A few weeks ago, I wrote about how some confused signals led to an awkward confrontation with a young lady who had been a somewhat regular player in my recent social life—she wasn’t part of the main cast, but she was a recurring guest star, and I was more than willing to consider extending her contract. But she wanted to explore other opportunities. I’ve been thinking about how, without turning into a character from , I can be clear about my intentions. With this in mind, I’ve prepared the following document, which I plan to present to future prospective dates before any time and effort is wasted on extended trips to Friendtown.
I hereby invite the undersigned ___________________ (hereby known as “My Date” “Her” “She” or “Boo” if things start to go super-well), to accompany me to dinner on ___________________.
If a dinner invitation is accepted, the undersigned should be aware that this invitation constitutes a date. Said date was not offered because John thought She looked malnourished, or he thought She could really use someone to talk to over soup that costs $17. He wanted to spend time with Her, alone, get to know Her and perhaps kiss Her (though, by signing the above, She is by no means committing to any kissing, of the French or any other variety, be it “goodnight,” “butterfly,” “tummy,” or some super-cool kind John does not even know about yet).
As the invited party of said date, She will be entitled to the following:
A. A time and place of Her choosing. Should She not finish work until 8 P.M., She will not be asked to join John for cocktails and pizza at 6 P.M., because John is aware that bosses rarely tolerate inebriated employees. He is also aware that pizza is highly coveted in office settings and does not want to cause envy in an environment where everyone is already jealous of Her, especially Rebecca in accounts receivable, who pretends to be nice but is really a total back-stabber.
B. Girl is within her rights to have location, type of food, length of date, or topic of film or play, decided by John. John should be made aware of any allergies or dislikes, be they “seafood,” “carbs,” or “Thai food,” or “anything involving certain celebrities.” This said, it is up to John to choose a location and activity that is generally appealing and convenient.
C. To be met near the subway, at a place of Her choosing, or to be picked up and taken to the location previously chosen as ideal for the consumption of food, the delivery of compliments and the occasional leg or arm touch (to gauge interest).
Furthermore, as part of the date experience, She may expect the following from John:
A. He will keep conversation to a polite level of engagement and interest. He will not unload his troubles or mention other girls. He will attempt to be funny, though there are no guarantees. Girl should feel free to attempt to be funny as well, though merely laughing at what John has to say is acceptable for a first time out.
B. He will keep all physical contact to an appropriate minimum. Should She find John physically irresistible and green-light him for further physical contact, She should know that John doesn’t usually sleep with women on the first date, and that this is no reflection on Her attractiveness, what she ordered for dinner or the cleanliness of her living space.
C. He will pay for any and all expenses, including but not limited to food and drinks, cabs, subway (though, he really should be taking Her in a cab), groceries purchased on the way back to Her place and any furniture or fixtures damaged by his visit to Her apartment should he be invited there.
After pre-approved dating activity has been completed, She may choose to extend said date, at which point it will be John’s prerogative to offer several options for fun and intimate activities. If none of these activities sound appealing, Girl should feel free to offer some of Her own, or stop being such a Negative Nelly and get on board.
A goodnight kiss is highly encouraged. If a great time was had and another date is desired, a kiss on the lips is strongly recommended.
If date will not be following up with calls, texts or further meetings, a polite reception of a peck on the cheek will do fine.
Whether She wishes to include the level of enjoyment experienced on the date in a subsequent text message will be up to Her. Thought-provoking and witty texts will be especially valued.
This concludes the dating agreement. Should the receiver wish to proceed, AKA “go out with John,” She should, sign and date the above, and return it to John no later than three days before the day of requested date.