dating etiquette

That first moment you meet someone you think worthy of your time, that someone that makes you smile and laugh and cringe and giggle. You’ve been there, right?

The thing I learned about dating is that it’s a sprint, not a race. You’re going to have some excellent amazing dates, and you’ll have some truly awful horrendous ones. And then one day, you’ll meet your version of Prince Charming.

Here are some dating etiquette rules you should remember before, during, and after a date.

Meeting and greeting

Giving flowers is great, it says “I was thinking of you and so I brought you flowers because I wanted to see you smile.” Rather than red roses, they should be yellow. Oh my God! I know right? Yellow roses say “Let’s be friends.” Which any dating “expert” will tell you is the perfect basis for a healthy relationship. White roses suggest new beginnings, also an appropriate shade to be giving on a first date.


Sure, give her a compliment but make it matter. Take a nice long look and while I wouldn’t suggest complimenting her shoes I’d recommend going for her nails, or even her eyes. Women work extra hard on the nails and the eyes when they’re going out on a first date. You noticing that signals that she’s not only done a good job but that you care enough to notice.

Making jokes

I cannot stress this enough. There is a difference between laughing with him, and laughing at him. Don’t do the laughing at him thing – it is both rude and mean. Do not, no matter what, ever make jokes about needing Viagra, ever. This is not funny.

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Keeping your achievements to yourself

I have a friend who embarrassingly has slept with every female I know our age (and then some). I’m pretty sure it’s the reason so many of us girls stopped talking to each other over the last ten years ago. The worst part is that he brags about this almost every time I see him. It’s not amusing anymore; it’s actually kind of humiliating. For everyone involved. Yeah, even for me, I admit I am ashamed that I was one of his… conquests. This is one of the most important dating etiquette rules: no girl wants to feel like a number on in a black book – so really there’s no need to ever discuss how many women you’ve been with.

Being realistic

Ladies, your first date might teach you what it feels like to be standing on three inches of ice in the middle of the coldest ocean on earth. In other words, there is a chance you will be terrified of everything he says and does and you’re going to want to second guess every move he makes. Whenever you feel yourself comparing this guy to, remember this new guy isn’t your savor and he isn’t your hero, but nor is he the man that you’ve just left.

Gentlemen, let her be a lady, don’t second guess her either, or try to push your views on her. Accept her as she is she’ll accept you as you are, and hopefully, you’ll both have a wonderful evening.

Getting physical

Assuming the date goes amazingly, swimmingly, everything has gone perfectly do you, or don’t you, have sex on the first date? No! Sex is more important to women than it is to men because sex is about giving life. It is about sharing a piece of yourself that not everyone in the world gets. That being said men have some more self-respect. I admit I’ve had my fair share of one-night stands but I take them about as seriously as you do. If the girl you are dating is worth keeping around, she’s worth waiting for. More importantly, if you’re worth having around, you’re worth waiting for too! This is especially true for a woman who has just escaped an abusive relationship. If you really want to build a future with this person, sex can wait. It’s getting to know the part that makes sex amazing because it’s all those tiny moments that combine together to create true intimacy.

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Saying goodbyes

If you really are not interested in the person, do them and yourself a favor and try a simple “I had a really great time but I just don’t think we’re looking for the same things.” Or hell even “Hey so my life is super crazy right now and although you seem really great I just don’t have it in me to have a relationship right now” It is perfect it’s easy and it lets you both off the hook without anyone’s feelings getting overly hurt.

Guys, if you are not going to call her tomorrow don’t tell us you’re going to call tomorrow. It’s a dick move. It’s also a waste of time. I will never understand what enjoyment men get out of thinking we’re waiting by the phone for you to call. We’re not. No seriously, many of us actually did have a life before you came around and we’ll continue living it long after you’re gone.

Social media stalking

Do not, whatever you do attempt to find them on Google, Facebook, or Twitter! Especially Twitter. If ever you want to be completely turned off by someone’s personality, look at their Twitter account. No offense to our friends on Twitter, but we all know people tweeting things they wouldn’t say in person. Facebook should and is meant for friends and family not for you to investigate your dates. With our world being as interconnected as it is, leave some mystery. When and if they are willing to share their social media with you, they will. Until then let your dates keep their secrets and you keep yours.

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Moving on

Ladies! If you get one of these texts that they are not into you, do not freak out. Whatever the reason may be, it is not your fault, there is nothing wrong with you and your life is not over. You will not be single forever. I can prove it. I’m going to marry Chris Evans and I promise to post an “I told you so” picture on Instagram the moment it happens.

Devon is a survivor of abuse. She's one of the founders of The Literary Sisterhood and she believes that magic is possible. She also believes in fairies, gnomes, and spends far too many hours talking to the voices in her head while writing her debut novel.

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