Dating etiquette – a beginners guide – online dating tips

So, you’re ready to take the simple good manners  and common basics of dating etiquette guide! Treat the other person as you would like to be treated yourself. Be courteous and polite.

Here are some tips from our regular online dating columnist, Diane Fisher:

Be punctual. This may sound obvious but you don’t want your date to think you’re not interested or he or she is not worthy of this basic courtesy. Make sure you have each other’s cell phone numbers so if you get unavoidably held up, at least call your date and explain why you’re late.

Don’t dominate the conversation. Ask your date questions and be interested in the answers. Be attentive. Listen to what she or he has to say and respond appropriately.

Did you meet through one of the dating websites ? Surprisingly, there can be some subtle variations with the pre-date online dating and offline dating etiquette – if you met online, make sure he or she has seen a real photo of you, not a fake photo, this is quite common with online dating profiles.

Keep the conversation light, at least to begin with and let it flow naturally. Use his or her name while you’re chatting – but don’t overdo it as you could sound like you’re trying to sell something!

Don’t talk about your ex! There’s nothing more off-putting for your date than hearing about how great or ghastly your last partner was. And if you’re out for dinner, a coffee or a drink, try and have a tactic already in mind for who’s going to pay. Sometimes it can be good to work this out, very casually, with your date before you meet. Guys can casually offer to pay, while girls can offer to pay half. See our article about Going Dutch for some tips.

A first or second date may end with a peck on the cheek…or it may end up between the sheets. Whatever the case, use the commonsense factor and try not to act like a nymphomaniac. Keep it to cheek-kissing territory unless it’s natural to move beyond this.

A glass of wine or beer can help ease the tension but drunkenness can really ruin a date. Keep a lid on the bottle, and if you’re a smoker and your date isn’t, don’t light up and avoid smelling like a cigarette factory before you get there!

Make it fun! Let your sense of humor come to the fore, relax and be yourself, don’t get too hung up – there’s nothing like being nervous to kill conversation, keep it cool but not cold, you want your date to think you’re interested, but not desperate.

At the end of the date, thank him or her for a lovely time, don’t play games. If you know you’ll never see him or her again, don’t say “I’ll call you” when you know you won’t.

If you know you want to see this person again, say so. Don’t leave them hanging. If they like you, showing that you like them can’t possibly turn them off, it’s more likely to turn them on.

Don’t wait three days before contacting him or her. If the date went well, drop him or her a line and say what a great time you had the previous night.

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