Dating and its myriad rules are cumbersome to follow every time. Also, dating rules aren’t set in stone. However, there are a few basic rules that are tacitly agreed upon universally, that you need to follow, regardless of your gender. Whether you’ve been dating for a long time now, or just wading into the dating pool, you’d do well to remember some basic dating rules that are golden, evergreen, and you can’t go wrong with.
If you want to have a good time on your date and also want to show a good time to the person you’re going out with, then always keep these golden rules in mind. These are more of a list of dos and don’ts, really. You’ll definitely make a good impression on them, while ensuring that you both have a great time too.
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1. Don’t be late.
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Being on time to any appointment or meeting is good form, not to mention basic etiquette. Sauntering in late, even by ten minutes, is terrible. What kind of an impression do you think it will make on your date if you turn up late to meet them? They’re bound to think that you’re not that interested or that you don’t consider the date important enough to make it on time.
Always be on time to your date (or pretty much anywhere, really). On the off chance that you got held up due to traffic or an unavoidable circumstance, then let your date know ahead of time that you’ll be late, so that they don’t think you’ve stood them up.
2. Don’t walk out or stand your date up.
You thought you had chemistry with your date, but it all goes down the drain the minute they start spewing hate. Just no. You realize that the date was a mistake, and that you’d like to salvage what’s remaining of the evening by going home early. Or you walk in to the place you’re supposed to meet at and realize that you can never be with them – for whatever reason.
However, you’ve already set up the date, and there’s no way you can back out of it. Even if you think it’s a total waste of your time, don’t walk out. Be polite and considerate enough about the other person and try to have a pleasant time with them. You never know, you could make a great friend or even a potential business contact.
Also, never, ever stand a date up. That’s just plain rude, not to mention mean. If you’ve agreed to a date, show up, even if it’s just for a short period of time. Remember, you don’t know when you’ll end up on the receiving end of such unfair treatment.
3. Don’t pester your date.
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So you’re having an interesting conversation with your date, and you couldn’t imagine it being better than that. However, you stumble upon something during your conversation, that clearly makes your date uncomfortable or even uneasy. Or they might just want to avoid that topic altogether. But that has piqued your curiosity, and you want to pursue the topic. Stop right there! One of the rules you need to remember is to not get too personal or persistent, unless your date shows signs that they want to continue the conversation.
If your date shows signs that they have unresolved issues, don’t push them. Don’t pretend to be their personal counselor and ask them to open up to you. It’s not your business, until they themselves would like to talk to you about it. Until such time, steer clear of the sore topic of conversation.
4. Don’t talk about exes.
Exes are a hot topic on dates, especially on first dates. Resist the temptation to bash your ex, or overdramatize your past relationship. This topic may be something that would sail you through the date, but resist talking about your ex altogether. You may ask your date when they broke up, but not details about the relationship itself or their ex. The same goes for you too.
Your date may have had a messy breakup, or may even be a victim of cheating. You do not want to cause them pain because you’re curious, do you? Talking about exes clearly takes the focus away from you and the date, while focusing on your past. That’s not going to help you bond with your date, will it?
5. Don’t get drunk.
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Whatever you do, don’t ever get drunk on a date. You know your own limits when it comes to alcohol. Stick to it. However, sometimes you may end up tipsy, even after sticking to your limit, which can’t be helped, and will end up embarrassing you in front of your date. If you’ve ever experienced it, don’t take any chances. It’s better to stick to water or a soda, just to be on the safer side. It’s way better than taking the risk of being embarrassed in front of the person you’re trying to impress.
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6. Don’t have any sexual expectations.
The end of a date is usually fraught with confusion as to how best to proceed. Whether to kiss, hug, take things to the next level, or just shake hands and go your separate ways. As exciting as a first date can be, ending a date is that complicated. However, if you leave all your sexual expectations at home before going for the date, you’ll have a great time, without any pressure for taking things further. Going to a date with high sexual expectations may not be the best thing to do, because more often than not, you might be disappointed when it doesn’t happen, and not to mention, frustrated, even if the date was a smashing hit.
7. Don’t be too touchy-feely.
If you’re a very handsy person, you’re bound to touch your date multiple times over the course of the date. However, if your date is showing signs of averting such touches from you, then be warned that they do not like it, nor do they invite it. Don’t ever make the mistake of getting too touchy feely with your date, unless they’ve shown with their body language that they welcome it. Even seemingly harmless flirty touches may seem repulsive if the feeling is not mutual.
8. Do show your best side.
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First impressions are lasting impressions. Very rarely do you get a chance to make a good second impression. So bring out your best side to the date. If that means you dressing up and looking your best, then so be it. If you don’t bother with your appearance while your date has took efforts to make themselves presentable, it’s disrespectful to them, while also being demeaning.
9. Do be chivalrous/elegant.
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While chivalry is not dead, it’s sure endangered. However, if you’re a man, do be chivalrous to your date, however empowered and independent and strong she may be. Pull out her chair, open doors for her, and offer to pay for the date.
Women are expected to be elegant and well-mannered, who eats daintily, sips her drink, and doesn’t speak too loudly.
Although these stereotypes are sexist, most people still expect their dates to act in this manner. If it fits in with your natural demeanor, great! If not, you might have to practice it before your date. However, if you think it’s totally out of character for you to act this way, then we don’t recommend you to do so, because that will just give out the message that you’re forcing yourself to be a certain way for it is expected of you.
10. Do be clean and presentable, with fresh breath.
Bad breath, odious body odor, unkempt hair, unruly facial hair, uncut nails, shabby clothes – are all indicative of your lack of interest in yourself and in your date. So do pay attention to these details, which might seem minor, but are, in fact, of great importance. If you’re unsure about your breath towards the end of your date, excuse yourself and visit the restroom to pop a breath mint and wash your hands of perspiration.
Also, good manners, basic dining etiquette, are expected on a date. Not just on a date, but in general in life too. Don’t eat with your mouth open, don’t talk with food in your mouth, take small, chewable bites – are all things you need to pay attention to.
11. Do be prepared for a few conversations.
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You may be super excited for your date because you get to know a new person, while giving them a chance to know you. However, it’s not easy to create conversations out of thin air, at the drop of a hat. It’s okay to be prepared with a few conversation starters and topics in mind before the date, so that you’re not tongue-tied when it comes time to talk. If you don’t do this, the date can get pretty quiet and awkward too – not the good kind of quiet either.
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12. Do be sincere and truthful – be yourself.
Be yourself, be sincere, and be truthful. Whatever you do, be genuine in your compliments. Fake compliments just for the sake of it, or being someone you’re not, are a turn off, really. You may be tempted to weave elaborate stories about yourself, in an effort to impress your date. Don’t do it. Instead of impressing them, you’ll end up looking like someone who’s trying too hard to seem cool and confident.
This list of dos and don’ts containing vital dating rules will keep you in good stead with your date. Never forget these! Happy dating!
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