Ahhh, the men’s “night out”. The sacred ritual where boys become men and men become brothers. Where many a legends are made and many more inside jokes are created. For most men, this is truly the night to let loose and let go of work (or school, as the case may be) stressors. To just hang out with friends, whether out  or over a friendly game of poker.

Whether it’s your group’s first official men’s night out (read: no parental chaperons) or your 100th, it’s always best to set some ground rules in order to make it a fun, memorable, and safe night for everyone. So to avoid going the route of Hangover 1, 2, and 3 (which keeps getting less and less funny), keep the following guidelines in mind:

Rule No. 1 – Choose a designated driver.

This can never be stressed enough. You should pick someone from your group to drive your drunk ass home at the end of the night. So just club soda or sparkling juice for him. This is not only for safety’s sake, but also for legal reasons.

Trust me, ending a night out with a DUI citation may be funny at that moment, but less so during the harsh reality of daylight. If all of you absolutely need to drink (celebrating a promotion or an engagement, perhaps), another option is to leave your cars at home. The good bartender can get you all a cab at party’s end.

Rule No. 2 – Set an itinerary. Or make a plan.

I know, I know, making plans sometimes suck the fun out of things. But for a night out, it’s best to have a basic idea where to go and what to do. It’s not only practical (saves you gas from driving from one place to another) but also makes the most of your night’s precious minutes. More time to actually have fun instead of wondering “Where do we go now?” or “What should we do next?”

Rule No. 3 – Change the plan, when needed.

This is not to diss Rule No. 2. Rule No. 2 rocks (or rules, punny!). But you should always remember that even the best plans have room for adjustments.

So depending on where the night takes you, you should always be ready to make some changes here and there. As long as the entire group is in agreement and the changes are minimal. Or not. Just make sure you don’t break Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 4 – The last and most important of all, have fun!

A night out, by its very definition should always be fun. If it’s not, we don’t call it a night out (that is according to Article 3, paragraph 7 of the Night Out manifesto of 1754). So if your group’s out on one, everyone should have a mindset for fun.

No debbie downers or spoilsports allowed. Yes, some serious conversations may be discussed but for the most part, night outs should be an escape from the mundane and the unfunny. So have fun! You can call for an intervention, a seminar, or meeting another time, but absolutely not during your sacred night.

There you have it. The basic rules for having a fun and safe night out for your group (or gang, if you call it that). There are more in-depth rules depending on the type of night out you’re on (is it a birthday party, a stag party, game night?). But the rules above can generally be applied to any type of men’s night out.

So go ahead, plan your next night out and make it the most memorable yet. Just remember gentlemen, plans may change but your fun should never falter.

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