The Do's and Don'ts of Dating

The Do's and Don'ts of Dating

Brush up on your dating etiquette with these ground rules
Comments (86)

Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston aren’t the only ones having trouble navigating the dating pool. Whether you’re a celebrity or not, dating seems to get more and more complicated each year, with the rules constantly changing. (Should I ask him out? Is it okay to text him? Who should pay?)

But there are a few dating basics that remain tried and true, so follow these do’s and don’ts while you make your way through the dating game.  

Do’s

  • Pay attention to your date. Make eye contact, listen and respond appropriately. Don’t talk on your cell phone, text your friends or wonder about how much he makes. Ask questions and show you’re interested.
  • Offer to split the bill. Nothing turns a man off faster than a woman who doesn’t even pretend to reach for her purse when the bill comes. Don’t get me wrong, I think he should pay, especially on the first date, but because he wants to, not because you won’t.
  • Show off your personality, especially your sense of humor. Don’t pretend to be someone else – he’s dating you because he wants to get to know you. And please, please don’t act stupid.
  • Be courteous. Be ready on time. Thank him for holding open doors. Be polite to the wait staff. Compliment him on the way he looks, his choice of wine, whatever.
  • Be honest. If there is no chemistry, don’t encourage him. If you like him, let him know you’d like to see him again. (But try to avoid seeming desperate – you know: “Can I see you again? How about next Thursday? At eight? Nine?”)

 

Don’t

  • Don’t drink too much! You should know why – you lose your judgment, you get sloppy, you do things you’ll regret tomorrow. Plus, a lot of men find this a turn off. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Don’t talk about your last boyfriend or ex-husband. This can be threatening, and it is also just poor manners. He’ll take it as a sign that you haven’t gotten over your last man. Do you want to listen to him talk about his ex-girlfriend or wife?
  • Don’t talk too much about yourself. It’s great to answer his questions and tell him your interests, but remember to ask about him as well. Get to know each other but don’t turn it into a monologue about yourself.
  • Don’t take calls on your cell phone or text people. See above. It’s just plain rude.
  • Don’t lead him on. If you don’t like him or don’t feel any connection, don’t pretend you can’t wait for him to call so you can see him again. This can be difficult, I know, but it is much classier to tell him you’d rather just be friends than to lie and humiliate him.
  • Don’t be pretentious. Don’t act like you are too good for him or too good for wherever he takes you, even if it’s some place you wouldn’t normally be caught dead. A classy girl always makes people feel comfortable. And who knows, you might enjoy yourself at that bowling alley.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

It's pretty ignorant to think a man "should" pay on the first date. Why? This is not the 60's where men held most of the jobs. I thought there was supposed to be equality in the new millenium. If you have a job and are earning, just like the man, then why should'nt the woman pay?

Anonymous's picture

I disagree. It's not about who makes how much or fairness or equality or any of that garbage. As a guy I feel it's about chivalry and class and showing that you like the girl and it's a token gesture that you're thinking about the good time she's having. If I like a girl and I think the date's a good one I'd never let a girl split the bill unless she insisted (and even then only so I don't seem chauvanistic or behind the times). Split the bill with girls you only want to befriend or girls you never want to see again.

Anonymous's picture

because its a "grand gesture" love and relationships are full of them. one of the most common is buying an engagement ring. do you see women going out there buying engagment rings for their boyfriends? No. Why? Because we have been trained by society and our family that things happen a certain way for a reason and the man paying for the meal on the first date is tradition. not to mention its part of courting.

Anonymous's picture

Because women spend twice as much on beauty products and clothes as men do. If we are spending money to look good for the date, they can spend money to fund the date.

Anonymous's picture

The man doesn't "have to" pay for the meal/movies, etc. but it would be a lot nicer if he did. This isn't about splitting things exactly down the middle, if the guy is sweet and likes you, then he should pay for the date.

Anonymous's picture

As a girl I always offer to pay for my meals but if he let's me, I find it a huge turnoff.

Anonymous's picture

Why don't you just stop spending so much to look like that? You don't need to have streaked hair, MAC makeup, or gucci purses for guys to think you look good. It's all in your head. Stop falling prey to some magical ideal cosmo makes you think every guy wants. Cosmo says a lot of stuff, 99% of which is bullshit to make you buy things. Get real.

Anonymous's picture

Okay that last comment about beauty product is just plain ridiculous. I do pay for all first dates and usually 2nd and third but not because she spends money to look good. It doesn't require money to look good and if I have asked her out on a date, she already looks good. It's because chivalry is not quite dead yet, only dying because women either are too liberated or think that it s all up to us. We worked our butt off to get you to this restaurant, you could at least be gracious about it. Just my thoughts.

Anonymous's picture

Here it talks about 'don't be pretentous' and here it pretty much tells you, "Pretend you care and reach for your wallet even though you know he should pay first" Honestly, I think that if the man takes you out for dinner HE SHOULD pay the bill, personally I would find it very offensive as he were to expect me to split it. That only is possible when you just want to be friends and have no romantic interest. 60s or 2020 some rules remain the same.

Anonymous's picture

Equality is referring to equal opportunities for men and women based on their abilities and not their sex.
Some things, however, never change. For instance, if a man sleeps around, he's a stallion. If a woman sleeps around, we all know what she's called. Chivalry is a man's role and that's all footing a bill is. Chivalry. Like opening a door or having her walk on the inside of the sidewalk.
If you want true equality, then you'd better walk the walk. Like tonight, you're on top. Tomorrow, she's wearing the strap-on.

Anonymous's picture

this sounds like the most sane of all of the anwers!

Anonymous's picture

There's not a set rule! Money pressures should take the back seat on a first date.. Focus should be on being comfortable in a comfortable setting for both.. friendship first and with whatever they both agree on when they set the date. If money is an issue, communicate it BEFORE you set out on the date. Women sometimes make twice what men make today.. some open doors and pay. I say get to know them as a friend first and research their interests.. If you don't want to spend huge amounts of time and you're in a rush then "Communciate and Ask!" and remember that you get what you pay for in life. Be true to your own core values and eventually you will come across someone with the same principles. Staying polite helps with a bit of commonsense, but there's nothing worse than thinking you have found a polite person and they are not who you met 2 months later! (Don't be phony should be the only rule I would want to see out there!)

Anonymous's picture

When I make the same kind of money most men make?...Then I'll offer to pay

Anonymous's picture

As a woman, I prefer to keep things as 'down the middle' and equal as possible, especially where money is concerned. As a relationship develops then play more to each other's strengths and assets: one or the other of you taking over some thing more often than not based on who does it better or is more capable.
The reason why I never let my date (for the first dozen dates or so, unless he has some grand gesture thing planned or it's my birthday) pay the whole thing is that I never want to feel like I am in a position where I 'owe' him something. We are then always on equal footing as we get to know one another.

Anonymous's picture

Its hard to know what to do in this new dating age.I have listend to the younger daters and the men seem to be paying.Its the middle age guys that are not paying.The older men seem to keep to the old school philosphy and pay for the date.Personally I have the money but it always makes a man just a little more classy if he picks up the tab. Men who dont simply look cheap or broke.

Anonymous's picture

I, for one, am glad chivalry is not dead. I recently started seeing someone & on all 3 dates, he's paid. On each date, I've offered to contribute to the bill, but he said no, and I didn't insist, but graciously accepted his answer. It's a wonderful feeling to feel that you're being taken care of. At some point, once we've gotten to know each other better, I expect that he will accept my offer to help with the bill, but until then, I'm enjoying the courtship.

Anonymous's picture

Personally, as a man I like to pay for the date, not because I am supposed to pay for it, but because I want to. Big difference there. Also, if a women has to spend that much money on looking good for a date, then why the hell is she even trying. You DON'T need to wear a ton of makeup for a date, the guy wants to see the real you, not the beauty-isle you, and if all he ever knows is that beauty-isle you then he is going to have a disappointment someday. Like was mentioned, if you were asked on a date, then the guy likes you for you, and you don't need to cake on the makeup and spend ridiculous amounts of money on it either. Chivalry is not something that should be expected on each date, it is something that the guy chooses to give. Also, if you act like a complete snob, then you don't even deserve to get ANY chivalry! Smarten up ladies, otherwise you are a huge turnoff to guys!

Anonymous's picture

Iwould like you to talk about men how they react to first date ...and on line dating
I am a classy woman I do not get man that the next 5 min. all they talk about is SEX
do not get me wrong I love sex (i love making love )..men go on site and expecte woman to give them self away ...they are horny they want to nkow my favorite position..do I shave what is really wrong with these men .. loll Are you interested of nkowing me first ???
I let my 26 year old daughter and her friends read my messages and they cannot beleive it ...
we laugh about it ...but really

Anonymous's picture

Except that having women walking on the inside of the sidewalk initially stemmed from allowing the women to be doused by the chamberpots being thrown out the windows during the Victoria era. Now it is deemed chivalrous because she is protected from the cars. Originally, opening a door for a woman and letting her go in first was during the pioneering of the "Wild West" if there were people waiting on the other side of the door waiting to shoot you when the door opened, she'd get it first. Now it is deemed chivalrous and polite because apparantly womens arms are broken. And I am a woman, so I can see how you'd all be mislead.

Anonymous's picture

The rule I always follow is: whomever asks the other out, pays. If I ask her out, I choose the restaurant, I am going to pay. It's as simple as that. Usually, its the man that does the asking, for at least the first few dates, so it should be the man that pays. This is what I always say when a woman I asked out offers to contribute. If a relationship develops, the give and take usually means that she ends up paying at some point.

Anonymous's picture

I think it's lovely and chivalrous when a man offers to pay for dinner. However, I never expect it. And I always offer to split the bill because I think it's fair and I don't want to appear cheap or like I expect it. So I may still feel a little uncomfortable with the man picking up the whole tab. I agree you don't need a whole ton of makeup. But I do like to wear makeup on a date & look nice. I don't put colour, etc on my hair and I don't own designer purses. And half the time I do not wear a lick of makeup. And I think I still look great. I'm sure I'm not going to give some guy a cardiac arrest!!!
"Smarten up ladies" ???!!! That's not terribly chivalrous advice. Kindness on both sides works. :)

Anonymous's picture

If the man invites the woman on a date, he should pay. If the woman approaches the man and is the one who initiates the night out, she should pay. I don't invite a friend out for dinner and then expect them to pay for all, or even a portion of the meal ect, unless it was previously agreed. If you like someone and are planning a meal or night out, take into consideration that you are the one approaching her/him for their company and it is a matter of etiquette to foot the bill. However, in today's day and age it is admirable for the one invited out to offer to contribute if they have agreed to join you for dinner- it's a sign of graciousness and integrity that I admire. Just don't offer to contribute just to look good...... if your offer is accepted and you are taken by surprise, the feigned gesture could blow up in your face.

Anonymous's picture

I think its a sin to date more then one guy becaues when that happens you are breaking the trust that his not going to find out anddd plus the two of the hearts involed with suck a matter with one personThere are always sins like STDs to think of you past first base It just takes onces to get an unwanted child or kid. Then theres the obortion to think of taking a unborn life Sure play the field but don,t get caught and practice safe sex

Anonymous's picture

I wouldn't & couldn't consider what you said because of all the typos/errors in your writing -- I never got through all of it because I lost patience.

Anonymous's picture

(I meant an anonymous person's comment -- not the actual article.)

Anonymous's picture

The most important do or don't is - treat others like you would like to be treated.
If you don't want to hear about someone's ex, than don't talk about yours. If you hate people that are late, don't be late. Dating isn't a big mystery.

Anonymous's picture

Holy crap, try reading it out loud before clicking the save button.

Anonymous's picture

In the dating, courtship phase how a man treats a woman, allows her to get an idea, how he will treat her when they are married.

Anonymous's picture

I don't know why you wouldn't get paid the same amount that most men make. You seem like you would be a real treat to work with.

Anonymous's picture

The women walked on the inside of the side walk so she would NOT get covered by the contents of the chamber pot. The contents were threw over the side of the buildings, not droped down the side of the building. Also geting into a wagon, the lady went in first so the man could help her from the ground and view her botton as he helped. Not so she got shot first. Ladies were treated as such by gentleman. I find that still today. My arms are not broken and I give great respect to a man that opens a door for me or helps me on with my coat. I thank him, smile and mean it. I am a lady . I also do my own landscaping and shoveling and have a very dirty job most people couldn't so. So I'm no wall flower. I stand up for my self and have great self respect. So gentlemen, thank you for opening the door, I appreciate your kindness.

Anonymous's picture

I agree. If it's a date, and he asked you out. He pays. If your just friend, you both pay for your own. Because if you both pay, it sets the first date as just friends. If that's were you want it, then fine. But then it will be expected you will always split the bill. Coffee is different. Meeting for the first time coffee is best anyway. Go see Rori Ray dating advice. She's great.

Anonymous's picture

NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! Offer to split the bill (on the first few dates). You take away a man's opportunity to be a man. If he wants you to split the bill, delete him from your life. After a few dates it's okay to occasionally pay the entire bill or offer to contribute.
Women need to act like women and let a man be a man. You can't change the genetic make up no matter how emancipated you may think you are.
If you don't believe me, do your own mini poll and ask men what they want from women.

Anonymous's picture

Expect a man to act like a man and he will step up to the plate and appreciate you for it. I suggest you STOP offering to split the bill. No offense, but a guy takes you out because he likes you and wants to treat you special. When you make this change, I guarantee the type of men you attract will be a lot more fun to spend time with.
As a reference point, I have great relationships with men that adore me.
Good luck!

Anonymous's picture

I made the BIG mistake of feeling sorry for my ex boyfriend of 3 years when he was unemployed. I would do the paying and after awhile, he just came to expect it. I grew resentful waiting for him to get a job; which he didn't seem all too motivated to do. So I ended it.

Anonymous's picture

if a guy is not generous within the first few dates, he shows you how he is going to be if you married him. i was more libeal mined prevously - and i married someone, we got pregnant and guess what. I had to pay for all of the medcal epenses and spllit his house payments while pregnant, and work through the whole thing til 9 monthsl our plan was to have him pick up the slack after 3 months and we were to buy a house together (yes 1/2 the downpayment from me) I was so stressed i thought i would die wroking and running around airports pregnant. he wouldnt even cook a mea. This is not EQUALity at all!!! a man will whow you if he is aganetlmena nd there fore "safe" and has your back pretty much in the first few dates. Its not just about money, it is a gesture of masulinity and chivaly. If it doesnt exist in the courtship process, that is as good as it gets ladies. Each man for himself. RUN

Anonymous's picture

run like hell girll, you did the right thing

Anonymous's picture

No way. If a man is too generous it means he's insecure. The best are guys (LIKE ME) who spend JUST enough for dinner and maybe a drink or two then call it an evening. There's no reason for a man to spend a lot of money on a first date on somebody he may not even like!
Naive women will think that if he is generous in the first dates he will be generous in marriage. HA! That's an old trick. Beware of the first foot forward.... Sometimes generosity early isn't about a generous character at all.
Someone who is balanced and isn't over generous creates the thought that he is reliable and wise, which is what security is based on. Isn't security what women seek, perhaps even more than love?? Do Tell.
To the younger guys, I tell them to never spend more than $40 on a first date.
Hope this Helps!

Anonymous's picture

IF after two years you don't know where a realtionship is going, it ain't.

Anonymous's picture

omg i thnk we may have been married to the same guy - I had the same experence to the tee - i did not know what was happening til i was in too deep (married). now after having lefft that stuaton and spendng tme recuperating, i am dating again - if i see these red fags i run. If a man is not generous and a gentleman in the beginning, iit will only go downhll from there, as he is on his BEST behavor til he gets you in his clutches lol

Anonymous's picture

This statement which I am going to post shortly is to you, ma'am.
First of all, I am very sorry to acknowledge your situation, that is absolutely unfair, the man you believed he was all good, sweet, and generous, and then he comes to back stabbed you (hypothetically speaking), he is not a real gentleman. I have no respect for those men who do that to their woman; you deserve much better.
I am gentleman, 26 years of age and I can treat a woman should be treated with Equality that she deserves.
Nonetheless, most men do not know common sense when they see it, its sad to say but its true. On the other hand, most men have absolutely no consideration whatsoever when it comes to providing the fundamental items or assets that she needs or desires to have. To conclude, women are only asking for the least, which is the love, comfort, financial stability, and security they deserve. Its not difficult.
~george.

Anonymous's picture

There have been studies shown that the more a man spends on a woman, the more he values her. Men's brains are wired differently. I, as a woman would never ask a man out, now would I pay for a date unless we were going out a long time and it was his birthday. Women, do yourself a favor.. don't chase. Don't ask men out. Don't pay. It will cheaper yourself in his eyes whether he admits it or not.

Anonymous's picture

 "Offer to split the bill....Don’t get me wrong, I think he should pay, especially on the first date, but because he wants to, not because you won’t." I always split the bill on the first date because it sets a precedent to show that both of us are investing the exact same amount (literally and figuratively) into the date. Why should I pay for dinner for two for a girl I'm just starting to get to know? I have bills, car payments, student loans, and a mortgage of my own. Not to be cheap but why is it that I'm expected to put myself out financially and its okay for the other not to? Gender roles manufactured by societal expectations are what is holding the female gender back from advancing through the glass ceiling. so to the women who buy into this train of thought: thanks for impeding whole gender's progression through society.

Anonymous's picture

It's pretty ignorant to think a man "should" pay on the first date. Why? This is not the 60's where men held most of the jobs. I thought there was supposed to be equality in the new millenium. If you have a job and are earning, just like the man, then why should'nt the woman pay?

Anonymous's picture

I disagree. It's not about who makes how much or fairness or equality or any of that garbage. As a guy I feel it's about chivalry and class and showing that you like the girl and it's a token gesture that you're thinking about the good time she's having. If I like a girl and I think the date's a good one I'd never let a girl split the bill unless she insisted (and even then only so I don't seem chauvanistic or behind the times). Split the bill with girls you only want to befriend or girls you never want to see again.

Anonymous's picture

because its a "grand gesture" love and relationships are full of them. one of the most common is buying an engagement ring. do you see women going out there buying engagment rings for their boyfriends? No. Why? Because we have been trained by society and our family that things happen a certain way for a reason and the man paying for the meal on the first date is tradition. not to mention its part of courting.

Anonymous's picture

Because women spend twice as much on beauty products and clothes as men do. If we are spending money to look good for the date, they can spend money to fund the date.

Anonymous's picture

The man doesn't "have to" pay for the meal/movies, etc. but it would be a lot nicer if he did. This isn't about splitting things exactly down the middle, if the guy is sweet and likes you, then he should pay for the date.

Anonymous's picture

As a girl I always offer to pay for my meals but if he let's me, I find it a huge turnoff.

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