Basic Dating Etiquette for Men
Want to make a good impression on the woman you’re with? Here are some suggestions to help her realize that you’re a genuine mensch:
Let her know the venue for your date. That way, she can feel that she’s dressed appropriately. If your date is too overdressed, underdressed, or inappropriately dressed for what you’ve got planned, her level of discomfort may derail even the most promising shidduch.
Food is important. It isn’t always a good idea to go out for a three-course meal on a first date – it’s easier to break the ice with someone new in a less formal setting. But, it’s important to include some kind of refreshment on every date - if you're not already meeting for coffee, dessert, or drinks, suggest, “I think it’s a good idea to get something to drink/eat. What can I order for you?”
If you’re planning to take her for dinner, say so when you arrange the date, so she won’t eat beforehand. And if your planned 1 ½ hour cocktail date turns into a long, animated conversation, be a gentleman and offer, “I can’t believe how the time has flown. There’s a nice kosher café a few blocks from here – why don’t we get something to eat?”
Your grooming’s important, too. After a long day at work or on motzei Shabbos, shower, shave, and wear fresh clothes. Your date will have freshened up and will notice when you don’t.
Do advance planning. You’ll make a good impression if you appear to have covered all of your bases before your date. Know where you’re going and how to get there. Carry enough money and credit cards, so you don’t have to stop at an ATM, and have an alternate plan in case the place you’ve selected has an unexpected closure. Don’t keep her waiting in your car while you rush to daven mincha. And if you’re planning to pick up your date and you don’t have a car, it’s a good idea to have a taxi wait at the curb while you go inside to meet her.
Always be a gentleman. Okay, her looks are not what you expected, or whatever you’ve been told about her is totally off. It’s still important to be courteous and polite, and finish the date properly.
Make sure she gets home safely. If you’ve picked her up, you’re responsible to take her home, or at the very least to get her a taxi and pay for the fare. If you’ve arranged to meet, ask her how she’s getting home. Take her to the bus or train stop and wait with her until it arrives. If it is late or public transportation is infrequent or far away, it’s appropriate for you to drive her home or get her a cab.
Follow up with consideration. If you don’t think you’re going to ask her date out again, just tell her, “It was very nice to meet you.” Don’t promise you’ll call if you have no intention of doing so. Whether you want a second date or not, get back to her or to the shadchan as quickly as possible - at the most within 24 hours.