First Date Etiquette | Manners & Etiquette


Make it a fun first date!

Meredith Sweetpea remembers her first date well…because she asked the guy! I asked my high school crush to the school’s annual Sadie Hawkins dance. Tradition stated it was the one day of the year when the women could ask the men.

First dates can be scary and exciting all at the same time. My date was so nervous that he drove across my parent’s lawn when trying to park the car.

Keeping in mind some etiquette tips for first dates can help make the experience easier and more enjoyable.

Tips for a Great First Date

Preparing for your first date

  • First of all, properly groom yourself and wear something clean that you are comfortable in. Dress nice but appropriately to the event you will be attending…this is no time to dress up just for show or to flaunt your sexuality. You’ll feel much more at ease if you are dressed for the occasion. Remember that the first date can be the foundation of whether you get future dates, so the first impression starts here.
  • Plan the date, but don’t go overboard. Planning helps to make sure the date goes smoothly. Tell your date what you have planned so that they can be prepared and dressed appropriately.
  • If you don’t know your first date well, or if it is a blind date or someone you met over the Internet, it may be safer to meet at your public destination rather than have a stranger come to your home to pick you up.
  • Be punctual.

Starting your first date

  • Compliment your date. Tell them they look nice, or give compliments throughout the date. It is always nice to feel appreciated and noticed and can put everyone at ease.

While on your first date

  • Flirt with your date. Tell stories. Make them laugh. Laugh at your date’s stories and jokes. Enjoy a fun and stimulating conversation. Relax and have fun.
  • Keep it light, and never talk about past relationships. And avoid the topics of politics and religion. Done be rude or angry or make offensive jokes.
  • Be interested while your date is speaking, and answer appropriately. Look at your date while they are speaking, not around the room.
  • Ask questions to show interest but don’t be aggressive with them. Don’t ask probing or personal questions, and back down if you see that your date is uncomfortable with the direction the conversation is taking. Don’t fire questions at your date; tell stories instead.
  • Don’t get too physically close to your date. People who are unfamiliar need more space than those who are more intimately involved. Even if you are a touchy-feely person, be aware that leaning in too close, or even touching can make your date feel uncomfortable.
  • Turn off all electronic devices while on your date. That email of your friend’s latest gaffe can wait until after the date. (If an emergency is imminent, you may keep your cell phone on, but inform your date at the beginning of your date that you are expecting an important call and must take it.)
  • Don’t drink too much or get drunk. It is not a pretty sight.
  • If you are gentleman, act like one. Hold the door for your date, and help her get seated before you sit. If you are a woman, act like a lady and remember to thank your date for his invitation and kindness. (If the woman is treating, the men should remember to say thank her.)

After your first date

  • The first date is not the time to jump into a sexual relationship. Hugging is always nice, and appropriate, and if you feel a special connection, even a first kiss is allowable.
  • Even if you feel it, the first date is not the time to tell your date that you love them. It is more appropriate to say something like, “It was a pleasure to meet you.”
  • It is always nice when the first date ends with a promise of future dates. If you feel as if you would like another date with this person, it is appropriate to ask for another date, or to inquire about interest in future dates.
  • Say “thank you.”

Actress/singer Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez’s first date advice

“If you kiss on the first date and it’s not right, then there will be no second date. Sometimes it’s better to hold out and not kiss for a long time. I am a strong believer in kissing being very intimate, and the minute you kiss, the floodgates open for everything else.”
–Jennifer Lopez

Send us your first date tips and stories.

Do you have any tips for first dates?  Or any great first date stories to share? We’d love to hear them.

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