How To Behave on a Date
When you start dating, learning how to behave on a date is important. Especially on first dates, impressions are important. Some things should be basic and behaving in mixed company is one of them.
You want your date focusing on you, not your boorish behavior. The less points that get taken off for basic bad manners, the better you “nail the interview” and get the job, so to speak. With that in mind, here are 8 things to remember when trying to behave on a date.
1. Be Punctual
First things first, be on time to the date. Showing up late sends a message that you think your time is more important than your date’s time: you think nothing of wasting theirs. That’s rude and a lot of singles will count points off.
This is the first date, for goodness sakes. Being punctual shows you actually want to be there. Save the procrastination and delays for when you have been dating for awhile. First impressions matter.
2. Be Conversational
Show that you’re interested in your date partner’s conversation. Body language is important in these matters. Leaning slightly towards your date shows that you are tuned into what they are saying. Eye contact is an important indication you are paying attention. You can overdo it, but being able to look someone in the eyes is essential to making personal connections.
3. Check Your Exes at the Door
Make certain subjects off-limits on a date. Ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends and ex-spouses are at the top of the list. There’s really nothing good that can come from this discussion. You might look like you’re comparing your date to your former lovers. You might look like you still carry a torch for your ex. You might look like you’re a bitter, negative person. None of those are attractive in a date, unless your date has similar tendencies. I’m assuming since you’re reading this article, you don’t look for that in a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Just remember: positivity is a lot more attractive than negativity. Stay positive and you’re probably not going to go wrong. On that subject, here’s another one to remember for your date conversation.
4. Compliments Are Nice
Compliment your date once or twice throughout the night. Try not to make these cliched compliments. If her hair or perfume smells nice, say so. But don’t compliments her blue eyes or say, “You are so-o-o-o beautiful.” She’s heard that a hundred times and it’s almost compulsory at this point.
Select a feature or trait of her that isn’t likely to be complimented as much and compliment her. Be truthful, of course, and don’t spread it too thin. The fact is, there are a hundred things about a woman most men find attractive, so find one and go with it. Personality traits are fair game; in fact, those will stand out from the crowd of compliments, because guys do that often.
Women reading this should compliment their date, too. It doesn’t hurt to have a little positive reinforcement and encouragement every once in a while.
5. Be Polite to the Staff
Whether you go to a restaurant, a movie or some other establishment, be polite to the service people. Trying to demean them, embarrass them or humiliate them does not make you look like a big man. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you are contemptuous of the wait staff, that’s a glimpse into your character. It probably shows your date that you aren’t a particularly good person.
Think of this like the person who is mean to animals, just because they can be. If you see somebody acting that way, that’s a good sign they are a lousy person. I hate to compare the waiting staff to animals, but I think you understand my point: people being rude just because “they can” is not an attractive trait.
6. Turn Off the Cellphone
This one should be self-explanation. If not, review my comments on #1. You presumably set this time aside to be with your date. By constantly answering your cellphone, having phone conversations, talking “business” or texting, you are showing this person their time is very important to you. You might think this shows you are important or have a lot of friends, but it mainly shows that you have no manners. You’re trying to “big time” the person and everyone knows it.
7. Have a Sense of Boundaries
Personal space is a big gray area on a date. One way to show affection is to make physical contact, but it can also be offputting. A gentle touch of the elbow or pat of the hand is how some women show they are interested, while men can do the same. Generally speaking, though, it’s best if men maintain a hands-off policy on a first date.
By all means, don’t constantly invade a woman’s personal space on a first date. Don’t be a “close talker”. Don’t drape your arm on her shoulders or be hugging all over her throughout the night. Don’t grab her arm or shoulder and “feel” her. Certainly, don’t grope her. For a lot of women, a strange man constantly initiating contact is a little creepy, even with a strange man she was initially attracted to. It shows you lack self-restraint and you might be desperate.
If you do initiate gentle body contact and she pulls away or doesn’t reciprocate, back off. That’s a clear signal. Be cool about it, though, and show no anger or frustration.
8. Be Polite
Be polite and thank your date for the date, whether you enjoyed it or hate it. Regardless of your compatability, this person was interested enough in you to set aside time to be alone with you. Show your appreciation.
Remember, politeness doesn’t reflect on the person you’re polite to; it reflects on you. Good manners never hurt someone.