You’ve downloaded your dating apps, set up your profile, and voila, you’ve got your first matches! Now, what’s a girl to do? After-all, it’s been a lifetime ago when you dated and now there’s a whole new dating world with different expectations and protocol. In this article, Cocktail Chatter will break all these confusing dating stuff into concise informative roadmaps for you in several parts: Basic Etiquette, Pre-Date Suggestions, D-Day Tips, and Post-Date Advice.
Basic Etiquette: The foundation for any relationship whether it be family, friends, or partners is to treat each other with respect and grace. Respect for your dating partner includes such simple things like being punctual to a date or saying thank you if your date has paid for your meal. From a dating perspective, respect is demonstrated by how you treat your date. If you practice the Golden Rule “Do unto Others as You would have them do unto You”, your date, whether it ends after the first date or lasts longer, will always respect and feel good about you. If you follow these dating behaviors, you will enjoy your dating, and experience many successful experiences.
- Have a Buddy System: Before you leave for your date, make sure to tell at least one friend who you’ll be going out with, where you’re going, and about what time you expect to be home. This “Buddy System” will ensure that if anything happens, you’ll be prepared. If you’re comfortable, have your buddy know what your date is by sharing your location on Google Maps. Have a secret “phrase” that you can text or call your buddy to alert her if you’re feeling unsafe.
- The “Pre-Screening” Coffee Date: Many dating experts suggest that the first in person meeting be coffee or drinks. Meeting for coffee or drinks means that your initial meeting will be short but long enough to give you time to determine if you want to spend more time on a real date. If he’s not someone you enjoy or you determine that you prefer to move on, you’ve not wasted too much time, and both of you can part amicably since the expectation was for a short date. Conversely, if you’re totally enjoying him, you can extend your coffee date into something else.
- The “Real” First Date: If you’re comfortable, you can skip the “Pre-Screening Coffee Date” and go straight to what is traditionally considered a “first date”. The most important thing is to have the date at a place you feel comfortable. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, but it probably shouldn’t be “McDonald’s” either. That can either be insulting, or your date may think you’re a cheap person. Worst, it may give the impression that you don’t value yourself too highly, and he may treat you accordingly!
- Instead of a Dinner Date, How About An Activity: Your first date doesn’t need to be a dinner date. In fact, for those who are shy, doing a date that involves an activity is a great first date. What about taking a walk, hiking, wine tasting, or watching a show. Doing an activity is a great ice-breaker and will give you something to talk about. If you need any dating ideas, go to this blog post.
- Dress Casual Chic: While you don’t need to wear your prom dress or any other way too dressy attire, make sure to wear something reasonably nice, void of holes, and wrinkled. Remember that first impressions are made in the first 30 seconds.
- Interacting with Your Date: Interactions with your date for the first date is really simple. Be respectful. Be Discrete. Be well-mannered. For more specific “Do’s” and “Don’ts”, read here.
- Financial Issues: As with almost everything else in the world, dealing with financial issues on the first date such as who pays, is unclear in this age of the #MeToo movement and increased salaries for women’s. This issue requires its own separate post, “Who Pays $$$ on the First Dates: The Noon Showdown of ‘The Reach’”. If you just want the shorthand of who should pay for the bill, it is be gracious and offer to split the bill if your date hasn’t already said that he’ll take care of the check.
Ending the Date:
- Ending the Date Early: Unlike Disney movies, there’s not always a happy ending. If your date is not going quite as you’re expected, it’s okay to end the date after a couple of hours. Just make sure to do it respectfully with a simple “I’m ready to call it a night”. If you don’t plan to see him on another date, please don’t order that yummy dessert and coffee, and do offer to split the bill. Ending a date in a gracious manner is not only good for him, but good for your soul. As the saying goes, “Let someone down gently”. Who knows, you may be the one in his position and hopefully that person will be just as gracious as well.
- Bingo, A Fairy Tale Ending: Perhaps, you and your date hit it off. Do thank him for a wonderful time and let him know that you’d love to see him again. Then go home, put on your jammies and have sweet dreams of your prince!
Post First Date: As they say, you’ve gotten on to first base. Now, it’s onto the second and hopefully all the way to home plate. What’s the rules of the road now? There are many factors to consider. Read on to the next post which will give you practical tips for developing your relationship on future dates. For now, just remember “Have Fun!”
****Cocktail Chatterers, tell us about your first date!!!***