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Good Manners - How To Impress on the First Date

Updated on April 29, 2013

First impressions count!

You spend a lot of time before a date thinking about your appearance, and hoping you will be entertaining company, but just as important to dating success is the way you behave personally and in public.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to develop attractive and acceptable good manners, and leave your date with the best possible impression.

What Are Good Manners?

Good manners differ from person to person, from family to family and from culture to culture. Broadly speaking, good manners are actions that show respect for the other person.

When we travel internationally, it is good sense to research the culture of the people to whose country we are visiting. This learning how to behave appropriately is the polite thing to do and displays respect. Your actions and willingness to understand will be sure to be appreciated.

Dating is exactly the same. The problem is that it is a little harder to do the research on someone you are seeing romantically.

Most people are aware, within their own community, of what are considered to be good manners. I believe the important first step is to practise these good manners in everyday life, so that they become second nature to you. Then you won't feel pressured to be something different on a date.

Once you are on your date, you can be confident of impressing if you:

  • Be aware of the culture of your date.
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion.
  • Aim to make the other person feel special and attractive.
  • Consider others around you.
  • Be aware of the expected etiquette wherever you go.
  • Act appropriately to your surroundings.
  • Always act in a way that you consider to be polite.
  • Make your date feel comfortable.

Definite "No No's"

Sometimes bad habits become such a part of us, we don't even notice what we're doing.

Here are a few examples of behavior that really won't be appreciated on a date under pretty much any circumstances:

  • Ignore or interrupt your date's conversation. You immediately send out the message that you think your date is boring.
  • Pay more attention to your cell phone than your date ... ideally your cell should be switched off and out of sight.
  • Be late ... either to be picked up or to arrive. Punctuality shows respect for the other person's time.
  • Expect your date to pay, drive you home etc. Don't assume ... then if it happens, you'll be naturally appreciative
  • Talk about ex-partners.
  • Swear, brag or talk down to your date

Great Manners Every Time

The secret to having perfect manners is to always be aware of your date, and what makes him or her feel comfortable.

It really is that simple: all you have to do is be observant. Look for body language.

For example, thinking about door opening, if a woman pauses at a door, she will more than likely be giving the man the chance to open it for her. On the other hand, if she moves straight to the door and walks through, or opens it for the man, then you know she is more into "equality manners".

Watch how the other person eats and uses eating utensils, and how he or she reacts to how you use yours. If you notice any discomfort, try subtley mimicking the other person and see if that relaxes the situation. Remember that being a snob and making someone feel inferior is just as rude as being slob and embarrassing your date!

If you have the chance, be very aware of how members of your date's family treat each other. This often offers the greatest insight into the manner values of your date.

Sometimes people are incompatible based on manners alone. No-one wants to date someone who they consider to be rude. If you wish to develop a proper relationship with someone, you need to be able to relax in each others' company.

Good luck!

So Are Good Manners Important?

Absolutely!  They are not just important, they are essential for successful dating!

Partners need to be proud of each other, not embarrassed or ashamed.  Whatever your personal ideas of good manners, the person you are dating must be able to see that you have them, and you must see them in that person.

Just For Fun

Bad table manners ... don't let this be you!


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    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 4 years ago

      Very important point you've brought up here. Without manners, forget it. I mean, what's the point of dating a rude person? There really isn't one. On the other hand, if you think a guy is a little rough around the edges and just needs some strong direction, then there is nothing wrong with telling him something like, "Listen, I am a lady and I really appreciate it when a man acts like a gentleman, so if you're good with that, we can go out a second time. If not, then I wish you well, but I will not be dating you again."

      If he can be boldly ill-mannered, you can be boldly direct. He might even be surprised in a good way. Some men are up for being kept on their toes and sometimes the woman just has to let him know that's the way it's got to be. Anyway, you're doing him a favor by letting him know that bad manners are not cool, attractive, sexy, appealing... or anything else that is worthwhile. Amen.

      And that's my soapbox special for the day! ;)

    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 4 years ago from United States

      Men say that they are only being real... a poor excuse to act rudely in front of his date. Manners do count, especially on a first date. Manners do matter. As one above says, first impressions last.

    • profile image

      MannersMatter 4 years ago

      I have been on lots of dates and it's true that good manners do make a difference. Lots of men seem to think that manners aren't important, but I would much prefer to go out with a man who knows how to behave. Once I went out with a man who answered his phone more than twenty times during the meal, and he even asked me to answer for him when he went to the bathroom. Rude. I also can't stand men who chew with their mouths open. Yuck!

    • herpointofview profile image

      herpointofview 7 years ago

      I agree!

    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 7 years ago from Seattle

      Of coarse, first impressions lasts.