The most romantic day in the calendar is here. If you have a date planned for tonight, make sure that you read our guide to Dating Etiquette before heading out to your table for two.
The world of dating can be a confusing one. Whether you are new to the dating scene or consider yourself to be a dating pro, there are a few etiquette rules that will help you make a great lasting impression.
1. Be Punctual
Hopefully it goes without saying, but being late for a date is the height of rudeness. Always make sure that you leave yourself enough time to get ready and travel to the destination with a few minutes to spare.
If you show up half an hour late, you are already starting off on the wrong foot. Sometimes people are delayed through no fault of their own – trains may be cancelled or traffic is busier than expected. If this happens, always let your date know as soon as you can.
2. It is the little things that count
Grand gestures like buying flowers, jewellery and champagne are all very well but sometimes it is the smaller, seemingly everyday gestures that really count.
When it comes to dating etiquette, never underestimate the power of a genuine compliment. A thoughtfully delivered compliment can make the person feel special, unique and, above allnoticed. Try to be as specific as possible and steer clear of bland statements along the lines of ‘You look nice’.
As the relationship progresses, continue to take a genuine interest in your partner. Ask them about their day when they get home from work, give them a hug for no reason and tell them how special they are to you.
3. The Art of Listening
Good communication skills are key to any relationship – whether romantic, platonic or professional. In a dating situation, asking questions is important in order to get to know the other person, but actively listening to the responses is even more vital.
All too often we equate being a good listener with simply being silent while the other person talks. While you should never interrupt or rush in with your own story as soon as there is a pause, the best listeners are those who use body language to show their interest and periodically ask questions.
4. Make an effort with your appearance
You only get one chance to make a first impression and, whether we like it or not, what you wear does impact on what people think of you. If you are going on a first date, you want to choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and attractive.
There is no need to hit the shops and splurge a small fortune on a trendy, new ensemble. Make sure that you dress appropriately for the occasion and location. If the date is a picnic in the park, leave the high heels at home and wear clothes that you feel comfortable sitting on the grass in.
For a date in a fancy restaurant, pick your most flattering outfit and dress it up with a few well-chosen accessories. Make sure that your teeth and nail are clean and your hair is neatly groomed and styled.
5. Put your phone away
Good dating etiquette stipulates that your smartphone should be turned off (or at the very least switched onto silent mode) and placed in your pocket or bag. Unless it is an emergency, you should not answer any phone calls or texts during the date.
Being on a date with someone who is preoccupied with their mobile phone does not make the other person feel special. In fact, research shows that the mere presence of a phone on the table can disrupt relationship development.
The only time you should use your phone is to send the person a quick text to thank them for a lovely evening after the date has ended.