by Deborah Joy Block
Whether you are just entering the dating scene or are a seasoned veteran, it’s a good idea to always follow proper etiquette with your dates. After all, you’ll make a better first impression if you are concerned about making the other person comfortable, which is what dating etiquette is all about. Just as there are rules in virtually any game that is played, the dating game involves rules as well.
Be on Time
If you show up to the date half an hour late with no explanation, you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. It’s rude to keep anyone waiting, especially your date. If you know you will be running behind, let your date know ahead of time.
No matter what type of day you’ve had, be polite to your date. This rule is true whether this is your first date or your eighty-first date. Dates are supposed to be enjoyable, not uncomfortable. You should also be polite to the other people you encounter on your date, including servers. You will undoubtedly make your date feel uneasy if you snap at the waitress.
Exercise restraint and respect boundaries. In traditional cultures physical touch is not permitted until marriage. In modern secular relationships it is still best to take things slow. and reserve intimate contact for when your intimate feelings are aligned. Don’t jump past first base to third. Unless you’ve already established a monogomous relationship with your sweetie, don’t become “all hands.” This is one of the quickest ways to make someone incredibly uncomfortable. If this is your first date, it is best to avoid any physical contact at all. On a similar note, it is generally considered rude to ask questions about your date’s sexual past when the two of you are in the getting-to-know-you stage.
Do ask his/her opinion and find out about the other person. Avoid a long monologue about your history, especially if it isn’t followed up by asking about your date’s history. If you act as if the date is all about you, you may quickly find yourself alone.
Who Pays for the Date
If you were the person to issue the invitation and initiate the date, you should be the person to pick up the cost of the date. This is true regardless of your gender even though in the past it was considered the norm for the man to pay for the date. If you do not want to pay for everything, make this clear when you first suggest the date. Never assume that the other person is going to pick up the check.
Do consider your attire and hygiene. This doesn’t mean you have to blow your savings on a designer suit. Anyone can put on a clean shirt and pressed pants. Dress appropriately for the date and show that you put some effort into your appearance. You should have enough respect for your date to be in clean clothes, smelling nice and have your hair brushed. Dress to impress. You may not feel like dressing up or trying to impress your date, but he may be expecting more than jeans and an old t-shirt. If a man is buying you a nice dinner or dressing up for you, show your appreciation by freshening up before you go on your date. It is a nice gesture, especially since men really enjoy seeing the woman they are taking out all dressed up. If fashion is not your thing, hire an image consultant/stylist to help you with your wardrobe, hair, makeup and accessories.
Make eye contact to demonstrate your interest in your date. Be respectful of your date if you smoke and don’t force your date to experience second-hand smoke. Also, if you take your date somewhere, don’t abandon him or her. Your date should feel important to you. Consider the place you are thinking about taking them and whether they would enjoy it.
Be yourself and don’t pretend to be someone you are not. You want to present an accurate portrayal of who you really are while also putting your best foot forward. You should be transparent in your goals for dating. Are you looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage and children or do you just want to date casually. You also want to be honest with your date and let them know, as kindly as possible, that you are not interested in continuing the relationship if you aren’t feeling a spark.. It takes courage for a someone to step out of their comfort zone and invite someone on a date, so be honest and straightforward with him/her. Don’t play games by acting as though you are interested in him/her or not interested in him. It is also important to maintain your integrity while on your date. If the two of you just don’t seem to click, do not make promises that you will see each other again or that you will call tomorrow. A simple, “It was nice to meet you” is the best way to end a night that you do not want to repeat.
Do Mention Preferences and Restrictions
If you are on a specific diet or have unique food restrictions, let your date know before meeting up with them. Consider making a suggestion yourself so your date doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
Dating Etiquette for Guys
Traditional dating required the man to initiate everything but modern dating styles allow for more flexibility. Basic chivalry is still a kind gesture like the man rising when the woman enters the room, men pulling out a woman’s chair, opening doors for them, or helping them into or out of the car. This is a man’s way of treasuring the woman as special and behaving as a gentleman.
Dating Etiquette For Ladies
Sometimes women feel pressure to continue on with their date even if they are feeling zero connection with them. Check in with yourself and know that it is okay to be honest with your date about your feelings. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any point during your date, trust your gut and remove yourself from the situation. Always let a friend know your location prior to the date just to be extra safe and meet in public the first time you go out together. Also if you are interested, don’t Chase Him. Don’t rush the relationship or try to move along the relationship at an uncomfortable pace. Let the man be the pursuer, and wait for him to contact you. Women are sometimes ready to express their feelings much earlier in their relationships than men are, so don’t pressure him to express his feelings prematurely.
Don’t get so nervous about following dating rules that you forget some other basic principles. Compliment your date! There is a good chance he or she took some extra time to get ready for this date, so find something you can compliment. A simple, “You like nice!” can do wonders for boosting your date’s confidence. Compliments also make a great ice breaker.
Give the Process a Chance.
You may have had a long week at work, and you may be tired of the dating scene, but if you have agreed to go out on a date, you need to put your best foot forward. The man you are going out with may have been looking forward to this date all week, and perhaps had to step out of his comfort zone to ask you out. Have a good attitude and an open mind while you are on the date. Make eye contact and show your date that you are interested in what he/she has to say. You could end up having the night of your life!
Don’t Talk About Old Relationships.
There is no bigger turnoff than someone talking about his/her ex. If you say something positive about an old flame, it shows that you admire him/her and may still have feelings for him/her. On the other hand, if you say something negative, how does your date know that you won’t do the same to him/her?
Drink in Moderation.
You don’t want to come off as though you have a drinking problem, which may be a red flag for your date. Most importantly, you need to make sure you are thinking straight. If you are out on a first date, you do not want to make yourself vulnerable with a stranger by having too much to drink.
End the Date if Necessary.
If the date is going on too long, and you are ready to go home, it’s okay if you end the date. Just say that you are ready to call it a night. If you do not plan on going on a second date, don’t hint that a second date is a possibility. There is no reason to carry on the date through coffee and dessert if it is miserable and not going anywhere. Your date may appreciate your honesty, and the end to a rough night.
9 Simple Rules of Proper Dating Etiquette | LoveToKnow.com
Dating Etiquette and Rules for Women – First & Second Dates (moneycrashers.com)