by Cherly Lewis

Has it been a while since you have been out on a date, or maybe you haven’t been able to get a second date after your first date fiasco? If that’s the case this article is written as a refresher course into dating etiquette and to help you learn more about what your date might like.

Rule number one in Dating Etiquette when you are on a first date is to always be you. Don’t try to portray yourself as someone you are not. If you put forth a ‘fake’ personality, career, or even an untrue past, the future between you and your date will be a doomed failure from the start. If you are truly going to be honest in a relationship, you will be together because you and the other have built a relationship based on real facts, thoughts and ideas. False starts create doubts in a relationship that are difficult if not impossible to overcome.

Another steadfast rule in the dating world and a very important part of Dating Etiquette is do not try to focus the entire date about yourself and your world. Keep your date interested in conversation about worldly happenings, local happenings or even by asking them about themselves. Continual conversation brings about a great date for the both of you. Focus on today without focusing on where you will be tomorrow with this person; if the relationship is meant to be it will happen naturally. This brings together the honesty in the relationship through conversation. The sharing of real events, thoughts and ideas in both of your lives is how a second date is brought about because of the attraction to want to learn more about the other person by spending more time with that person.

Combining the rules

Using the two major rules as discussed above and implementing small special effects to your date will bring out the best in a budding relationship while creating lasting memories for the two of you. These ‘special effects’ in a first date can be very small gestures of kindness that portray the real person in you. While there are, many traditions that have changed over the years the following are a few you may need to acquaint yourself with. These new ‘traditions’ include the arriving in separate cars (for safety reasons), double dating (again for safety when not knowing the other person very well at all), and in going dutch on a date (creating the ‘equality’ feeling if needed), there are still a variety of personal effects that you can use to impress your date.

When you are discussing going out, ask if he / she would like to use one car – opting for whichever the both of you feel most comfortable with for the time being. You could also suggest that the two of you take cabs if you are going clubbing on a first date, resulting in not having either party on the date having to worry about drinking and driving.

As you arrive on your date, whether you are going for a walk in the park, going to the movies or going to dinner, let your date know if you like how they look, how they dress, or even if you like something about where you are going. Complimenting the other person on their appearance creates a feeling of inner confidence for that person, which brings confidence to your date because the person will feel they can compliment you in return in regards to what they like about you, without making you feel embarrassed as well.

There are a variety of simple gestures you can also use throughout your time on your date to make the two of you feel at ease. These gestures include: simply walking side by side, looking at each other when asked a question that involves the both of your input, and compromising as needed on your first date. Compromise about what the two of you do with your time together, let the date be something that the both of you would like to do or see while on your first date. Good examples of a first date might be walking through a fair, going window-shopping in the mall, watching fireworks, dancing, or you could even go to a concert that you agree to see.

When you are on a date, do your best not to finish sentences for someone when they are speaking to you in conversation. You may not realize this could appear rude when you finish a sentence for another but the conversation meaning could be altered, differed from his or her original thought. Keep the conversation balanced by asking questions about the other person’s life, ideas in life, and thoughts about what is going on in your surroundings.

No matter what sex you are, if the other person on your date is walking behind you, hold the door and allow them to walk ahead of you. Common courtesy in a relationship is the basis for a great friendship that is possible to bloom into more if nurtured.

While it may mean that you will have to restrain yourself, do not try to keep you date out longer than what they want to be. There are some very good reasons why a person may need to be home by midnight that you may not be aware of. Some of these reasons could include: early shift the next morning, they only have a babysitter for a certain time, they must have the car back by a certain time, they don’t feel comfortable in their neighborhood after a certain hour, they worked an early shift that day, or maybe the other person isn’t feeling well at that particular time.

One or both of you can inquire about contacting each other again, with numbers exchanged if easily agreed upon. If you find yourself in a situation where one is hesitant to give out a phone number, the other (who asked) might make an easy come back in conversation saying: ‘We don’t have to worry about it right now, I’ll just talk to you later when I see you…’ using wherever you met as a starting point in seeing that person again. As your date is nearing a close, be sure to ‘Thank’ the other person for spending some time with you, letting them know you had a good time with them if you did. Your being polite is a great trait to be remembered by when another is thinking about your date and the time you have spent together.

Using a few of the small gestures as listed here and using some of your own creative ideas, while you are on a first date, will increase your chances for a successful first date. Combining the special gestures and ideas into your first date while implementing your ‘real’ side and your ‘honesty’ in conversation will be the basis for a solid relationship. Remember, the reason for going on a date is to learn more about a person and for growing friendships between people, not to be looking for love around every corner or in every person that you may encounter.

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