Follow these dating dos and don’ts to master modern dating etiquette and you’re almost guaranteed to make a great impression.
These dating etiquette tips can be followed on your first date or even your second and third. It also doesn’t matter if you met at work, through friends or online, the basics of proper dating etiquette are the same.
Getting to the Date
Women like for a man to lead so it’s best not to make her drive you. If you’re picking her up, don’t drive too fast or openly display road rage. If you happen to drive a convertible, don’t drive with the top down when it’s freezing cold outside just because you think it’s cool. Also don’t complain about having to pay valet parking. If you’ve arranged to meet her somewhere, be punctual and don’t leave her to sit at the bar alone.
Make eye contact to show that you’re paying attention to her and avoid the temptation to stare at her breasts (no matter how good they look). Looking down at your food shows a lack of confidence and looking past your date’s head at people passing by shows a lack of interest. Also definitely don’t ogle other girls around you, even if they do happen to be better looking than your date.
Each woman has a different opinion about what constitutes an appropriate touch from someone she just met and it also depends on the venue. When you meet her, shake her hand while smiling and looking into her eyes. This immediately breaks the barrier and makes it easier to touch her later on.
If you are able to get her comfortable and laughing she may touch you playfully. If so, it can be considered a green light for you to do the same (but don’t overdo it by touching her at every opportunity).
If you are moving to a different venue you can touch her back briefly to guide her in the direction you want to go. This is a harmless gesture, but when accompanied with good conversation it can build familiarity and attraction.
Turn off your cell phone during dinner so you’re not interrupted. Ask questions when stories are told, and offer opinions when topics are discussed. You’re not expected to agree with everything she says. Disagreement is both healthy and interesting.
Avoid the temptation to ramble on about yourself in an attempt to impress her. She’ll be much more impressed if you ask her questions and demonstrate that you’re a good listener.
Here are some more conversational no-nos:
- Don’t complain about dating and don’t go on about your dysfunctional family.
- Definitely resist talking about how hot your ex is, how good she was in bed, or how your date reminds you of her.
- Telling your date that you feel like you’ve known her forever also won’t go down as well as you might expect.
- Obviously you should also avoid racist and sexist comments and don’t bad mouth people because it only makes you look like a prick.
Don’t Bare Your Soul
Resist the temptation of baring your soul on a first date. We all have anxieties, baggage, hang-ups, insecurities and skeletons. Leave these in the closet while dating, and be positive and upbeat.
It is possible to talk about exes, but only if it’s clear that both of you want to go down that potentially bumpy road. You’re strongly advised however, not to sabotage your date with too much information, too soon.
You can compliment your date. (e.g. That outfit looks great on you), but that’s all. Any more than that and you risk coming across as needy and lowering your status in her eyes. Repeatedly telling her how beautiful she is will make her feel that you’re not worthy of her, so don’t do it no matter how strong the urge!
Also never confess your love for a women in the first few dates, or even the first few months for that matter. A woman wants to feel that you’ve really taken the time to get to know her and a love declaration after only a few dates comes across as needy and insincere because you can’t love someone that you hardly know, even if she is drop-dead gorgeous.
Avoid taking her to the loudest restaurant in town where you won’t be able to hear a word she’s saying. Also don’t take her to an expensive restaurant and then make her feel bad for ordering too much.
It goes without saying that you should exercise basic table manners, which means you don’t start eating until both of you have your food and you don’t talk with your mouth full. Also don’t bounce your leg nervously at the dinner table and remember to be courteous and generous to the waiter.
Avoid the temptation of buying her a rose in a restaurant. It might seem like a romantic idea, but she’ll probably feel a little awkward carrying it around for the rest of the night, especially considering that she doesn’t really know you that well.
When it comes to paying, if you asked her out you should definitely pay, even if she offers to split the bill. If you go on multiple dates with a women and she suggests an event or dinner, the chances are good that she will offer to pay. If you insist on paying in this instance she may get offended, thinking you don’t respect the fact that she has a job and can afford it.
With most modern couples it is not unusual for the woman to pay about 30% of the time or to split the bill on occasion. Definitely don’t let her pay more than 50% of the time or you’ll look like a cheapskate, and when you do split the bill, don’t make her pay more just because your meal was slightly cheaper.
If she pays for your coffee or meal you can say the following with a smile: “Don’t think that paying will let you have your way with me later!’ This kind of role reversal line will not only get a laugh, but will also show that you understand the dance of human dating behavior.
At the end of the date, you have to trust your instincts. If you think you have chemistry, there’s nothing wrong with going for the kiss. Then again, some people don’t kiss on first dates so don’t take it personally. If you think things went well, ask when you can see her again. you’ll know pretty quickly if her response is sincere. No matter what happens, don’t pressure her. Be confident and be yourself.
If you felt there was chemistry, follow up with her the next few days. Don’t wait any longer or she might think she’s being played. If on the other hand you don’t have fun or are not romantically attracted to her then don’t go out with her again. Don’t be rude about it. Treat your date respectfully as you would a platonic friend.
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