Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Dating Etiquette Do’s & Don’ts for Men & Women

Are there rules when it comes to dating? Of course there are!

There was a time when dating was simple. Men were expected to be gentlemen and women were expected to be lady like. Their roles were clear-cut. Today singles are confused on how to behave on a date. The lines are blurred between the once widely accepted gender stereotypes.

Being in the “dating game” in this day and age can be quite traumatic without knowing the rules. So, I turned to Lisa Gache, Miss Manners and CEO of Beverly Hills Manners, who says “manners are the glue that holds everything together. They are like an inner GPS, a navigation system guiding us in the right direction and helping us to find our way. Manners are dynamic, ever-changing and they are very personal, yet they are always chic and always in style.”

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Dating Etiquette that Beverly Hills Manners says you must know when you date.


Set the tone beforehand. Make sure you are well-groomed from head-to-toe before meeting your date. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Select an ensemble that is classic and elegant and that is complementary to your physique. Subtlety is key. The goal is to enhance your natural features while looking like you have made an effort.

Brush up on current events. Dating involves making pleasant conversation. Read a national newspaper, go online or browse your local cultural calendar. It is much more appealing to speak with someone who is equally well-read and well-rounded. Stay away from using slang or swear words during conversation if you want to sound intelligent.

Listen, be interested and ask thoughtful questions. Make your date feel like they’re the only person in the room. Be present, maintain good eye contact, ask questions and listen to the answers. This is the best way to show that you care. Compliments are also always welcome.

Use proper table manners. Since most dating takes place while dining, these skills are more important than you think. Place your napkin in your lap. Use the continental style of eating with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right. Hold a glass of white wine or champagne by the stem and a glass of red wine by the base. Do remember to speak politely to the restaurant staff.

Wear a good sense of humor and a smile. Suitors prefer dates who are uplifting, positive and fun. Smiling and laughter helps you appear younger while simultaneously makes you more attractive and appealing to others.


Overdo the cologne or perfume. An application of just the right amount will send a potential suitor into overdrive, but an overbearing waft of a strong scent is enough to repel a skunk. Wear enough perfume so you catch just a hint of the scent. You want to enhance your appeal rather than detract from it.

Reveal too much too soon. Act like a lady or a gentleman and be discreet with your personal information. You do not need to offer your entire life story in the first meeting. Remain a bit mysterious to heighten the desire and secure an additional date.

Speak rudely or act arrogantly towards others. Be courteous and thoughtful to your date as well as others. This includes the wait staff, a coffee barista, a gas station attendant or anyone else you interact with or who has provided you a service. Rudeness and arrogance are negative attributes that will leave your date wondering how quickly he or she can end it!

Arrive late for your date. Unless an accident has occurred or someone is sick, arriving late for a date is a sign of disrespect and sends a message that you may have more important business to attend to. At the very least, have the courtesy to phone your date to let them know you are running behind. Plan ahead so that you are well-organized and allow enough time for traveling, etc.

Forget to say thank you. If you have been asked out on a date, whether it involves a casual meeting for drinks or an elaborate dinner for two, don’t forget to say thank you. Your thanks should be made in person once the date is complete and may also be followed up with a thank you email, text or handwritten note depending upon the formality of the occasion.

For more information on Lisa Gache go to