Manners maketh the man, and this is never truer than during a date. Small gestures of consideration and kindness are all it takes to make your companion feel special. This is the key to being a gentleman – not the top hat and gravity-defying moustache (though that might work for some).
Don’t keep her waiting
There’s no such thing as being fashionably late. No date is impressed by tardiness. Always arrive a little early – this will give you time to relax a little and familiarise yourself with the surroundings. When your date arrives, stand to greet them, offer to take their coat and pull out their chair for them.
Avoid the overblown
Don’t imagine yourself as a gallant knight – the age of chivalry is long gone. Damsels don’t need rescuing, and perfectly good cloaks don’t need to be paid across muddy puddles. Over-the-top gestures can make your date feel awkward, and can stray into sexist territory. For example, if you go to a restaurant, don’t order on your date’s behalf. You want to make your date feel like more of a person, not less of one.
The strong and silent type is generally useless on a date. Instead, try your best to engage your date in quality conversation. It doesn’t have to be witty or clever – after all, you’re not in a Parisian salon. What is important is that you learn about your companion, and that your companion learns about you.
If you ask her a question, listen to the answer and expand on it – don’t just use it as a springboard to talk more about yourself. If you find yourself in a debate, be open to changing your opinion.
Attend to your appearance
You may not care what you look like, but your date will. With this in mind, make an effort with your appearance. Dress for the occasion – a gentleman is always appropriately attired. At the very least, make sure that you are clean and that your clothes are clean. Don’t arrive straight from work or, even worse, from the gym.
You should be polite to everyone you encounter during the date. There’s no point being super nice to your date and then being arrogant and offhand with everyone else. A gentleman is quietly confident – he doesn’t have to try and dominate every interaction.
Your date should be the focus of your attention. The last thing you want is for them to feel like you’d rather be somewhere else. Turn your mobile off and resist the temptation to keep looking around. Sit with your back to surrounding activity if you’re easily distracted.
To pay or not to pay?
Footing the bill at the end of an evening can be a nice thing to do, providing that you don’t do it ostentatiously. However, this really isn’t for everyone so if you offer make sure you don’t insist and follow your instincts. If your offer to pay is accepted don’t expect praise for doing so, modesty is a gentleman’s best friend.
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