• PK

Dating and the art of manners

It is truly a shame to see that, nowadays, our physical interactions with one another have been replaced by digital, or textual, relationships. An unfortunate side effect of limited interactions with humans is the forgetfulness of manners. Yes, they are important and still completely relevant in today’s society, no matter what anyone says. (Don’t even start the argument…seriously.) And nowhere are manners more essential to the success or failure of the relationship than dating.

Couple with Umbrella
Be nice.

People should be respectful of one another in general but, because of how we live, many of us don’t have the time to take a minute and hold a door for someone or let someone out of a parking space. (Just a side note: You actually do have the time to do those things.) When you think of manners as related to dating, the perception is that it is the man’s responsibility to be respectful…and this is true. But the ladies need to step up too. Some claim to be so independent and that’s fine but that doesn’t mean you can’t be considerate and thoughtful as well. For the sake of this article, the focus will be on what a gentleman should do but, ladies, you’re not off the hook by any means so keep reading.

--A gentleman will pay for the date. This is usually a hot issue. On a date, who pays? A general rule of thumb is the person who does the asking, does the paying but there are times when it may be a little unclear. A proper gentleman will more than likely always pick up the check but don’t ALWAYS expect this, ladies. They don’t have to and it doesn’t make them a schmuck if they don’t. It would be very polite of you to offer and don’t be offended if he takes you up on it. Be prepared to at least pay your share. If you are meeting someone who you met online, the safest route would be to split the check. It’s good practice to keep things very independent until you get to know someone and this includes people you meet face-to-face in the grocery store too. If you don’t know the person well, keep yourself as unencumbered in every way until you’ve developed a comfort level with them.

--A gentleman will hold the door for his date. FACT: Generally speaking, it is flat out rude if you don’t hold the door open for someone within your close range. Have you ever been right behind someone and they let the door shut behind them so that you’ve either run into the door or hit the door with an appendage, leaving a mark or bruise on it the next day? Of course you have. And what did you think when it happened? See? A gentleman should hold the door open for his date and allow her to go ahead of him. Period. An extension of this is not letting a lady walk on the side of the street closest to traffic, meaning the gentleman is the one in harm’s way if a car were to lose control and veer onto the sidewalk or barrel-roll into a plate glass storefront …you get the idea. This move is worth bonus points because it’s not really a top of mind concern, for anyone really (except for Spiderman), but a gentleman who does this without prompting? Hello…

--A gentleman will open the car door for his date. Some deem this old-fashioned and maybe it is but it’s courteous and inviting. There are plenty of movies that show a girl standing by the car door while the guy bebops on over to the other side and gets right in…and sometimes drives away. It just makes the guy look self-involved and uninterested. Ew. Again, if you’ve been dating for a while, it shouldn’t be expected every time but it’s a thoughtful move.

Sophia, 39 and our resident single gal from Huntersville, NC, has this delightful tale to tell on the subject:

“I was out on second date with a guy who I couldn’t really gauge was interested in me or not. He invited me out for dinner and did pick me up (and opened my car door) and all that jazz but by the time we got to the restaurant, it was raining very hard and he pretty much left me to save myself. He didn’t come around and open my door. He didn’t wait for me to get out of the car! He just ran in. I feel like I could have sat in the car all night and he wouldn’t have dared to venture out into the scary bad weather to see if I was coming or not. I had heels on…it took me 20 minutes to get inside. I looked like a drowned rat and I was mad as one too. At that point, I really didn’t care if he was interested in me or not…so there.”

--A gentleman will make plans with you on the phone (not via text). If you have a date planned and you get the “deets” via a three-part text message then you may want to reconsider going. If a man doesn’t have time to firm up plans on the phone then it’s possible he’s more interested in the “after date” than the actual date and that’s not what you want. You want someone who wants to spend time with you, get to know you…right, ladies? A gentleman will check in properly on the telephone with the time he plans on picking you up, where you’re going and perhaps some advice on your attire. (We can all dream.)

So, on the flip-side:

--A lady will recognize when a gentleman is being a gentleman and cut him a little slack every now and again. Yes, ladies, don’t take for granted the sweet fella who treats you like a queen on a daily basis. Pay for a fun date or romantic dinner every once in a while, hold the door for HIM or open HIS car door. Plan a fun night with all his favorite activities or fix him his favorite dinner… You have to make some effort too. If he’s a gentleman, he deserves it.

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