• Kristi Spencer

Six Simple Dating Rules

First comes love, then comes marriage...you know the rest. But the lyrics to this nursery rhyme forgot one big anxiety-inducing step, dating.

While dating can be daunting, knowing a few dating etiquette rules will boost your

confidence and chances of finding that special someone.

Plan Ahead

Put some thought into getting together. Dating someone new? Take what you already know about their interests and likes into consideration. First dates should take place in public, but that doesn’t always mean a restaurant or bar. Go to an art exhibit, baseball game, or painting class. Dates that involve an activity reduce anxiety and create natural conversations.

Arrive on Time

Nothing says I’m dependable and have priorities like being on time. You don’t want to start your date with an apology, make the effort to be punctual.

Look your Best

Your attire should match the occasion and venue. If you are unsure of what’s appropriate, google photos of where you are going. What you choose to wear and how you present yourself reflect your social skills and personality, so take it up a notch with a fresh haircut or a new shirt.

Can we Talk?

A dinner date isn't about the food you will eat and seeing a movie isn't about what’s on the screen. Focus on time together. Memorable dates happen when two people communicate and connect. That means talking AND listening. First-date conversations about favorite travel spots, movies, and food are safe. Avoid talking about past relationships, money, and personal health issues. Keep the conversation PG, foul language is a turn-off. You are the one on the date, not your cellphone, no texting, selfies, or posting to social media. Cell phones should be in a pocket or purse when dining out.

Keep Your Cool

Nothing reveals the real you like handling the unexpected. If some jerk takes your parking spot or you get the wrong drink from the bar, take the opportunity to show your good humor and grace. Kindness is its reward, but being nice can also help you find love... bonus!

Dinner and Drinks

Google the menu before you go to a restaurant and have an idea of what you will order. Don't bury yourself in the menu when you could be having a great conversation. Brush up on your table manners and use them. Dating jitters are real, but letting one glass of wine turn into seven is not okay. A drunk date is a bad date.

Above all, have a good time and make sure the other person is as well. Putting your best foot forward will set you on a path to your happily ever after.

About the Author

Kristi Spencer is the founder of The Polite Company, an etiquette coaching service specializing in business, social, and dining etiquette. Kristi is a journalist and certified etiquette consultant. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the prestigious Emily Post Institute. The Emily Post Institute is the gold standard of etiquette training and has been promoting civility across the world for 100 years. Kristi is the exclusive etiquette instructor in the four-state region who is trained by the Emily Post Institute. Kristi lives with her sweetheart of a husband and two sons in Carl Junction, Missouri.

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