Our darling Sarah Frost gathered up the easy-peasiest tips for dating protocol. There are only four things separating you from perfect date status.
I’ve been incredibly single for the past two years.
The kind of single where I even kind of avoided dating—I was just super, super single. For two years.
I like to tell people it wasn’t by choice (mostly because I’m dramatic)—but a lot of it was, I think.
Before I was single for two years I dated someone off and on for about three years. It was a mess. Even when he and I weren’t dating during that three year period, I wasn’t overwhelmingly interested in dating other people—it was a little bit of tunnel vision.
Anyway, after that three-year disaster was finally over, I decided to try my hand at dating. It scared me, for a lot of reasons. The main source of apprehension was in response to the company I seemed to be attracting. So I decided to just be single—because I couldn’t find the guys I wanted to date. What that meant to me was either there was a cosmic force intent on me dying alone, or something was really wrong with the equation I was throwing out into the world. One plus one did not equal soulmate, but I was the constant in every scenario.
So I thought a lot about how I was dating—the behaviors I presented during the dates I went on and how I reacted after them—and tried to examine why that wasn’t turning into anything.
The answer? Well, there are ways to act on dates—specifically, the first few dates, that are societal norms and rules that exist to keep us from completely freaking each other out.
Because you just can’t tell someone on a first date that they seem like they’d be a good dad or that you bet the woman across the table will look good even when her skin has wrinkles and her hair turns grey.
You can if you’re in a movie. You cannot in real life.
That said, I’ve talked before about what not to do on dates, and conversations to avoid at length. What can you do, though?
As a society, I believe we have greatly underestimated the power of a first impression. It makes sense. First impressions, as an idea, are terrifying—the first few moments someone meets us really matter that much? They actually do.
Certainly, we’re able to overcome a bad first impression. But why not try our best to be impressive from the beginning?
Manners are my favorite way to achieve a lasting impression.
Skip the cursing. Hold the door open. Say please. Say thank you! Laugh if you think something is funny. Be nice. You are never too cool to be nice. Maybe you think you are, but I bet you go on a lot of first dates and not very many second dates.
Do not pick up your phone.
Leave it in your purse. Leave it in your pocket.
Don’t leave it in your car, because that’s dangerous.
Do not look at your phone while you are on a date. I much prefer you actually avoid them when you’re around other people in general, regardless of whether you would like to date your company, but especially on a date.
Pay attention to the person in front of you. Watch what subjects make their eyes sparkle. See what jokes make them laugh. Enjoy the company of the person three feet away—your phone (as of this point in history) cannot replicate human feelings, so you still need to get to know other humans.
Say what you mean.
My caveat to “make a good first impression” is this: don’t do so if it means you’re not saying what you mean. Be genuine. Say what you’re thinking—tactfully.
If you are really loving someone’s company and dinner ends, ask them to get coffee if you want some more time.
If someone asks you to get coffee you don’t want, excuse yourself.
Be you. You’ll shine, my dear. Other people are attracted to people who shine because they’re wholly and completely being themselves.
I dare you to try it.
What else can you do on a date that is guaranteed to go so far?
Plant a big, huge smile across your face.
If for no other reason that life is good and someone wants to spend time with you. It goes further than absolutely anything else.
[image: via Pixabay]