Practice Makes Perfect – First Date Etiquette

A right swipe has led you to another first date. Or maybe you met each other through friends or serendipity. However the plans were hatched, you need to be prepared. Yes, first dates are thrilling and adventurous, but they can also be the stuff of nightmares…or meme legends.

Don’t go into any first date without doing your homework. Plan ahead—and don’t forget an exit strategy! That’s right… just in case it isn’t working out. Then again, magic could happen. You really never know when (or why) sparks fly.

Regardless of how the night goes, there is one unfailing, cross-generational, simple rule: Remember your manners!

Your first date could be fantastic, horrible, blah or absolutely hilarious. No matter how crazy the date or how perfect the person, etiquette is still everything.  And some simple manners might just lead to another date (if you want one!):


No, I’m not suggesting you let your date know every fine detail about your location before arrival. But if you’re running late, please shoot over a text or give them a ring. Also, if you’re at a concert or crowded venue, make sure you don’t lose each other.

Chivalry isn’t Dead…So Open the Door

Oh, the knight in shining armor…be still my heart! Or not. Life isn’t a fairy tale, and not every chica (or chico) wants to be rescued. Still, guys, it doesn’t hurt to be a gentleman.

A man who holds the door is charming. I’ll tell you, it kind of makes me blush a bit…but in a good way. A man who holds the door open is outwardly displaying that he’s looking out for you. The guy who lets it slam in someone’s face? Yeah. Not a good catch.

Woo with flowers…gentlemen

Bringing a bouquet of flowers will make a great impression. Although, bringing a dozen (or more!) roses might look a bit like you’re over-reaching. So opt for unique blooms. Try daffodils for spring. Sunflowers or bright Gerbera daisies are cheery and a cute pick for a first date flower bouquet.

Self-Care Goes a Long Way

And, please, please, please….remember to shower and groom. Not everyone finds that sweaty smell of testosterone sexy. And, ladies, not everyone loves your post-gym scent either. Body odor is not cool. Shower after the gym, please. And keep cologne and perfume use to a mild minimum! Your date will remember if you smelled like the first floor of Macy’s.


Be Real.

First dates aren’t necessarily the time to let everything loose. However, nothing is worse than faking who you are. To really understand if it’s a match, both sides need to give a little. This isn’t the point to let out deep dark truths, but it is the time to let your date know who you are and what you value.

Offer to Pay!

The dating world is equal when it comes to women and men. So, ladies, if you are a more traditional thinker, you might need to step out of your comfort zone. Meaning: always be prepared to split the tab. There are no firm guidelines here, and advice differs. Offer to pay half. If he (or she) objects, fine.


Stilettos? Opt for whatever is most comfortable! 

Wear comfortable shoes. Nothing orthopedic, but comfortable. Oh, ladies (or men, too!) super high heels can result in mishaps. And, let’s face it, some days are awkward enough without getting a heel jammed into a sidewalk crack.

Connect or Disconnect?

Bring your cell phone to a first date, as it can provide an easy out. However, don’t text friends, answer calls or check social media sites while on a date. Be considerate of your date and others around you. Snap selfies and pics if the two of you are hitting it off, though

How to Exit Gracefully…

Awkward date? Everyone has a horror story. To get out of a going nowhere meet-up, tell a friend to text you at a certain time to check in. Or take a trip to the bathroom to make a call or drop a text asking for help. Cosmo recommends faking an allergy or pretending to feel sick.

Always remember that first dates hold the potential for future love. This could be the beginning of something remarkable, something amazing. This date could be the beginning of forever. You just never know.


Naomi Shaw

Posted by Naomi Shaw

Naomi Shaw is a full-time freelance writer who focuses on parenting, education, food, crafting and DIY, mompreneurship, writing, and anything wedding related. This working mom is married with three children living in sunny Southern California.

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