So you've met this amazing woman and, yes, you think that this time she could, she might just be, The Special One. After days of deliberating -thoughtfully turning her business card over again and again as you toyed with the idea of just calling her, dammit! - you did just that. You called her. She put you on hold while she finished chatting to her friend ("Ohmygod, GUESS who's just called..."), and then ASKED YOU what YOU were doing on Friday night!
That was almost two weeks ago. You've almost bankrupted yourself taking her out to dinner twice in this time. And no, not to your favorite Asian joint down the road. Somewhere nice. She chose it and, uh-huh, it sure was nice. And pricey, although you did insist on paying! While the atmosphere was rather ambient, conducive to lots of lingering eye contact and hand stroking, you were still hungry afterwards because, though the food was really tasty, there was not too much on the plate to taste.
You've already been over to her place. For coffee, when she invited you up just before dawn after you'd been dancing all night at a club you both enjoy. The coffee was great - espresso; you can see she appreciates the good things in life. Then you kissed a bit, before she yawned and kicked you out. What a tease!
But you kind of like the fact that the thrill, that oh-so-tense but oooh, so delicious build-up to doing the down and dirty, is still lingering in the air between you. When you hear her voice, you feel this frisson of possibility charge through your blood. Your imagination is working over-time (which, funnily, you realize you have not been doing lately!).
You think - for the first time since you were, what, 16? - that something lasting might be nice, even good for you (your mom agrees). Too many one weekend stands can get a bit messy. And anyway, she seems like good girlfriend material, judging by the ooo-aah responses of your jealous mates. Suddenly the thought of "strings attached" seems quite appealing.
But now that you are Officially Dating, the time has come when she wants to see "where it all happens"...and YOU'RE cooking! She wants to dig into your soul by entering the secret, hallowed space that is your bachelor apartment, only recently vacated by your backpacking, world-travelling friend from your ‘varsity days’ who needed a couch to crash on while finding himself between trips. You're sure his stash of evil weed and girlie mags are still lurking somewhere in the recesses of your hideous, food and beer stained, old couch that's definitely seen better days.
You once had the services of a Maid. Your mom paid for her to clean the place when you'd just moved in "on your own", after years of living communally. Two years ago.
You think of yourself as being quite organized, actually. There's a large, hand-me-down fridge that works perfectly (except for the fact that you can't close the freezer door because it's so iced up) and a washing machine, good-as-new (read: un-used!). You have a killer sound system with kick-ass speakers, and a CD collection that's your pride and joy. There's even a colour telly, resting on an upturned box. And there's the fern one of your ex-es once gave you. Though you think it might be dead.
You're also rather proud of your most recent investment, a water bed, because a guy's gotta get a good night's sleep! It's just a pity about the fraying, red and black-striped duvet cover you've been using since you moved out of home (your mom thought it was quite masculine). Oh, and then there's the pile of comics, spanning almost a decade's worth of dedicated collecting, that also serves as a handy, if not tall, bedside table.
Face it, dude, while you and your lady friend might have hit it on really well, chances are she's not going to be as keen as you are about getting comfy on that couch for the long cuddling session you have in mind for tonight.
But perhaps I'm being too hard on you, and she's really not the type of girl who's too hung up on these sorts of things. And yes, it's YOU and not your personal space she's supposed to like!
At this stage of the dating/mating game, however, and especially if you are serious about this girl (or are at least hoping that she will stay the night), it might pay to take a long, hard look at your surroundings and put an action plan into place ahead of her visit. All women understand that men (okay, most men) are not what you might call "house proud" - you have far more important issues to worry about. But she WILL appreciate it if there are signs that you've been anticipating her arrival.
While I'm not necessarily talking about keeping a pack of tampons in the bathroom cupboard (though that would be awfully considerate!), there are a few things that'll make her feel relaxed and right at home.
Firstly, ATMOSPHERE is important. Buy scented candles, as in Lots Of. Without outlaying too much cash you'll have instant ambience that she'll find wonderfully romantic. Sort through your CDs ahead of the time and select a few that you know she'll like. Leave them casually lying by the sound system for her to "discover".
Secondly, the FRIDGE, and contents thereof, need to be addressed. While you probably won't have time to de-frost it, you certainly can ensure that it's filled with all the right things for a smooth-running evening (and/or morning/weekend/week) together.
Throw out that old smelly blue cheese (that used to be cheddar), and replace with a few bottles of fruit juice, coke cans and maybe good beer too. If you can get wine, get white and red if you don't know what she prefers (you might want to ask), but for God's sake don't get boxed wine! There's something very suave about a guy expertly opening a perfectly chilled bottle of good wine before pouring a glassful for his guest.
Since you're cooking, you'll want to make sure that you're not caught by surprise, whether it turns out you don't have the right ingredients or that you end up eating really late (and, by then, making a roast is simply out of the question). If you don't fancy yourself as a gourmet chef, then here's something easy that, while it takes really quick to prepare, can also be quite a sophisticated meal for you to claim your Italian food preferences. Pop around to your nearest supermarket and buy some fresh pasta, some tubs of good pesto and some real Parmesan that you can grate onto her plate for her. Make sure your salt and pepper grinders are full, and that you have plenty of olive oil handy (for the food, too!).
Buy some sexy, snacky things to nibble with your drinks, like chips and olives. And for dessert, if you're still eating at this stage, go for something light and simple like yogurt, fresh strawberries and cream and if you can afford it, Haagen-Dazs premium ice cream. Feeding each other dessert can be the start of a really deep and meaningful relationship, I promise!
If you're feeling hopeful, you might also want to stock up on good organic coffee, low fat milk, organic eggs, chicken sausages, etc for the morning.
Next, survey the damage in your BATHROOM. Do you have clean towels (girls HATE damp, stinky towels!)? Do you have soap (girls HATE anti-bacterial body washes!!)? While you're about it, buy an extra toothbrush - and some new toothpaste, too (you might not have any trouble squeezing the dregs out of that flattened tube!).
Now, to the BEDROOM - when was the last time you had your sheets laundered? Dirty sheets are, it must be said, an absolute turn-off! Then there's that pile of stale socks and underpants lying in the corner. Simply pop them in that washing machine that's been aching to be used! As a finishing touch, a candle or two next to the bed will solve the problem of you wanting the lights on and her wanting them off!
All that's left for you to do is pluck those stray nose hairs, put on a clean shirt and splash on some (I said SOME) of that expensive aftershave she bought you, you handsome devil, you!
Now that you are all set, good luck bro!