Hopefully, you have understood and practiced some level of etiquette before today, but we'll review some of the helpful hints that will enable you to present yourself as the "man or lady of the town" and a "socialite" that will make your date feel special and comfortable. Knowing and practicing etiquette is also invaluable in business scenarios.
Etiquette is a system of refined manners, or in other words, a code that influences expectations for social behavior. Emily Post said, "manners are the outward manifestation of one's innate character & attitude towards life." Manners are passed from generation to generation, justifying the statement, "we teach by example."
Learn to practice etiquette until it becomes a part of you. Here are some refresher tips on etiquette and dating.
*NEVER BE LATE FOR ANYTHING!! Be a few minutes early. This shows the person they are important to you.
*Good grooming and dressing neatly are part of a well mannered gentleman or lady!
*Only get dressed in your home - Never finish dressing in public - such a putting on a tie in the parking lot!
*Never brush your hair or put on extended makeup in public, especially in a church meeting.
*In a social setting, a lady can quickly brush lips with lipstick, but not at the dinner table.
*Gentlemen always go to the door to begin the date. Never sit in the car and honk the horn and expect a lady to come to the car for the date.
*For younger people, expect to be asked in and meet her parent(s). Although you may feel a little uncomfortable, this is a good sign they care about their daughter.
*If it is a formal date like prom, the man offers his left arm to the lady and she puts her right arm through his upper arm, as he bends his elbow.
*The corsage is worn on the left side. If there are spaghetti straps, then the corsage is pinned at the top of the bodice on the left side just below the straps. A corsage can always be worn at the waist and a wrist corsage is worn on your left arm near the wrist. If you have a one - shoulder dress, the corsage is worn on the side with the shoulder. A corsage can also be pinned to an evening purse, should you choose.
*In a limo or car with a chauffeur, the owner (for teenagers, the one who is paying) always sits right hand side of rear seat unless they are RANKED ABOVE you. In other words, the most importantly ranked sits on the right hand side of the rear seat.
*Always open doors for her and as you approach the car. Step forward and open her door and give her plenty of time to sit down in the car, and then close the door.
*A woman is always introduced to a man no matter what age or importance, except the President of United States or Royalty!!
*The man always rises when a woman enters the room. In a restaurant, when a lady approaches & speaks, rise halfway, nod your head, and then sit down. The man rises again when she is leaving.
*If she is excusing herself to go to "the powder room," the man rises halfway again and then sits back down as she walks away.
*A man always shakes a man's hand.
*A lady only offers her hand to people she is acquainted with. If a man offers his hand, the woman shakes his hand. In modern business settings, the lady offers her hand to a gentleman.
*A gentleman always takes off his hat when there is a roof over his head, the National Anthem is being played / sung, and when you are walking on the street and a funeral procession goes by!
*When you are walking along the sidewalk or road, the man always takes curbside. The gent never walks or stands between two women.
*A gentleman offers to carry things for the lady and offers his arm to an older lady for support.
*At night, the gent always offers his arm to a woman. (+See Note above)
*If you go to the movies on a double date, the two women sit in the middle with a man on each end. This is so the man can get to the aisle easily to go buy refreshments or whatever she needs!
*The gent always pays for dinner, movie, etc. If she stops for something and you offer to pay and she says, "I'll get it," then you don't have to pay!
*A lady sits with her legs together in a dignified position. She doesn't have to be totally stiff backed, but never leans back in a chair.
*A smart woman makes their man seem cleaver!! The woman should do it and the man should expect it!
*When you approach the restaurant table, pull her chair out and help her be seated. The lady sits on the left of the man.
*Both take their napkin, unfold it until it is folded in half, and place it in their laps. The napkin stays in the lap unless you have to excuse yourself and leave the table. At this time, the napkin is placed in the chair until you return.
*When you are finished eating, place the knife, fork & spoon in the middle of your plate. The fork & spoon are turned over indicating to the waiter that you are done.
*When you are finished and leaving the table, place your napkin neatly on the table.
*When the dinner is over, the gentleman slowly pulls the chair back as she is getting up from the chair. Pulling the chair out from under her too quickly may cause her to fall to the floor!
*When you rise from the table, don't drink any beverage or keep talking - don't keep your host & hostess standing there.
* A gentleman rewards good service from the waiter. Twenty percent or more is the common amount for tipping at evening dinners. Waiters receive a very small hourly wage, so they look forward to providing good service and receiving a generous tip.
*When you go out with another couple you have invited, then you, the host, drives and pays! The check arrangements should be handled with the waiter initially.
*It is ill-mannered to invite someone and then say, "we are going Dutch."
*RSVP means to answer the invitation immediately, as to whether you will attend.
*If the invitation says "Regrets Only," then you respond only if you are NOT coming.
*A thank you note should be written and mailed within three days.
Proper etiquette for your date and business associates, even in the 21st century will gain you many rewards. If you choose not to use proper etiquette, you may miss out on the relationship or business association you have long waited for. Practice these tips in your life until they are a part of the great person you are and others think so too!