the etiquette of first dates 870x430

The Etiquette of First Dates

We all spend a good few years trying to find the “right person”. And with so many dating apps to help us choose, you’d think we’re expert first daters. However, judging from the number of people who say they’re lonely, it looks like we struggle to get from the first to the second date and beyond so perhaps our skills need honing.

And this is where our brief guide on the etiquette of first dates comes in. After all, being a gentleman pays off in every area of your life, including romance.

A gentleman’s rules for a successful first date

1. Set the tone
When you ask someone out, it’s polite to offer them a chance to say where they’d like to go but don’t turn this into a negotiation. If they’re happy to let you choose, pick the time and place and inform your date so they can dress accordingly.

2. Start as you mean to continue
This rule applies to everything, from picking a venue you can actually afford to being courteous but not pompous. Pretending to be someone you’re not, just to make a good impression, doesn’t make you attractive. It makes you manipulative and creepy.

3. Plan your escape route
Mid-week drinks are an excellent choice for a first date. If you’re having a good time, you can continue with dinner or suggest meeting over the weekend. If you’re struggling and you’re looking for a way out, you can cut the night short.

4. But what to wear?
Your choice of attire should strike the right balance between style and comfort, much like our Aristocracy London lounge suits. First dates are stressful enough so you shouldn’t add more worries with shoes that you haven’t broken in yet.

5. Listen
“Interesting and interested” is the mantra. This is your chance to talk about what’s important to you but, equally, ask questions. And put your phone away unless your wife is in labour…in which case you shouldn’t be on a date, should you?

6. With compliments
Everyone likes a compliment but don’t overdo it because it may come across as insincere. If you find one of your date’s features particularly attractive or if you’re fascinated by their work, just say it.

7. The x factor
They say you should never talk about money or exes on the first date. Which is wise, except many people’s “exes” aren’t exes at all. Just to be on the safe side, you can ask something like “When did your last relationship end?”

8. No oversharing
There’s no need to lay all your cards on the table, especially if you’re not entirely sure you want to see this person again. But, if there are deal-breakers for you, be frank and hope for the best. E.g. having small children or going through an acrimonious divorce are things you should reveal early on.

9. Your treat
As you may have read in The Fine Art of Settling A Restaurant Bill, it’s polite to pay on the first date. If your date offers to split the bill, suggest that they pay next time. See what I did there? You’re already talking date 2!

10. No sex
Although it’s hard to set rules about these things, you probably want to give it a bit more time. As Mae West once said “anything worth doing is worth doing slowly”.

11. Follow up
Your date will notice how long it takes you to get in touch after the first date. Anything over 48 hours and they’ve probably already told their friends you’re not interested. And they’ve had a long chat about you and now you’re doomed.

And one last piece of advice from us. First dates aren’t that important. They may be stressful, especially if you really like the person, but, unless things go terribly wrong, you will get a second chance. So, relax, enjoy and maybe take a look at our wedding suits, just in case!