valentinebemineValentine’s Day is fast approaching and there are those among us that have concerns. Those concerns are called daughters. So let’s back up to our sons, first.

Junior’s got his eye on someone’s little princess, but we all know that he’s not the only game in town. There is some other jock, jerk, or juggler that’s just making that certain impression. So it is not at all impertinent to have a little “come to Jesus” talk with our boys about the quality of people. Ask these questions. How do the interests of our quarry bode as to her quality as a person? How do those interests align with your own (i.e. do you have anything to talk about?) How do the qualities of other suitors and their apparent proximity to the objective inform us as to the quality of the character of the young lady in question?

Now, having determined her quality, what is her pattern? Bear with me here, we’re about to wander into territory that borders on stalking, but there is a point. Far from suggesting that one conducts interviews and builds surveillance patterns like they’re tracking a terrorist, the process is the same, if not as detailed. Consider what commonalities one has to another. Do you go to the same church? Are you attending similar classes? Are you both at Awake every third Thursday at 7 p.m. for open mic night?

While you may already know each other and have some of the same friends, there is such a thing as a second first impression. The conversation that leads to dating is the first impression one. That making as a suitor on top of the first impression is what makes you an individual, separate from the context of romance. Where that impression is made makes a world of difference.

Then, there is a third first impression. The date. I’ll make this simple. Any idiot can do dinner and a movie. Save that lazy crap for when you’ve been together long enough to just have run out of cool stuff to do. Chocolates and flowers are never wrong, but they better come with a couple’s painting class or a football field worth of food trucks. Even if we’re talking about high-school kids dating, there are lots of cool, fun things to do that will really raise the bar. Cast your eyes to ruination. Make her so happy that all other attempts by others in the future are pale in comparison, because she deserves it, and such a goal will really crank up the creativity.

Now, as to your daughters. Gentlemen, it is your fatherly duty to warn your little princess that there are men out there that will be taking the advice of this column and that she should hold out for a man who is hunter enough to take this advice to heart.