, or dying laughing with your friends, or mastering a new cocktail — basically saying “yes, our party is cool, everyone’s having fun!” — and a couple (yes, hahaha, couples are always the first to leave) comes up with their coat over their arms, a grim look on their face, and they announce: “we’re really sorry, but we have to say goodbye now” followed by any number of totally valid excuses (I’ve got a flight tomorrow at 6am, my babysitter is freaking out, I have to take my dog out, there’s a new series on Netflix…) and you have to see them to the door right when Hotline Bling comes on full blast (impossible not to dance) and excuse them for excusing themselves, and frankly, it’s probably just as awkward for them as it is for me, especially since now for three seconds I’m telling myself maybe people aren’t having that much fun after all if these two are leaving.

So I wanted to say it loud and clear: I don’t think there’s any point saying goodbye at a party. There you go.

By the hostess powers invested in me, I hereby declare you free from this burden.

No? What do you think?

Okay, next time let’s talk about the people who have too much fun and stay until 6am. Hahaha, I love them. Seriously!


Add yours
  • Just started practicing this – dubbed the Irish Goodbye

  • très drôle!! je suis tout à fait d’accord, je vote pour!! et moi aussi j’adore ceux qui restent jusqu’à 6h, les fins de soirée ont toujours une saveur particulière.

  • The famous French Exit!

  • Je crois complètement à tes talents de maitresse de maison et d’organisatrice de fêtes !!
    J’aimerais bien te voir en pleine séance de masterisation de cocktails : )

  • I sooo agree! Just take off cause otherwise the hostess/ host has to see them out cause if you don’t you’re being rude but at the same time when you do, it actually divides your attention and you actually leave those you are to be hosting! My fiance on the other hand, feels like it’s not polite to just take off, but then it takes him forever to actually get his goodbyes out! So I stay on the dance floor until I see him put his jacket on and heading for the door then I know we are for sure leaving :)
    Please make this a world wide announcement! NO NEED TO SAY GOODBYE AT A PART ;)

  • I TOTALLY agree! This is wonderful, sharing with my friends!

  • I just couldn’t do that… It would feel like I was sneaking out. I think a “thanks and see you soon” is the appropriate thing

  • This probably depends upon what kind of party it is. If it’s a personal gathering like a birthday or an event at someone’s home, I’d consider it extremely rude to leave without saying goodbye to (and thanking) the host.

    The polite way of doing this is to say a short and discreet goodbye to the host, for example in the kitchen. Thank them for the party, explain in short that you have to leave but it’s a pity. Come to think of it, the most polite thing would be to let them know in advance that you’ll be leaving early and why, like when you accept the invitation.

  • Totally agree with you Eva!!

  • évidemment !!!!! c’est mieux pour tout le monde !

  • I completely agree. I believe it depends on how intimate the party. If it’s a wedding, or large or the hostess is doing her thang. Flee! Nobody cares why you have to go. Bye!

  • I’ve done this for all of my adult life basically lmao maybe even always. First and foremost, I don’t feel the need to. I just like to come and go as I please. But more importantly, I think it’s awkward because it interrupts the flow of whatever’s going on. So there you go. Loved this post. Thought I was – and not to be dramatic – the only one ;)


  • I have always been partial to the Irish goodbye, it definitely suits my personality to avoid interrupting people with my departure. This Christmas, I visited my boyfriend’s family in Colombia and their social customs totally changed my feelings about this. In his family, one always says hello and goodbye with hugs and kisses to everyone else at an event, no matter how many people were there or when you would see them again. The expectation for polite greetings and niceties allowed me to interact with more people in his giant family than I probably would have in the U.S. It is so different than the way I usually deal with hellos and goodbyes.

  • I agree! Sure, if it’s a very intimate gathering, you should say goodbye, but a lot of the time, I prefer to just leave, although I haven’t been able to do it much, because my partner thinks it’s rude, and I don’t go to many big parties without him. In any case, I think goodbyes should be short and discreet. Many times when someone is leaving my party, and maybe this person hasn’t exactly been the life of the party before either, I want to say “Ok, sure, no problem, bye!”. Instead, I have to force myself to excuse them seven times and say that I’m sorry they’re leaving (I’m not, I want to get back to the other people), but that it’s still OK etc. I really wish they left more quickly.

  • I 100% agree. My boyfriend and I have just started doing it. Saves so much hassle for you as well as the host!


  • Tout à fait d’accord ! Quelle corvée pour tout le monde !

  • I just couldn’t do that… I would feel like I was being rude. A “thanks, it was fun, see you soon” seems appropriate to me

  • Mon mari et moi sommes plutot du genre a partir les derniers ! :-)))

  • Ouais ! Tout fout le camp ! Memes les regles elementaires de politesse : merci, svp, bonjour, AU REVOIR. 150 personnes a mon anniversaire, et l’AUREVOIR de ma famille, de mes ami(e)s fut considere comme une delicatesse emouvante. Pas d’accord Garance. Mais alors pas du tout. Du twitter, instagram, facebook etc..en direct-live.

  • Je suis complètement d’accord (et, attention, la fête bat son PLEIN, pas son plain).
    J’aime bien partir vite (souvent, je pars quand je suis crevée) et déteste faire la tournée des adieux ou, pire encore, attendre que la personne qui m’accompagne fasse la bise à chacun, discute de tout et de rien pendant que le compteur du taxi en bas tourne…
    Et, Garance, on est d’accord, ce sont toujours les couples qui partent en premier.

  • So glad you’ve brought this up. I hate saying goodbye; it always takes forever and you get pressured into staying x


  • Mary Roberts February, 10 2016, 4:51 / Reply

    I’ve not said good bye at a party since a hostess told me, in 1973, that it was a total downer to everyone else who remained when people did this for whatever reason. So I never did it again. I’m with you on this and she too was French!

  • There is a verb for this practice – ghosting! I’m all for it :)

  • On écrit “bat son plein” :)

    J’adore te lire, merci pour ce site.


  • I’ve recently started doing this and following up with a thank you note for the event. I’ve also heard of this referred to as the French Exit. :)

  • I agree with following up with a nice note. The host probably won’t remember when you left if it is a really good party or big but they will remember the nice note. Way more polite.

  • YAAAAAAS, great post. I used to think the Irish Goodbye was so rude and I’d get mad when people did it, but then I read an article with a similar point a while back and it finally made sense. It really does ruin the energy of the night when people announce they are leaving, and then not only are the hosts thinking their party maybe isn’t fun, the guests kind of feel like maybe things are winding down and the night is coming to a close. It suspends time for those few moments and takes everyone out of the fun of the party. I think this will be difficult for me to do since I am always worried I’m offending someone, but I need to start!

  • OK, this is a great idea. I hate going up to the h ostess and telling her I’m leaving, whereupon she has to say, “Oh, no.” I’ll just leave from now on.

  • In Estonia I couldn’t imagine not saying goodbye to my guests.
    But I do get your point! I never hosted a big party anyway. And actually I am a crap hostess. :)


  • Mais ouiiiii ! Amen ! Et rien ne vaut un petit texto de remerciement, une vraie carte, une autre manière de s’éclipser !

  • Well said! I just have an impression, when reading all those posts about hosting/attending a party in the US, that Americans tend to be very stressed by something that should be a stress-reliever. It is just a party, relax people! Come and go whenever and however you feel like (ofc still being respectful of others), don’t overthink the host role (your guests will have fun, I assure you!) and enjoy the party! Those are my rules and so far my friends seem to enjoy my parties ;) cheers! :)

  • thank you for giving me permission-I totally agree!

  • Ah c’est drole mon cheri fait tt le tps ca! On bossait ensemble la premiere annee ou je l’ai connu et il disparaissait du pub comme ca, d’un pfuit, et moi je me retrouvais toute triste (on etait pas ensemble a ce moment la!). Et je le lui ai reproche: il m’a dit, pourquoi aller embeter les hotes ou tes amis a dire au revoir alors que tu sais que tu vas les revoir tres vite? Laisse les dans leur discussion et puis comme ca tu loupes pas ton dernier metro (il a marque un point la!).

    5 ans apres, je suis bien contente de faire pareil hehe

  • I think this does make sense – all this goodbying is indeed very awkward for both parties, – but I would’ve felt even more awkward if I couldn’t find someone I invited and it turned out they actually left without saying goodbye! Or if I was the guest and the hostess told me to leave any moment – in this case, I would’ve probably felt as if the person couldn’t care less whether I’m at a party or not and that she/he is also selfish and only wants to have fun without caring if other people do or do not.

    But then again, I suppose if it’s something that’s been discussed and agreed on, it may be practical!


  • I always thought saying goodbye at a party was awkward but I never thought it would make the host think that I wasn’t haven’t fun. Well maybe I wasn’t, but no one needs to know that, right? Thanks for unburdening me!

    Girl Against Oleka

  • Tellement d’accord! Je déteste dire je pars, des hôtes essaient de te retenir, je me sens mal, ils se sentent mal bref je pars quand même . En espagnol, ils disent partir “à la française”pour partir sans dire au revoir, donc c’est forcément dans notre mémoire collective :)

  • Trop d’accord. C’est déprimant, ça met un générique de fin à la fête alors que non ! Juste eux qui partent.

  • Tout à fait d’accord ! J’ai le plus grand mal à le faire comprendre à mon compagnon qui s’obstine à vouloir faire la bise à absolument tout le monde .

  • Can’t agree more!! I have been doing this for years. Can I just say I think this should also extend to weddings – between saying hello to everyone at our wedding then having to say goodbye again there was almost no time left to just enjoy the night… So I also leave weddings without saying goodbye!

  • Pareil je ne dis plus au revoir, je pars comme une voleuse, et ça m’évite les “han mais tu pars déjàààà ?”. Oui bon, ça me saoule, quand tu as dansé comme une dingue, bu plus que de raison, je me dis que là, j’ai passé l’âge qu’on m’autorise à partir hein ? Donc j’assume bien, depuis peu, et finalement on s’aperçoit que justement, on passe très vite inaperçu (ou peut être que j’ai plus de Vraies copines en fait ?!!!)

  • Yes! That’s what I like to do, thank you :)

  • I am a huge fan of the Irish Goodbye! :) If I need to slip out earlier than most, I think it’s more respectful (unless it is a very small group of course!). Then I always like to follow up with a small thank you note the following day…I think that can easily replace the at-the-party-goodbye :)

  • Garance, savais-tu qu’en espagnol il existe une expression qui illustre parfaitement ton propos: “dire au revoir à la française” (“despedirse a la francesa”) qui veut justement dire… s’en aller sans dire au revoir à personne.

  • I’m famous for sneaking out of parties and events – especially when I am attending alone. To me, it’s perfectly acceptable … but I know that it has offended some.
    What we do have (in this country, at least) is a real problem with greetings. Protocol for greetings is dubious at best. Everyone does it differently, don’t you think? I know people (even FAMILY!) who will hardly even say hello – much less kiss or hug or shake hands when they (un)greet people.
    Maybe they don’t greet appropriately because they don’t know how? Or maybe they are just shy?

    I am personally quite shy and I think a more standard greeting protocol would help ease a lot of my social anxiety.

  • It seems ungracious if someone has made the effort to put together an event not to at least say “thanks, this was nice” on the way out. I don’t say goodbye to every friend, but always the host.

  • Clarissa Luz February, 11 2016, 5:56 / Reply

    HAHAHAHA Oh my god, Garance! You are amazing! hahahaha love you. Kisses from Brasil!

  • Solmari Perez February, 11 2016, 6:43 / Reply

    In my town is known as the Houdini exit ;)

  • mademoiselle mauve February, 12 2016, 1:36 / Reply

    alors il faut savoir bien dire bonjour mais pas au revoir ?

  • Oui faisons ça, d’autant plus que très souvent y en a toujours d’autres qui en profitent pour partir aussi…

  • La politesse se perd, elle aussi…Dommage! Bonjour et au-revoir me semblent les règles de base de la politesse.
    Ça fonctionne peut-être quand il y a énormément d’invités, alors votre départ passe inaperçu…

  • Depending on the size of the party this is the way to go. But be prepared to say goodbye if you pass the host (ducking is just weird!)

    I’d also like to see you write about how to be a good party GUEST. I shoot photos at parties and I see lots of B- behavior.

  • YES!!!! couldn’t agree more

  • im of congolese origin and in our culture it is not mandatory to say goodbye at a party’!
    and completely disrespectful to say goodbye at a wake or funeral…

  • Completely agree!! Will remember to do this

  • 1000% agree – generally, saying goodbye is never fun so no need to bring that not-fun vibe to a party!

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