Date Due Diligence

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When you’re preparing to go out on a date, there’s really just one thing to remember: the little things matter. Unfortunately, since this is a column and not a motivational poster, I’m guessing that I can’t just leave it at that, so allow me to expand on the topic a bit.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit up front that I’ve been a happily married man for the better part of a decade, and I’ve also got a 4-year-old daughter, so when I say “date,” I actually mean “a chance to escape from the child for a few hours.” If you too have spawned, then you’ll appreciate why I’m underlining this point: be sure you have a sitter in place that the mother of your child trusts. She’ll still feel obligated to call at least once, but with the right sitter selection, you’ll hopefully be able to keep her from checking in at half-hour intervals…or, God forbid, even more frequently.

On a related note, if you and your significant other have been together for an extended period of time, be considerate and plan your date according to what she loves and you can at least tolerate. For instance, if you know she hates sports, don’t try to rationalize taking her to a hockey game. (“Well, she took a psychology class six years ago, so I’m betting she’ll be able to appreciate this as an exercise in observing human behavior…on ice.”) But that doesn’t mean that you have to torture yourself, either: if you know that she loves it when you take her to see chick flicks, don’t be afraid to quietly steer her toward one where the leading lady is someone who’s hot enough that you won’t mind watching her on the big screen for 90 minutes.

Prepare yourself accordingly for your night out, because you can bet your lady friend will. Shower it up, wash and rise all the appropriate areas, and then – and I cannot emphasize this enough – give yourself a nice, clean shave. If the night ends the way you’re hoping that it will, she’s not going to want to have to worry about the possibility of whisker burn. If you wear cologne, be sure it’s not a scent that’s going to give her a migraine. When it comes to getting dressed, pick an outfit that she bought you (trust me, it goes over like gangbusters), and be sure to wear your finest footwear. There’s a reason the expression “shoes make the man” was popularized, and it’s because women are always aware of what you’re wearing on your feet. To this day, my wife tells the tale of how she married me despite the awful shoes I wore on our first date, and she can still describe them down to the last detail.

You may be dressed, but you’re not quite ready to go. Before you walk out the door, be sure you’ve got your finances in order. If you’re not flush with cash, then at least be sure that you’ve got credit available on your cards. The only thing more embarrassing than the waiter returning to your table with a request for alternative payment is not having an alternative…or, at least, not one that doesn’t involve tenses of the verbs “to dine” and “to dash.”

At last, it’s time for the date to begin! Good luck, God speed, and here’s hoping all the little things we’ve discussed will pay off for you in a big way.


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