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Tips for the Dating Dilettante

 How to survive a Valentine’s Day date sans regret by Atlanta etiquette expert Patti Davis.

Valentine’s Day is approaching, so I thought I would discuss dating etiquette this month. Here are some tips to make you look like a star on February 14 and beyond.

The Ask. This can seem scary, but go ahead and ask that certain someone to go for coffee or to a concert. Just make sure you ask at least a few days in advance. No one likes to feel like they are a last resort. And if they say no due to a conflict, it is perfectly fine to ask him/her out another time. But if the second time the answer is “no,” then don’t ask again. Time to move on.

Ask questions. Try to ask questions that are open-ended and cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Some ideas might be: “What do you do for fun?” or “Tell me about your day.” People love to talk about themselves, and be sure to interject with your own fabulous stories, too.

Don’t stress. We’ve all made mistakes on dates. Maybe you’ve spilled wine or had bathroom tissue stuck on your shoe. Show your date your good humor by laughing it off and continuing to enjoy the evening. You can always run to the dry cleaner in the morning. Stressing out is much worse than a stain on your shirt. And if you’re really concerned about spills, pack stain sheets in your pocket and excuse yourself briefly to the powder room.

Keep the drinking to a minimum. You are having a terrific time, you’ve had a couple of drinks and one more wouldn’t hurt, right? Wrong. Keeping the drinking to a minimum of two will keep your head clearer. When your head is clear, you are less likely to say or do anything you might regret in the morning.

Saying Goodnight. If the date went well and you would like to call him/her, say so, and then follow up with a call within two days. Never say you are going to call when you have no intention of doing so. If you are not interested in seeing them again, just say, “Good night.”

There you go. A few guidelines for putting your best foot forward. Even if the person is not right for you, you’ve made a sterling impression. And who knows? Mr./Ms. Not-Right-For-You might end up introducing you to the love of your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Photo Credit: Like Like You card by New Orleans’ Lionheart Prints. Buy it on Etsy here

Patti Davis lives in Atlanta and teaches etiquette at Dazzling Manners. She’s here every other month discussing general etiquette and other ways to make life a little nicer. Do you have an etiquette question? Comment and post it here or e-mail her at [email protected] and she would be delighted to help. You can also follow her on Twitter @DazzlingManners or like her on Facebook

Past columns by Patti Davis: 

Cocktail Courtesy
Call Me Maybe
Thanks for Everything
Phone Etiquette for Toddlers
Home for the Holidays

Literary Friday
Romance at Red Horse