Get the latest from the blog:

Ask Tanya | Dating Etiquette

Are there do’s and don’t s when it comes to the first date for either man or woman and does it make any difference when it comes to age difference?


Having been asked this question by one of the members, I had to give this some thought as whilst I’ve had first dates I’d never re visit, it was generally because the spark just wasn’t there and nothing to do with who they were, what they did etc. However when I began to look back, I remembered occasions when I sat there and thought ‘what the……….!!’


On any first date, I never agree to dinner or anything in the evening, purely a personal thing but the way I see it is that if it isn’t working I don’t want to feel obliged to prolong the time spent together just because he’s paying for dinner. As a woman with a conscience I would never use a man as a means to get out for the evening and get something decent to eat or drink though I know many that have and still do!!


Someone I know frequents the dating sites having been a member on pretty much most of them, to find not just a relationship but dates! She’s unemployed, believes she deserves what her other friends have which is marriage to husbands who don’t require them to work and that any man should always pay and if they don’t she just simply refuses to stomp up any cash!! We have had many a debate as to the rights and wrongs of this to the point I gave up trying to get her to see another point of view but sometimes it isn’t worth wasting breath on someone who will always only ever have one opinion!


Personally, whilst I think it’s the gentlemanly thing to do I don’t expect it. I am happy to pay my way though I guess this would come down to the circumstances. My rule is that if I meet someone for the first time for coffee or lunch, I will offer to pay my way as it’s a mutual agreement to meet. If it’s going okay and he invites me to dinner then I would probably assume he will pay with it being an invite but I would probably offer to pay for the pre dinner drinks out of respect and courtesy. If he refuses to let me pay for anything then I accept the offer graciously


There are more gentlemen out there than we give credit who are more than happy to treat a lady as a lady but we should never take it for granted though I do recall on one occasion I met someone for coffee and he paid for the two coffees. We then decided to take a walk through the town and after a while he suggested we had lunch in one of the quaint little tea rooms. When the bill arrived he passed it to me and said ‘I bought the coffees so you can buy lunch!” Needless to say I didn’t see him again


So depending on whether we may or may not have decided on paying etiquette, how do we prepare for that first important date?


Generally I tend to go for something simple and casual in the way of attire but gentlemen please do remember that most women will by now have attained a certain style and whether its coffee, lunch or dinner will usually make an effort to look casually cool and elegant so if you’re planning to turn up in your painting jeans and the jumper you picked up off the floor, don’t be surprised if she gets up and walks away. If someone didn’t make some effort on the first date, I would be wondering what other areas he didn’t place any effort and I’m sure you know exactly what I mean!


For some younger men the idea of meeting an older woman for the first time can be daunting so if you are one of those men who worry you will feel intimidated or say the wrong thing then spend time getting to know her on the phone first. Most older women may have the confidence gained from experience of life but we are not all the same and never forget that underneath our cool, calm exterior we are still women


If you take the time to get to know someone on the phone, by the time you get to the first date stage, you’ll be quite familiar with each other and have gained at least some knowledge so everything should go a lot smoother. However there is still the hurdle of that old thing called chemistry but as we can do nothing about it you can at least be sure that first impressions count. Whilst I don’t think you men should look at it as an interview, you should give it the same amount of thought and effort


Also think about manners. One guy I met burped really loudly and made no apology for it at all, which is a definite no no. Not only did it leave a pungent aroma, embarrassingly people looked around and we were suddenly cast into the limelight! At the end of the day despite what most women may come across as, we do like a gentlemen to treat us as ladies, we like the door being opened, we like the ‘ladies first’ rule, we like being sat to face the restaurant rather than having our backs to it, we like men that walk on the outside of the pavement to protect us, we like what it portrays


Whilst gentlemen in their true sense seem to be a dying breed, if you want to make any impression at all then don’t come across as an egotistical, self absorbed know it all who think women should hang on their every word and be thankful some young stud has taken the time to meet them in the first place! We may look calm sitting there but inside we’re boiling and at any point we will tell you precisely what a jerk you really are


Treat a woman the same way you’d treat yourself. Be open and honest, enjoy humour (and that doesn’t necessarily mean the jokes you share with your footballing mates!). Ask her questions about herself , remember dates are two way so don’t take over and most of all, breathe.


Think about where you meet. Even if its only for a coffee, picking the busiest Starbucks is not going to be condusive to talking and getting to know each other if you’re forever straining your ears to hear what she is actually saying!! It might be great to meet the lads there but we are not one of your mates!


We might be older and hopefully wiser, we might be confident and hopefully knowledgeable, we might be cool and hopefully elegant but we might also be shy and timid underneath with just as many nerves meeting you as you have meeting us. We are all human underneath so treat us as such as we will you


Enjoy dinner!!




Love Tanya x

Get the latest from the blog: