Listen, you’re going to show up late to plenty of dates over the course of your life, so you might as well learn how to relax and handle the inevitable as tastefully and respectfully as possible.

Alert him as early as possible.

Generally speaking, you want to let a man know you’re going to be late for your date as early as you possibly can.

If it’s hours before your date and you know you’re going to be late, then send him a text and see if he can bump your meetup back a little bit (more on this in a second).

If you’re heading to the date and you see traffic is backed up, then shoot your man a message letting him know you’re on your way but your transportation schedule is a little up in the air.

If you step out of the subway five minutes after the time you were supposed to meet and you’re a 10-minute walk from the bar, then send your man a text letting him know where you’re at.

You don’t need to know exactly how late you are, but you do need to let your man know you’re on your way and to give him an approximate ETA.

Err on the side of caution.

If you think it’s possible you might be late for a date, it’s a good idea to assume you aren’t going to be able to arrive on time and to adjust your plans accordingly.

Overall, it’s much better to push a date back an hour than to roll the dice and cross your fingers you’ll be able to show up on time.

It’s a lot less annoying to have your plans change than to sit in a bar waiting for someone while feeling unsure about when she’s going to arrive, questioning whether or not she’s actually going to show up in the first place.

Slight inconvenience is always better than uncertainty, so only agree to plans you know you can keep.

Letting him know.

The best way to let a man know you’re running late is through a text message. Most men will have their phones on them when they’re heading to a date, and most men will check their mobile regularly around the time of the date, especially if they’re left waiting for you.

You can call if you want to but you really don’t have to. A text message is fast, it’s convenient, and you can easily send one while you’re on the way to your date.

Text messaging is also fine if you’re rescheduling your date.

Apologize once, then forget it.

Text messaging may seem impersonal but it offers a good enough method of rescheduling or letting a man know you’re running late for a date because neither of these situations are really that big a deal.

It’s inevitable, it happens, and it doesn’t necessarily indicate you aren’t interested in this man.

Let him know what’s going on, show up as soon as you can, apologize once when you arrive, and then let it go.

Apologizing repeatedly will only make both of you feel uncomfortable.

If you’re meeting up with a man who’s worth dating, he won’t mind or care and he won’t need you to apologize more than the once.

Just make sure you remember to maintain your own grace and high character the next time you’re heading for a date and your man is the one running late!