Would you like to go on a date?

A guide to dating the right way

By Pete Helms
Campus Life Editor

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been on a bad date. Bad dates happen, and they can happen for any number of reasons. Sometimes your partner is late. Sometimes the venue is bad. Dating—real dating, not simply “going out”—can be stressful, time-consuming, and even expensive. So what can you do to make your date successful and avoid all those embarrassing and awkward moments if something does go wrong?

Know your date. This is obviously more difficult if you’ll be going on a first date or if your relationship is still young. However, it’s important to consider certain things which can make a date go poorly very fast. Is your date a vegetarian? A steakhouse should be out. Boyfriend allergic to shellfish? Best avoid sushi. If your date doesn’t enjoy crowds, you should pick some place smaller and less threatening. Communication is key and will be essential throughout the life of your relationship.

Pick the right place and time. Is the place you want to go open? Does it have a dress code or require a reservation? Nothing can be more disappointing or embarrassing getting turned away at the door for whatever reason. It’s always best to call ahead, especially if you’ve never been before. It is also important to pay attention to the calendar and the forecast. On days like Mother’s Day and other holidays, reservations often fill up fast, and some places may close. Picnic dates are great until it rains or the wind blows your food away.

Dress appropriately. While this may seem obvious, it is good to mind what you wear. Some places may require that men wear ties and ladies wear dresses, while other times your attire is dictated by the activity at hand. For example, if you’re going dancing (not clubbing), it’s important to wear something that will be cool enough, not to mention wearing comfortable shoes. A suit isn’t a great idea on a picnic, nor is any fabric that’s easily torn or stained.

Establish and play by the rules. Every couple is different, and it’s important to establish rules and boundaries early on. Who pays, public displays of affection, and the level of chivalry can all be very important with different people. Even who decides where you’re going can be a battle, and it’s important to get that out of the way early so you can get to the business of having a good time. Once the rules are established, don’t break them. Respecting your date is vital, whether you’re looking to go for a second date or the hundredth.

Be prepared to be flexible. As the old saying goes, stuff happens. Your date may get held up in traffic or an emergency may come up. If either of you have kids, expect a delay. In a world where many people have multiple jobs and school and other commitments, it’s important to realize that if a date may have to be rescheduled once or twice—the trick is to find someone worth the wait.

Not every date will go perfectly, and sometimes you only get one shot to make a good impression. Following these tips can help you increase your chances for a good date, whether it’s your first date with a new prospect or a night out with your spouse of twenty years. Now go out and have a good time!

 

*Featured Image courtesy of google images.