In the age of Tinder and other dating apps the rules of dating, especially for that all-important first date, have changed a little. Here’s our updated first date guide of Dos and Don’ts for a 21st century couple.
MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
Stop sitting around, hoping for that hottie to chat you up. Make eye contact, ask about the book he’s reading or, if you’re shopping for a shirt for a male friend, casually get his opinion on whether stripes or checks look better (never mind that you’ve already made up your mind).
DITCH THE BORING DINNER DATE
Some people think it’s romantic, but really, there’s nothing to do but eat and talk. It’s much more fun to do an activity together, like wakeboarding or visiting an art exhibition. Plus, it’ll be easier to keep the conversation going.
PLAY IT COOL
So he didn’t get back to you within three days. Don’t. Freak. Out. Wait up to a week before approaching him again. Keep things casual by dropping hints about new places or activities you want to check out.
DATE ONLINE OR OVER AN APP
We’re living in the digital age, after all. But take things offline after the first few conversations – you want to be sure he’s really that hottie in his profile picture.
TELL HIM IF YOU’RE SEEING OTHER GUYS
It’s okay to keep your options open before committing to anything, but give him a heads-up before he gets too emotionally attached. Our tip: do it within the first month or after the first three dates – that’s roughly when he’ll start to consider a relationship with you.
BE FIRM IF YOU NEVER WANT TO SEE HIM AGAIN
It was a bad date. You aren’t interested. Don’t soften the blow by continuing to text him or chat with him online – you’ll be giving mixed signals. Ignore his attempts at flirty banter – and if he still doesn’t get it, tell him outright that you’re not interested.
POUT IF HE DOESN’T SEND YOU HOME
It’s a sweet gesture if it’s late and you feel you need an escort home, but really, there’s no obligation (even if he has a car).
HESITATE TO ‘FRIEND’ HIM ON FACEBOOK
It’s no longer considered desperate. In fact, you should do it right after your date so you can suss him out. That said, be subtle. Scrolling through his timeline and “Liking” a picture of his from 2008 just makes you seem like a stalker.
PILE ON THE FAKE EYELASHES & EYELINER
Yes, they’re so trendy now among K-Pop stars but you’re on a date, not a stage. Overdoing it just distracts him from the conversation. Plus, you don’t want to give him a heart attack the first time he sees you without makeup.
ORDER A SALAD
Men these days like a woman who enjoys a good meal. Playing with your food or confining yourself to a salad just shows how restrictive and nervous you are. Relax – and yes, go ahead and order that burger.
PUT YOUR DATE PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK
You’d be pretty annoyed too if Mr Never-Stood-A-Second-Chance uploaded a photo of the two of you with the caption “AWESOME DATE NIGHT!” for all his friends to see. Presumptuous much? Don’t even bother checking with him if it’s okay to upload your date shots on Facebook or Instagram. Just don’t do it.
TEXT HIM CONSTANTLY TO ASK WHY HE’S NOT REPLYING
You’ll only look clingy and demanding. Get a clue – he’s either busy or not that into you.
DON’T BUST OUT YOUR SELF-DEFENSE MOVES IF HE KISS YOU GOODBYE
Hugs, air kisses and pecks on the cheek on first date are acceptable gestures these days.
EXPERT SOURCES: David Tan, Dating coach & executive director at Aura Dating Academy; Genecia Luo, Charisma coach and founder of Inqueenz, Personality Development Coaching and Charisma consultancy.
This story was first published in Her World magazine September 2013 issue.