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First Date Etiquette

Once you're met someone, on an online dating site or from a friend, it's time for the fun, exciting and scary First Date! In order to keep the stress level of the first date to a minimum I have tried to compile a list of the most common first date etiquette concerns. The more you know the better the date will likely go! Sorry, I couldn't keep myself from rhyming.

Who should pay for the first date?

This is a tricky question because so many people, men and women, have strong opinions on what's appropriate, particularly for a first date. What I would recommend is that the male, who like it or not traditionally has paid for the date, offer to pay for dinner (or whatever the first thing you do together is). If the woman argues and wants to split the check, then do that. If you're a woman going on your first date and want to pay for dinner, go right ahead.

Ladies, if the man chivalrously takes care of the first check on your first date, it is up to you to offer to pay for event number two (ie. if he pays for dinner you buy the movie tickets). It's not important who pays more or less, just that both people are willing to make the gesture.

Should either person bring a gift on the first date?

The safest way to go is not to bring a gift (like flowers) on the first date. That way there's no chance that either dater could be offended. On the other hand, there are certain things to keep in mind if you do want to bring a gift on a first date (which some people would find sweet and romantic; you could probably get a better idea if your date is like this if you get to know each other first on an online dating site!). If you'd like to bring your first date a gift, keep it small and simple. Don't give anything too extravagant or expensive, something that shows thought not cost.

What should you wear on a first date?

The only real rules for first date clothing are to wear something you feel comfortable in (which includes feeling attractive, not necessarily comfortable in the sweatpants sense) and not to wear anything too provocative or sexy. Unless you're just looking for the first date to turn into a one night stand (and if that's what you want, that's fine!), you don't want to send your date the wrong impression.

When eating on your first date, should you drink? What should you order?

Having a drink or two on your first date can make you feel more relaxed and be part of the fun and ambience. Just make sure that you're not drinking so much that you're becoming a nuisance or coming across as obnoxious. At least save that for the second date! As for ordering, on a first date I try to avoid anything difficult to eat (like lobster) and anything too messy (like spaghetti). The last thing you want on a first date is food stains! Also keep in mind that paying for dinner on the first date may be a bit awkward and it's probably a good idea to avoid the most expensive items on the menu.



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