essential etiquette for a great date

In the last article 'Turning Fear into Fun -8 Essential Etiquette of a Great Date - Part 1 we talked about some of the essential etiquette leading up to the date. Now let's focus more on the more vital aspects of dating etiquette that ultimately decides the course of the relationship. Paying attention to these etiquette will ensure a much smoother date and make it an enjoyable experience to remember.

5. The Art of Conversation

The crux of the date is in the conversation; it can make or break the relationship in a matter of moments. Knowing how to carry on an engaging and flowing conversation is an art in itself often requiring years of practice. There is no one particular way to have a conversation as it really depends on the dynamics of the date. Fortunately, there are some simple yet powerful etiquette that will keep conversations engaging and flowing.

Essential Etiquette

Both: Keep conversations light, at least at the beginning. Avoid talking about potentially sensitive or controversial areas such as exes, marriage, children or religion. Conversations should be about getting to know each other in a fun and engaging way instead of making it seem like an interview.

Both: Lying in any shape or form will only set you up for heartache later down the track.

Both: If appropriate, have light-hearted debates rather than heated ones that can cause an argument. Remember avoid deep sensitive topics that might cause offense.

Both: It’s best to avoid playing any mind games. Mind games only demonstrate immaturity and insecurity.

Men: In general, men should be leading the conversations. Talking about yourself incessantly or bragging is very off-putting. Instead, be curious about your date and if she asks about you then answer. Not only will you show interest and make her important, you create an air of mystery about yourself which can be very alluring.

Men: Avoid swearing or being vulgar unless your date initiates it – Keep in mind it all depends on the situation and the dynamics of the interaction.

Women: It may be tempting to over-talk when asked great questions. Keep it a two-way conversation so you can find out more about your date.

Women: Probing too deep into your date’s past only makes you look nosy and insecure. Let these come out naturally and in time.


  • If you’re a great conversationalist you may want to touch on deeper topics which will build trust and rapport faster.
  • Most people love talking about themselves so be genuinely curious and ask better questions to spark their passions.
  • Lastly, be your genuine self and let them fall in love with you.

6. Intimacy

Intimacy is the key ingredient for passion and chemistry, without it the date becomes bland and disenchanting. Essentially, the primary underlying goal of the date is to build this level of intimacy and familiarity so that the relationship can progress.

The level of intimacy is dependent on the level of comfort and chemistry between you two. Recognizing a few of the etiquette when it comes to intimacy can dramatically expedite the process of building it up.

Essential Etiquette

Men: Never ever force intimacy. Not only does it make the other person uncomfortable it will most likely destroy the relationship. Intimacy comes with trust and time.

Men: Getting a woman drunk or drugged to induce intimacy is inappropriate and will not foster trust or true intimacy.

Women: In general, let the man lead the intimacy ritual however you should also recognize when the man needs a push to make a move.


  • Men: Recognize the signals when it comes to building intimacy. Women will often give the ‘green’ light to go ahead with making a move so be wary of these signals. You can also test the waters by making some moves and testing her reaction. If she is clearly uncomfortable give her some space and try again only when she feels more comfortable with you.
  • If you want to build intimacy quicker find places that are romantically conducive. Places that are quiet, secluded and comfortable are ideal however you must create trust before you progress to these places.

7. The Check Game

Playing the check game is potentially one of the most awkward and important aspect of dating for most people. Traditionally, men are the ones who pay the bill however women are becoming more financially independent and less attached to outdated stereotypes of gender roles.

Not every woman expects the man to pay for all her expenses so it is important to discuss the expectations over who pays early on (and how often) to avoid feelings of being taken advantage of. The key is to keep it lighthearted or hint subtly the issue to avoid harboring resentment later on.

Essential Etiquette

Men: Offer to pay for the full meal (or other expenses) at the very least on the first date. Avoid going Dutch (splitting the bill) as it doesn’t look good for you unless your date insists.

Women: Always show gratitude anytime the man pays for you. The very act of even offering to pay can impress a man immensely. On the other hand, having the expectations that all your expenses will be automatically taken care of is at the very least for most men off-putting. Lastly, be mindful of what you order if you know that your date is definitely paying.


  • Men: For first dates avoid the ‘check game’ by giving your credit card early on to the service staff.
  • Women: Never underestimate the power of gratitude. A simple ‘thank you’ is often enough to keep the man happy and your date running smoothly.

8. Following Up

After the date it is ideal to follow up with the other person irrespective of whether it was a positive or negative experience. Not only does it show maturity, it keeps everyone on the same page without leaving them in limbo regarding the relationship.

Essential Etiquette

Both: If you made promises during the course of the date then keep your word. Making false promises merely indicates an unreliable character.

Men: It is important for the man to check up on whether your date arrives home safely. It is also important for the man to follow up on the date and suggest the direction of the relationship.

Women: If the man spent the time, energy and resources to create an unforgettable experience for you it is important to acknowledge his effort and express gratitude. Ungratefulness may breed contempt and resentment.


Men: Depending on the success of the date, the man should be the one who initiates the follow up. The timing is up to the man however it should be no longer than 3 days otherwise it will keep the woman in an uncomfortable limbo. Avoid playing mind games and just go with what feels right.  

Women: As stated previously a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. If you believe the relationship has no future then it is equally as important for you to express this to the man as to keep him on the same page.

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Additional Essential Etiquette

There are literally hundreds of etiquette when it comes to dating. Here are some simple yet powerful etiquette that can speak volumes to your date and help the relationship flourish.

  • Use the other person’s name when speaking – Be careful not to overuse it otherwise it will sound unnatural.
  • Give the respect and dignity everyone deserves – They will often automatically return it.
  • Give compliments freely – Keep them personalized and genuinely.
  • Remove unrealistic expectations – Not everyone can be your prince charming or damsel in distress.
  • If you are going to smoke or do anything that could make the other person uncomfortable ask for their permission first.
  • Focus on making the other person feel relaxed and comfortable – Only when people are relaxed they can be themselves.
  • Be pleasant but genuine – Acting obnoxious in any manner will not do anyone any favors.

Don't Worry Be Happy

Dating doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal as some may portray it. It should be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience for both parties. Most of the essential etiquette are already ingrained in us through societal conditioning and are often common sense. Taking the time to learn the essential etiquette will not only improve your dating and love life substantially it will enrich all aspects of your life by making you a better person.

In the end, the most important thing to remember about dating is simply to enjoy each others' company and to make the most of it.

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