Dating Do’s and Don’ts

By: Elle Northalle Lee, Health & Wellness Editor

Posted on Location: , 7 min read

Everyone wants to meet their Mr Or Mrs Right someday and a lot of times you find this person at different times of your life but one wrong move on a date can ruin everything. It probably already happened a few times and that is why you are here.

First of all, Dating is a privilege. It is about exploration- understanding yourself and the other person. If you make it all about finding your soulmate, it may be too much pressure for the other party to handle and it will most likely make them run for the nearest exit. 

Dating allows you to explore sides to yourself you never knew existed; you get to find out what you are capable of when it involves someone you care about. You also get to know the kind of person you would love to spend the rest of your life with or not by exploring different characters and behaviours.

The Do’s of Dating

  1. Be there on time

Say you meet a person through a social media platform or a dating website and you agree to meet in person, you must be there on time. The feeling of being stood up or not being seen as a priority enough to be punctual can ruin the vibe of the date. If you are running late due to circumstances beyond your control, contact your date to tell them that you will be unavoidably late. This also shows that you have respect for the person and you are a decent human being.

  1. Be attentive

Though a good portion of human communication is verbal most of it is non-verbal. Yes, people say a lot of things but the body’s response tells us a lot more about the person. Sometimes the mouth may be saying one thing but the body is subtly sending a different message. E.g. Your date might say she is not cold but if you are attentive you may notice her slight shivers and offer her your coat (ladies, find such gestures sweet).

By being attentive, you can get more information about a person; likes, dislikes, facts, truths, philosophies etc.

  1. Listen as much as you are speaking

Dating involves two people and you both are trying to learn and understand each other. Each party has to make it a priority to listen to the other- this is when communication is effective.  While trying to give the other party information about yourself, give room for the person to tell you his or her story too. 

You don’t want to seem talkative and self-absorbed or else the person will get tired of seeing you because they feel like they don’t matter and you are content with the sound of your voice alone.  

  1. Ask questions 

Creating conversation maybe difficult if you don’t ask questions. Some people tend to keep to themselves and the best way to get to know them is to simply ask questions. Not intrusive and private questions but general life questions that tell you more about the person e.g. where they are from, how they grew up, siblings if any, etc.

Asking questions also shows that you are enthusiastic about learning more about the person and genuinely interested in the person. Try to avoid too personal questions so you don’t spook your date. If you advance past the first date, you can then ask deeper questions. 

  1. Dress for the occasion

If you are meeting the person for the first time, dress properly. This does not mean expensive because you should live within your means and not overspend to impress. Look decent! Don’t go on a date looking scruffy and unkempt. Find out the kind of place you are meeting and dress for the occasion. Your outfit may be casual, but your date will appreciate your effort at looking good.

  1. Be Honest

From the pictures you put on the dating website to what you say during the date, you must be honest. Don’t get caught weaving a web of lies, it won’t end well. Some people do background checks on the person they go out with not because they don’t trust but they just like to verify information recieved.

Always try to correct any misinformation or assumption the person may have and clarify the details that your partner may have missed so they don’t ever feel like they are being deceived.

  1. Live in the moment

No matter how great or bad the date is going, always enjoy the moment. Do not leave your heart out of the date because you don’t want to get hurt. Enjoy the moments and stop worrying if the person is “the one” or a perfect fit for you. If you are not crazy about the person from the first sight, calm down, It ok! Not everybody gets the lightning bolt effect, sometimes it grows on you. You just have to make sure that you and the person vibe.  

Thinking too far ahead can place unnecessary expectations on both parties. Rather focus on what is and not what might be. Life is mostly unpredictable so just have fun. 

The Don’ts of Dating

  1. Don’t oversell yourself

When getting a person to know you, don’t oversell yourself. In reality, no one wants to know how great you are especially from you. Usually, people want to conclude their assessment of a person by themselves.  

You may mean no harm by trying to make yourself look great, but your date will most likely not see it that way because you may come off as pompous and narcissistic. Focus on basic information about yourself that your date seems to find interesting and build on it. 

  1. Keep your phone away

During the first date and after (if you get past the first one), try to stay away from your phone as much as possible. Social media, texts, emails can be a great distraction from enjoying a wonderful time with your date. The first step is to kill every form of alerts- Tones or buzzing, so you can give your full attention to your partner.

Everyone wants to feel like they are a priority in someone’s life and that requires giving attention to the person. If you spent an awful amount of time on the phone when you are with such a person, it would cause problems. 

  1. Resist the urge to be perfect

For certain kinds of personalities, there is the nagging urge for everything to always be perfect. But things don’t always work out the way we want. When dating, resist the urge to always be perfect, allow mistakes and enjoy the moments.

Imperfections can also be seen as uniqueness; it all depends on perspective. So, don’t be worried about your little quirks or weird habits that your date may find unimpressive. That is what makes you who you are. 

  1. Avoid cheesy statements

Don’t do it!!! Don’t use cheesy lines when dating. Maybe they were cute when you were 13 years old, but your date will most likely not find it cool except you are trading high school stories. Leave the cheesy statements to Hollywood and High school kids except of course you have the intention of never going past the first date.  

  1. Don’t forget to compliment your partner

When you are out on a date and your partner dresses up, give compliments. No hates anyone who tells them they look beautiful or says something good about them. Don’t become weirdly flirtatious or subscribe to flattery, rather keep it at short and sweet compliments.

If you proceed to have regular dates, from time to time notice the subtle changes and complement those too e.g. a new haircut, or tie or a new dress. It shows that you are being attentive.

  1. Stay away from touchy subjects

When getting to know a person e.g. the first dates, you may want to stay off touchy subjects like religion and politics. Although, a person’s stance on such issues can give you perspective about the person, getting into an active conversation about this might ruin your date without even getting to know the person. If you then get to talk about this topic stay at the shallow end of the topic and don’t try to change the person’s views and opinions if it differs from yours. 

Also, try to avoid talking about sad parts of your life like past relationships so your date does not become a therapy session where you cry and vent. This may be a total turnoff for the other party. 

Note that this particular hack mainly works for the first few dates. The moment the relationship gets more intense, these are topics that would have to be discussed in depth

You will find the love of your life if you choose to just enjoy the dating process and learn about yourself and the other person. It is possible to go on a first date and meet one person that ticks all the boxes, but in reality, it does not always happen that way.  Your heart may get broken a few times even with these tips because there is no hard and fast rule to perfecting human interactions, but you will be stronger as you grow and learn.

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