When you get into high school, you get to that fun age during which you can date. It is a whole new experience for everyone and at times it can be a little rocky.
I’ve noticed that a lot of young people seem to forget the simple things that can keep a date going — or from turning into a disaster. Here are 11 dating etiquette tips from me that I think may help. And they apply to both males and females.
Tip #1: You want to make a good impression, not only on the person you’re asking on a date, but with their parents/guardians aswell. It can be nerve-wracking but ask them in person to go on the date — don’t do it by phone or text. If you are too shy, (it’s OK, it happens to the best of us), then call them as a last resort. Texting is too informal for such an important question. It may also be perceived as disrespectful, and that you really don’t care about the date.
Tip #2: While you are making plans for your date, find a day and time that works for the both of you. If you run into a scheduling conflict, and a previously scheduled item isn’t that important, then move it to another day to better accommodate the person you’re asking. If something comes up and you can’t go on the date, then be honest and tell them immediately. That way they can make other plans. If you think that something better has come along, don’t just ditch your date. You may have a lot of fun, but you wouldn’t know until you actually went on the date with them.
Tip #3: Wear something appropriate. If you are going hiking, don’t wear a suit or a dress. If you are going to a nice restaurant, a t-shirt and jeans won’t do. While you should dress appropriately, remember to have good personal hygiene. Don’t just throw something on because it’s clean. Look well put together, and that you put an effort into looking nice for your date.
Tip #4: Always try to provide transportation for the date, and to pick them up at the location they have requested. It shows that you care about them.Never honk or text that you are there. Go up to the door and be polite. Yes, you may have to meet the family and get those awkward stares, but it shows that you respect the parents/guardians of your date.
Tip #5: Starting and keeping a conversation going on a first date can be a challenge. It may seem awkward and that there is nothing to talk about. But a good place to start is to ask your date questions about topics you think or know will be of interest to them. Try to avoid talking too much about yourself, because it can push the other party away quickly. The point of the date is to get to know them, so get to know them. While you should keep the conversation going, don’t talk too much. Make sure there is equal conversation coming from both sides. It can be really boring for your date if they can’t even get a word or two into the conversation. You should always be interested and excited, but don’t go overboard. It might scare them off.
Tip #6:Always remember your manners. Say “please” and “thank you.” Don’t swear or make any rude gestures around your date. If you go out to eat, remember to chew with your mouth closed. You can keep your cell phone on, but never text another person while you’re dating. That is an automatic sign of disinterest and it is a sign to your date that they shouldn’t go out with you again. Be respectful of your date’s values, even if they don’t match up with your own.
Tip #7: Be creative, have fun — but don’t get crazy. While it’s great to have a good time, don’t do anything that could potentially embarrass you or your date. Avoid things that would cause a scene. If your date seems uncomfortable that you are doing something, stop immediately.
Tip #8: Be yourself. The point of a date is to get to know each other, so don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you really want to impress them, then it should be by the things that you actually believe in — not what you think your date wants.
Tip #9: Always try to pay your way. Your date may say “no” and pay for themselves, but always offer because it is the polite thing to do. It also shows that you care about them. Even if your date says they are going to pay, always bring money just in case.
Tip #10: Remember that you are on a date. If you go with your friends or happen to run into someone you know, don’t neglect your date. Introduce your date, keep them in the conversation and avoid topics that you think would make them feel excluded.
Tip #11:At the doorstep, don’t just drop your date off and leave. Get out of the car and walk them to the doorstep as a sign of respect. Remember to thank them for going and tell them you had a nice time. You don’t have to kiss them. If you are on a first date, I strongly recommend that you don’t. A hug or a handshake is enough. Make sure that they get inside their home before leaving.
While they may seem stupid and simple, these little tips may help keep your first date running smoothly. If not, there just might not be a second date. It’s all about showing respect to yourself and the person you are going out with. And yes, in a way, you are trying to impress them, so make a good impression.
Peatross will be a junior at Tooele High School this fall.