Words like ‘manners’ and ‘etiquette’ seem to be relics fantasized about in conversations of courtship and gallantry. But, they don’t have to be.
The truth is that displaying good manners is a necessity in any area of life. This includes professional environments, and definitely in more personal environments, such as dating.
Unfortunately, we seem to be losing sight of building this foundation, and are missing even the most basic cues because of it.
Elite Singles contacted etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore to discuss some dating etiquette tips. I’ve incorporated her points with some of my own here.
Put your phone away.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – unless you’re an on-call doctor or have some position where your phone is absolutely essential, then it belongs nowhere near your date. In an era of constant connectivity and social media overindulgence, one of the best gifts we can give to another human being, is the gift of our undivided attention.
Jacqueline Whitmore says the three times that it’s okay to pull out your phone are (1) when you’re taking a photo together with your date, (2) when you’re showing your date a photo of a pet, child, etc., and (3) when you’ve got to rely on Google to look up a fact or tidbit you’re discussing. I’d tend to agree.
Always be punctual.
A survey from EliteSingles showed that the biggest first-date dealbreakers are a bad attitude, bad manners, and being late.
“There is nothing worse than keeping your date waiting. Make sure you plan properly in advance and turn up right on time to meet your date. This shows immediately that you are respectful of your date’s time and starts the date oﬀ on the right foot,” says Whitmore.
Chivalry still matters.
I’ve been saying since I started the ‘New Chivalry Movement’ in 2013 that chivalry is not – and should not – be dead. Chivalry is about the same good manners and etiquette we’re discussing here. Jacqueline Whitmore echoed my sentiments in her EliteSingles interview:
“Even today, chivalry matters to many. Some people like to have the door opened for them and for their chair to be pulled out. Not because they cannot do it themselves, but to feel special and valued on a ﬁrst date.”
Men still pay for the date.
I will never be convinced that splitting the bill – especially on a first date – is ever a good idea. I’ve written in the past about how paying for a date is not actually about the money, but more of a gesture, showing effort and respect. Call me a traditionalist, but this is one area (maybe the only area) where I am not super progressive.
Whitmore agrees with me, as well, elaborating: “Even though the way we meet people has changed, some traditional dating behavior is still prevalent. Of those surveyed,80% of men are still happy to pick up the tab on a ﬁrst date,regardless of how it went. Male chivalry lives on, even in the age of digital dating.”
Were all-caps necessary? Actually, I think they were.
I feel as though dishonesty from both men and women have lead to countless challenges in dating. I don’t necessarily mean flat out lies, but I do mean not being up front and transparent with how you’re really feeling.
This is how ‘ghosting’ became a thing. Ghosting is when you simply stop talking to someone altogether, instead of giving the situation some sort of closure or finality.
If you act as though you’re having a great time on your date, but you really know that you’d rather pursue seeing other people instead, please do your best to be up front and honest with the man or woman you’re out with. You don’t have to say it at the end of date #1, but they will respect you (and themselves) much more if you don’t lead them on, only to disappear.
Odds are, the person you’re out with is mature enough to handle your honesty and will greatly appreciate your refreshing candor. Nobody likes to be lead on and lied to.
These five points may seem super basic, but I think sometimes we need to hit the reset button and get back to those very basics. Dating has become so convoluted and complicated that we lose sight of the little things that help us making the entire process smoother and more enjoyable.
Let me know in the comments: What are some dating norms you think we’ve lost sight of that we should bring back?