Dating / Dating etiquette

  • Dating etiquette


    How you present yourself plays a big part on how well your date goes. This article is about dating etiquette and covers issues on how one should prepare and perform on a date.

    What is dating etiquette?

    In general, etiquette is a set of social standards that people are expected to meet in certain situations. Nowhere is etiquette more relevant than in dating. A lot of dating etiquette is derived from common sense and general standards of social behavior, but the nature of dating itself has grown to shape it’s own rules.

    Why is it important?

    Obviously making a good impression on your dates is the most important thing. Dating etiquette plays a big part in the impression you make because you are expected to meet certain standards which are higher than in other social situations, such as hanging out with a group of friends. While it is important to be yourself and avoid being pretentious, it is generally expected that people are on their best behavior on dates. Of course it is true that different people will have different expectations, but it is unlikely anyone will fault you for being too polite where as someone who appears rude on a date will always be seen in a bad light.

    Simple rules to follow

    Be on time

    While your friends may not mind how late you are for meetings, being late on a date will almost always be considered rude and disrespectful. This is a prime example of how the standards of dating etiquette are much higher than social standards in general situations. Being late will also start the date off with a bad taste which will have an effect on how the rest of the date goes.

    Dress appropriately

    Depending on where your date takes place, what you wear will be more or less important. For example turning up to a fancy restaurant dressed in very casual wear will be seen as rude and inappropriate. Unless you are going somewhere either very fancy or somewhere else with a specific dress code, it is up to you to decide what to wear, based on either your own personal taste and the image you want to project and possibly taking your dating partners own taste into consideration. Some people choose to wear their best clothes for all their dates, others are more moderate. While the end decision is yours, these are important factors to take into consideration.

    Be yourself

    While different to the standards of politeness and being appropriate, being yourself is another important quality to have on a date. The whole point of dating is to get to know one another. Trying to be someone else on a date is only counterproductive.

    Two way conversation

    It is important to balance listening and talking on your date. While you want to listen to what your date has to say, it is important to also talk about yourself too. Don’t be too quiet or your date might think you are bored, but don’t talk too much, giving the other person a chance to speak is also important. When two people have good chemistry, this balance should happen naturally so it does not need to be over-thought, but try to remain aware of how the conversation is going.

    Be honest

    While it can be tempting to exaggerate or even lie on a date to make a better impression, this is always a mistake. If the date goes well and the relationship continues, the truth will come out eventually, and when it does all the progress you have made will be undermined. Even one small lie will make you seem untrustworthy and your dating partner will not want to waste any more time with someone they don’t trust. Good communication and honesty are they key to successful relationships and most people respect honesty more than anything you could lie about.

    Don’t drink too much

    It is quite common to share a drink on dates and it certainly helps to break the ice. However like everything else, balance is key. Drinking too much not only gives a big chance of making a fool of yourself but it also creates a strange impression. Your date might think you are rude, bored or just an alcoholic. Knowing how much you can drink without getting too drunk and setting yourself a limit before you go on your date is a good idea.

    Other issues

    Who pays the bill

    This is a hard question to answer. Different dates will have different expectations. A lot of women believe it is tradition and custom for the man to pick up the bill, where as a lot of men think this unfair. Splitting the bill half and half or each person paying for their own personal order are two other options. There is no right or wrong way to do this. What is most fair is obviously each person paying for what they ordered, but if you are a man you may find a lot of women offended by this so you may wish to take the whole bill. However I would not advise for a man to always take the bill, firstly because of the risk of women taking advantage of this custom, secondly on the other side of the coin, some women may even feel patronized by it. Talking this issue over with your date may be the best solution.