The Next Installment of the Gentlemen’s Guide: Weekend Wooing

Back in junior high, my BFF and I decided to write a manual for boys—boys who were interested in dating us.  We were fed up with their blundering attempts and, fancying ourselves the lucky recipients of a superior education concerning all things romance (courtesy of Jane Austen novels and BBC costume dramas), we set out to equip them with the knowledge they so desperately needed.

Darcy and Elizabeth

See? This is how it's SUPPOSED to be done.

The only problem (at least the only evident problem) was the publication of our little treatise.  How would we get them to read it?

If only I’d had a blog back then…

As such, I feel that I am bound by duty and honor and the godforsaken desire to date a man who knows what he’s doing to publish the following.  Consider this the next installment in my Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing Women, except this time, instead of focusing on online dating protocol we’re going to take a look at the weekend visit.

Now before you jump to conclusions and assume that the following assemblage is in any way indicative of Date #7’s shortcomings, it’s not—at least not entirely.  He did commit some rather grievous faux pas during my visit to Pittsburgh but the “Do’s and Don’ts” I’ve listed below are based on a much greater period of… research.  Ten years to be exact, and as such, they take into account my entire dating history.

(Keep in mind that the majority of my relationships have been long distance so weekend visits are one of the few subjects upon which I can speak with the utmost authority.)

A Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing Women: The Weekend Visit

If you find yourself in the altogether enviable position of hosting a woman in your home for the weekend, congratulations!  There’s a good chance you’ll get laid—unless of course you f*ck it up.

Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take to ensure that your lady-guest will have a lovely time (and remember: a lovely time easily translates into “sexy time”) so really, it’s in your best interest to ensure the following before she arrives:

  • She has proper directions to your place.  (Date #7 sent me a text containing a photograph of the sign at the entrance to his apartment complex; well played, Date #7.)
  • She feels secure in the knowledge that you are actually looking forward to her visit (a simple, “Can’t wait to see you, drive safe!” is usually all it takes.)
  • She is not greeted by any unwelcome signs in your apartment/flat/house/man cave (unwelcome signs may include but are not limited to: dirty laundry, dirty dishes, dirty counters, beard trimmings in your sink, hair in your shower, hair in your shower that is longer than yours and therefore clearly does not belong to you, additional toothbrushes on your sink, photographs of ex-girlfriends, etc.  Basically anything that would suggest the presence of another woman—even if your relationship is not yet serious— should be thrown away.  Or burned in a large bonfire.  Or at the very least concealed in a drawer for the duration of the weekend, unless of course you are married in which case you should leave it all in plain sight so that the woman in question will realize what she’s gotten herself into and can call you for being such a faithless bastard.)
In other words, your date should not have to do this:
cleaning shower

Once you’ve rendered your humble abode as habitable as possible, it’s time to prepare for your guest’s arrival.

  • One would think this goes without saying but unfortunately it needs to be said: carry her damn bags!  I don’t care if you’re nervous/excited/trying to plan your escape—be a gentleman.
  • Also, be sure to greet your guest in such a way as to indicate that you’re glad she’s arrived.  A kiss, a hug—something along those lines.  Don’t just stand there grinning stupidly as this will invariably cause your date to wonder if you’ve contracted some sort of disease during her absence—or if she’s made a mistake in coming to see you.
  • Prepare some sort of light refreshment in advance, especially if she’s come a long way.  Even if she refuses to eat she’ll make note of your thoughtfulness and while we’re on the subject, you really ought to do a full round of grocery shopping before she arrives.  Furthermore, if you’re really hoping to score (by which I mean score bonus points, of course) you can ask if she would like anything specific for breakfast, etc. (ie. if you’re a coffee drinker but know that she prefers tea, invest a dollar or two to ensure that she’ll have her beverage of choice in the morning.  You can thank me later.)
  • Wine.  Have wine.  Good things happen when you drink wine:

sexy wine image
Now… let’s move on to sleeping arrangements.

We all know that you’re not planning a weekend visit to sit around playing checkers (and if you are, you should probably just go to a convention or something) but if this is the first time your lady-friend is spending the night, you ought to offer—at the very least— a façade of quasi-Victorian propriety.

Colonial Williamsburg

Or perhaps quasi-colonial propriety... everyone knows the Victorians were total a bunch of sexual deviants underneath their lace doilies. Just ask Foucault.

If you have a guest bedroom, offer it to her.  (Any woman worth her salt will prefer having someplace semi-private to stash her things, lest she clutter up your kitchen with her shoes and makeup.)  If you don’t have a guest room, offer her your bed and—this is the important part— offer to sleep on the couch.  I can personally guarantee that she’ll eventually invite you to join her so you won’t be stranded in your living room for long.

Lauren Weisberger(And lest you think I’m being terribly stuffy and old-fashioned, keep in mind that the Brazilian sex-pot from Lauren Weisberger’s “Chasing Harry Winston” insists that her Hollywood-director boyfriend spends the night in a hotel when he comes to visit, and this is after they’ve started sleeping together.)

Also, depending on the status of your relationship, you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of suitable pajamas or pajama substitutes on hand.  As a dancer who’s shared many a dressing room with many a man, I don’t expect my dates to swath themselves in full Fruit-of-the-Loom getups but pants are always nice… or at the very least, boxers shorts that haven’t passed their expiration dates.

Of course, said pants can come off eventually…

colonial life

Or not...

Bottom line: everyone knows that men aren’t exactly known for their communication skills.  So if you are happy that your lady-friend has come to visit and want to make sure she knows you care about her, you need to show her— through thoughtful but simple gestures.  Taking little steps to make sure she’s not starving to death, freezing to death or afraid to contract some sort of rare foot disease simply by stepping into your shower go a long way.

So give it a try (and do let me know if I’ve missed anything).

Now, if you have a brother/son/nephew who might benefit from reading the above, for the love of God and single women everywhere, please forward this to him.  Don’t you want him to settle down with a nice girl someday?

Most Valuable BloggerPS:  I’ve been nominated for “Philadelphia’s Most Valuable Blogger” and I need your help!  You can vote everyday until September 9th (no login or registration nonsense required) so please click on “VOTE FOR ME” to cast your vote.  THANKS!

15 Responses to “The Next Installment of the Gentlemen’s Guide: Weekend Wooing”

  1. Lincoln

    Ok… As a guy I agree with everything (Clean, check; guest room check; wine, check…) but the “full round of grocery shopping”.

    Can you perhaps elucidate me?

    I’d understand if you were living in the middle of the country, or even suburbia, but when you have dozens of restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk, why bother with keeping that stuff in the house?

    I’d rather not have food go to waste in my refrigerator (or as my present girlfriend refers to it “large wine and beverage cooler”)… and that’s invariably what happens anytime anything perishable goes in there.

    • Kat Richter

      See my reply to your previous comment– a few bottles and an emergency pizza is actually “good enough” in my book. Of course, you can ask if your guest likes a particular sort of milk or that kind of thing… but I certainly am not advocating for the purchase of all sorts of gourmet odds and ends that are just going to go bad 🙂

  2. Dan Bain

    You’ve just taught tons of single guys how to effectively lie to you about their status and intentions. 🙂

  3. Debbie

    I had a friend who was dating a man (who she is NO LONGER with) who, whenever she came to visit, NEVER had any food in the fridge. She came all the way every few weeks from NYC (where is was a doctoral student) only to find that if she wanted anything to eat, she had to go and get it herself. And then the eventual started to happen… “Baby…while you are at the store…” And did he give her money? NO… To be fair, this was not the only reason that they are no longer together. But gentlemen…the sour milk and beer only routine gets old. Unless you are prepared to take your lady out for some fabulous meals, get over it and buy some groceries. Or say that you weren’t sure what she would like and take her to the store, PAY for whatever her little heart fancies, and PAY ATTENTION so you can have some of her favorites on hand for the next time she visits…

  4. Wendy

    You forgot that if you’re going to visit a man who has a a cat (or roommates cat as in this case) that likes to poop in the shower every morning, he should take the extra effort to remove said poop before you wake up to use the bathroom.

  5. Rachel

    Just out of curiosity, Kat, have you ever cleaned a bathroom during one of these previous weekend visits?

    • Kat Richter

      Not during, no… I mean except for cleaning up after myself (I have thick, curly hair so I’m rather manic about NOT leaving any in the shower).

  6. Lost in France

    A concise and useful guide.
    I am sure there is more to add, but at the moment I can not think of them.
    Ah one, a bathroom door lock that works, A friend of mine had an issue with one that did not.

  7. Catherine

    Great advice 🙂

    Also, if you have established any gross habits, like not brushing your teeth before bed or eating randomly at 2 in the morning….hide it from her. At least for the first couple of sleepovers!

    • Kat Richter

      Seriously! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve announced “I’m going to go brush my teeth now” (as in HINT HINT!!!)

  8. Lost in France

    And while I am on the bathroom rant, a can of air freshener, though that might purely be from the boy angle, I’m sure you ladies really do not need such things. But having to use the toilet ‘properly’ for the first time at a new dates home, is a biggy.
    Also I got in trouble for having ‘manly’ toilet paper. Apparently not soft enough.
    Little tings I know, but can take on big proportions!!

  9. stevesw

    Here’s an item you may want to consider adding; I found it last October for a post.

    Now, for those men out there who need something more tangible than common sense, we will turn to, that lists, what else, 1,000 awesome things for men and women. Now I agree that the following statement is not about dating, however, by extension one has to understand the human mindset…in this case the woman’s. Ok, here goes, according to

    #779 Getting into a bed with clean sheets after shaving your legs.

    ”Stubble-free legs and cool, clean sheets combine to form a silky-smooth ride into Dreamland. AWESOME!”

    To put Number 779 into perspective:

    – #778 When someone un-jams the photocopier for you.

    – #780 Squeezing through a door as it’s shutting without touching it.

    And some comments to Number 779:

    – “This is seriously one of my favorite feelings ever. Now I want to wash my sheets and shave my legs before bed (but it’s 2:30 am).”

    – “Oh hell yeah it’s AWESOME!”

    – “Oh goodness it’s an epic slice of awesome.”

    Now that we have established the mental picture your female date may have concerning fresh, clean sheets at her residence, it should be a HINT!!!!!!! that a woman wants to see clean, fresh sheets at your’s…and seeing them should trigger a positive reaction.

  10. becky119

    All good advice. I remember how strange it was for me, waking up at my boyfriends after our first sleepover to find that the only thing in his fridge was mountain dew, a few eggs, and some cheese. Adam did make me an omelette for breakfast, but we had said omelette with mountain dew…odd way to start the day in my book.
    Part of what made this so strange for me was the fact that I grew up with a TON of food in my house always. (Thanks Mom).

    For the 4th of July we went to visit his mom in MA and she took us shopping because she is a health-nut and only has really healthy food. Since it was vacation, we needed some essentials like chips and salsa and beer. 🙂 Having food in your house for your guests is good advice to anyone having company. I ❤ food!


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