Q: If I’m not enjoying myself at a party, how soon can I leave without seeming rude?
A: If it’s a large cocktail party or reception, it’s okay to leave after staying for roughly an hour. If it’s a dinner party, you should stay through dinner, since your host has set a place for you and gone to the trouble of preparing the meal. Then, once dinner is over, try not to eat and run; stay for another hour or a little less. If you do leave a dinner party early, make sure to thank your host and try to offer an honest explanation for your early departure, such as a need to relieve your kids’ babysitter or you have a long drive home.