Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dating Etiquette--What do people really want on their dates?


Not Grandma's Dating Etiquette

Kiss on the first date? And, who pays?

From many years of interviewing hundreds if not thousands of people, I have found the dating etiquette of today a bit different than in earlier years.  In the past, there were clear, distinct rules about most every aspect of the date: the man asks the lady, he plays the gentleman, and he pays.  Today, there are some interesting similarities and a few welcome differences.

Ladies and gentleman take your places! 

Apparently, what is old is new again.  When celebrities start taking etiquette lessons, one can only assume that etiquette is cool once more. Angelina Jolie studied manners for her movie role in the Tourist and Sean Diddy hired an etiquette coach for his staff.  Both had and have reasons to craft a positive gentlemen and ladylike image. 

And, why is this so important and pertinent for the date?  First impressions are everything!  Plus, over 85% of all interviewed appeared to prefer old fashion dating manners.  Such as: the man should hold the door for a lady, pull out her chair, help her into and out of the car, and pick up at least the first two checks.  In the past, this was a given.  Today, most men stated that they want to provide a memorial evening including all the old fashion manners mentioned.  Although, if a relationship develops, both genders agree costs should be shared.  

It is interesting to note that most men state that they want to be viewed as a gentleman, but don’t know what to do and are concerned about it--most common with the 20-30 year old age group. 

Wanna go out? 

So, even though women want to be viewed as equal to men, it appears that most women, secretly, desire for the man to request the date.  Most men interviewed feel the same.  And, most consider the restaurant date the most appropriate for the first date.  Perhaps it is that old brain speaking to us from when we were hunters and gatherers.  Perhaps deep inside women really want our men to ‘take care’ of us (to an extent) and men want this as well.  Interesting.  

How about that second date?  

If a man wants a second date, it's best to pick up the tab on the first.  Of course, this point is arguable. When asked, most business and scholarly women vehemently disagree, stating that they can pay their own way.   Certainly, they want to be treated well, but on an equal level.  And yet, most declared that their memorable dates were when the date treated them as special and paid the tab.

Kiss, shake hands, or ... 

So, what to do as the date comes to a close?  Thankfully with today's dating etiquette, if we decide to close the evening with heavy breathing, there is no fear of the "scarlet letter".  But, should we?  Perhaps since projecting a positive image is our goal, a not-too passionate kiss might be best.  Yes, it's fine to kiss on the first date.  The handshake would be fine as well, especially if this is the only date. 
Amazingly, most of those interviewed agreed.  This wasn't what I expected, especially from the 20-30 age group.   


This has been an on-going interview process for many years: ages 13-86 years and multiple backgrounds (blue collar, white collar, and university professors). 


  1. I could've used this great advice years ago!

    1. I was surprised by the answers of some of the younger crowd. They really like old fashion dating roles. Interesting.