Tag Archives: first date

First date faux-pas

first date faux pas

I love first dates. So much can happen on a first date. Yes, it can be a short-lived experience, and all you’ve lost is time. But, generally, it’s where everything is new, and anything is possible.

Dating as a single mum has been a roller coaster of a ride. Sometimes it awakens the senses. Sometimes it’s even comedic. And yes, it can also be heart wrenchingly tragic. First dates are necessary, and often feel like hard work, sometimes they’re awkward, and sometimes, if you’re in sync with your date, it is a wonderfully warm experience that you want to revisit over, and over.

Surely, I thought to myself, there must be helpful guide on how to navigate a first date. Though it’s a shame to create a template that is devoid of personal idiosyncrasies and quirks, so  that it’s better to find out what you should NOT do on a first date, and let the rest be guided by your own individual personality. Yes, the etiquette of first dates.

The absolute biggest no-no is when a person talks badly of past relationships.

I researched my favourite etiquette resources, and they state that it’s still inappropriate to discuss religion, politics and money. I agree that discussing money with a near stranger is not a good idea, but today, when religion and politics are at the forefront of our lives, it seems rather impossible. It’s also possibly a good idea to broach those topics early, in case you have opposing ideas on them. It’s either going to produce a healthy discussion, or give you the exit you should take if you can’t stand his or her ideals or beliefs.

As to discussing sex, I have rarely experienced a first date when a man has offered this up for conversation. I’m sure that he thinks about it, and can be quite flirtatious, but it’s definitely up to the woman to initiate the topic. If a woman wants to get physical, she will let you know, just like our minx on our cover photo. If she prefers to establish a romantic relationship before getting physical, she will also guide that. It is acceptable to try to kiss a woman, and some women love that attention, but if she turns away, or indicates that she isn’t ready, then respect her wishes.

There are a few things that men should do. They will not appear old-fashioned if they open car doors for a woman, nor will it seem odd to help a woman with her coat. And even if those seem too much to do for your date, then at the very least you should open the door to the restaurant for your date. Typically the door opens out, and she should pass first, but if the door opens inwards, then you should walk through and hold the door open for her.

There is a very old world rule that says that men should always enter a restaurant before his date. This is to ward off all other gentlemen’s eyes to your date. Today, most women will walk directly behind the maitre-d or host, followed by her partner.

Table manners are also extremely important, and licking your knife, or your plate are forbidden. Tucking your napkin into your collar is only accepted when eating lobster or ribs, and the establishment normally supplies these.

Menu suggestions are great, but taking over and ordering on behalf of your date is not appropriate.

Answering your phone or texting is unacceptable. If you’re in a situation that requires you to keep your phone at the ready for work or if you have kids waiting at home, then let your date know.

And, as a general rule, if you invited your date, then you should pay for the meal. But I will write in depth on this important topic in an upcoming article. Too many have asked me what is the right etiquette with paying for dates.

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The slow dance to your first date

date pic

The dance for romance between men and women today is wrought with questions and doubt. In this, times have not changed at all.

It is different in that we have been pressured by technology. This is a shame.

Joel, a handsome and articulate, young gentleman of 25, I met recently, shared with me how he was saddened that romance is lost today. He explained that if he asked a woman out on a date, he normally did so with at least 4 or 5 days notice. He thought that during the lead up to the date, he and his date would have giddy expectations, and build up, without much, if any, communication till the actual date. That “distance” and time would actually enhance the desire and romance, and start the date with a wonderful innocence and hope. Sadly, the reality is, that each day prior to the date she or he would send each other text messages stating what they were doing, and how they felt – potentially dozens of texts per day. It left nothing to the imagination or anticipation… and by the time the date occurred there was not as much excitement and giddiness as he wished. For Joel, the romance was already dissipating.

It’s true that with technology we have eliminated all the gaps that patience and time had offered us. We have no more patience, and we all seem quite unravelled if we send out a text message, and do not get a response within the hour, if not immediately.

So what is the acceptable protocol with texting and dating?

Be patient. Yes, it’s worth it.

Asking someone out takes courage, whether you’re handsome, confident, smart, or shy, all people need courage to ask someone out. Rejection is always an option, and everyone hates that.

So, if you agree to go on a date with someone, have confidence that this person has thought it through enough to want to see you. There is absolutely no need to validate his or her invitation by constantly communicating with him or her until that date. It’s a wonderful, albeit sometimes scary notion to wait for that day to come. But it’s also a time when you can prepare yourself too. For girls, we can plan to get a manicure, pedicure or a hair styling. Maybe even buy a new dress. For the guys, get a haircut or  hit the gym and build those pecks that make you feel more manly!

Making contact prior to the date to make sure you’re both still available to go out is acceptable. But communicating too much leading up to the date will also leave less to talk about when you meet up.

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