Several of my favorite posts date to when I was writing to an audience of 1, so I decided it was time to bring some favorites back into the light, in the hope of benefiting those were not here for the first go, and who don't read archives. This from September 24, 2008, moderately edited. It resurfaced in mid '09. Time to dust it off once more, with gusto, just in time for a long weekend.
It may be reasonably asked, Toad you're old and married, where do you get off giving dating tips? Let me answer this way. Consider it a public service. Also, because I am older, wiser, more experienced, and have more common sense than you.
Like all rules, some of these are made to be broken. I have ignored them all over the years and lived to tell the tale. That is not a glowing recommendation.
Also, let me suggest the following before you read on. I believe the following to be true. If you are unemployed, you probably shouldn't be dating. Unemployment saps self confidence and self confidence is vitally important on a first date. Secondly, married women are out of bounds to gentlemen, at all times, always.
My 10 Commandments
1. There is an implied contract implied when asking a woman for a date. The implication is that you are an interesting person, and believe that she may also be a person of interest, and you are willing to find that out, by asking for a date. By accepting she acknowledges that she too is interested.
In short, the first date is about her.
2. Primp: A day or so before the date, make a plan. Call and tell her exactly where she is going, what she is going to do. Then lay out your clothes. Are they clean, do they fit, do they need pressing? Shine your shoes. Take pride in yourself and your appearance.
I admit a certain embarrassment in mentioning this, but much observation requires me to tell you to shower, shave, brush your teeth, comb your hair and make yourself presentable. There is no shame in being the best dressed man, wherever you are going.
Ever watch your sister prepare for a date? Girls spend a lot more time getting ready than you. Honor your date by looking your best. She's looking hers.
3. Wash your car, get gas, go to the ATM before you pick her up. You invited her, you're paying, no questions asked. Turn off your car radio when you get to her house. You have different tastes in music. Don't kill your chances here.
4. Be prepared for anything when you knock on her door. She may live at home, so you may get to meet her parents. Perhaps she has young children. Smile. Be polite, be interested. Don't kick her cat.
5. Turn off your cell phone, or at least set it on vibrate. If you answer it tonight for other than your children or babysitter you die. Give your thumbs a rest. This date is about you two. It's not important to know that your friends have found the bar where the fashion week models hang out. You're not going there, you have other plans for the evening, perhaps with the mother of your future children.
6. Be a gentleman. Stand up. Smile. Watch your language. Help her with her coat, open her door, open her car door, walk around the front of the car, get in. When you arrive, open her car door, assist as needed. When you get where you're going, if it's inclement drop her off/pick her up at the door. You can navigate the parking alone.
Perhaps this sounds really out of touch, but let me explain. Its good manners, the right thing to do. You are trying to stand out from the crowd. Show early on that you are at least semi-evolved, or have had good home training. It will pay dividends later when she calculates if its worth her time providing the training you'll need.
7. There is only the two of you. You are both adults. You each have baggage, you have dated before. It's not important for her to learn tonight that you regularly date cheerleaders. You don't want to find out tonight that she regularly dates pro football players. The past is not welcome this evening.
She accepted your offer of a date, because she has some interest in getting to know you. Women are the civilizing influence in our culture. She is not going out with you solely because you are male and breathing. Show some respect. Listen!! She doesn't ever want to hear your complaints about old girlfriends.
8. Send a text message tonight, and the date is OVER. She has my permission to shove your IPHONE unlubricated up your ass, or ask to be taken home immediately. You will accept either quietly and deservedly.
9. There are less than 6 degrees of separation. Regardless of where you live, your circle intersects hers somewhere.
Before your date, she told everyone she knows that she was going out with you. This was for two reasons. To learn something about you, and for bragging rights. After the date, she will again talk with everyone she knows about your date. If you are a bounder, you pollute your own dating pool. If you were not the right guy for her, but comported yourself well, she will tell everyone that sadly you two didn't click, but that you would be a good pick up for someone else. She may even help make that happen.
10. Sometimes miracles occur. Keep a fresh one in your wallet and use it. Call the next day.
Have a great weekend. I await your comments. In your heart you know I'm right.
PS: Last time this saw the light of day a reader asked if I had any tips for women. Having given this some thought my answer was and is NO. I've been out of the game way to long, but I would love to read and take issue with yours.