11 First Date Etiquette Tips For Men

I recently befriended a southern belle with a bit of jazz.  She moved to NYC about 6 months ago and already formed her opinion on the dating scene – dating in NYC sucks.  “It’s like the guys here never heard of chivalry”.  So I went home and thought about it a little and came up with 11 etiquette tips on how to be a gentleman.  Enjoy!

  1. There are the obvious ones: be punctual and for the macho guys out there, grooming and smelling nice is not considered “gay”.  But, please don’t suffocate your date with too much cologne
  2. Always open all doors.  Revolving doors can be tricky, but the proper way is for the guy to go in first and push the door for the lady.  No, it’s not “cute” to stop the revolving door while a lady is going through it
  3. When entering the restaurant, theatre, concert hall, etc. the lady goes in the room and the row first.  Likewise, when the hostess leads you to your table at a restaurant, the lady always precedes the guy.  Always give the lady preferential seating; and by that I mean the seat facing the inside of the restaurant and not the wall.  The exception is if the lady ends up with the crappy seat (if she is sitting behind a really tall guy and can’t see the stage or sitting under the vent at a restaurant), then you should take that seat
  4. If at any point throughout the night, she is cold and you are wearing a nice jacket, offer her your jacket
  5. Wandering eyes are rude.  Keep your eyes on your date (neckline up, please) and not the surrounding environment, another person, your watch or worse yet, your blackberry or iPhone (it’s a recession guys, your boss doesn’t need you that urgently!)
  6. A gentleman always stands when the lady enters and leaves the room…  okay, maybe you can save that one for really fancy restaurants or formal settings
  7. Who picks up the tab?  That’s a tricky question.  If we were back in the ‘50s, the man would be doing so, but today it’s not so clearcut. As a gentleman, however, you should always offer to pay but give the lady an opportunity to split the bill if that’s something she’d prefer (when she offers initially, say that you will take care of it, if she insists, THEN agree for her to pay her share).  But, if you don’t want to pick up the tab, then the appropriate etiquette is to let her know in advance so she knows you are cheap, lowers her expectation and brings cash.  The “are you kidding me” look is a very awkward way to end the night.  If you don’t tell her and you don’t think she gave you that look, either you are delusional or she should get an Oscar for her performance, because she definitely thought it
  8. If you are sharing a cab together, open the door and go in yourself first.  It’s not very sexy to watch a lady tumble her way across to the other side of the cab in her dress.  It’s uncomfortable and she knows you are staring at her rear-end
  9. As a follow-up to etiquette #8, when sharing a cab (I assume you guys are going in a similar direction) always take the lady home first as not to stuff her with the bill.  If it really doesn’t make sense for her to get off first then when you leave, give her money for the entire cab ride
  10. Be a man, make your move and give her that hug or kiss – on the cheeks for a first date unless otherwise hinted (assuming she is willing to share a cab with you, she is probably not completed adverse to you).  Good luck!
  11. If you did not walk her to her house/apartment, it’s nice and considerate to text her (less intrusive than calling) to make sure she made it back to her apartment OK.  If you don’t hear from her, you probably didn’t make it to the second date

That’s all I’ve got and best of luck.


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