Fine-Tune Your Dating Etiquette and Style

Does the thought of going on a date make you want to run in the other direction? It doesn’t have to. Make your appearance and manners work for you rather than against you and you’ll feel infinitely more confident. Here are ten tips to help you make that great first impression.

1. Take some time to choose your outfit. If you are dressed poorly, it looks like you have a lack of respect for yourself. Don’t mistake a “casual date” to mean it’s okay to show up in jeans and a worn t-shirt. If your outfit is well thought out, you’re expressing thoughtfulness for you and your date.

2. Don’t ogle over your date’s attire. It’s appropriate to pay a friendly compliment, but don’t make them feel uncomfortable by starring inappropriately.

3. Be clear about your plans. Is this a coffee date? Will you be taking a hike in a local park? Are you going to a wine bar for a drink? Find out what you are doing ahead of time so that your outfit won’t turn into a wardrobe malfunction. If the communication is unclear you could be wearing heels that would be great for a wine bar but not great for strolling along grassy city paths.

4. Grooming is a sign of how well you take care of yourself. Make sure you are representing yourself properly by tending to the details that make a big difference, such as trimming eyebrows, moisturizing dry skin, buffing or polishing your nails, and/or getting a haircut.

5. Listen and ask questions. Nobody wants to hear your entire life story on the first date. Also consider avoiding sensitive topics such as religion, politics and past relationships.

6. Eye contact is important. Lack of eye contact can lead to a couple of assumptions: insecurity or lack of interest. Your eye contact with another will assure them that you are present and engaged.

7. Watch your words. Coarse or crass language is an instant turnoff for most people. Save the off-colour jokes for the fifth date or never.

8. Keep your cell phone off, out of your hands and off the table. Give your first date your undivided attention.

9. It may be old-fashioned, but all the old courtesy rules apply. Help your date with his or her coat, open car doors, and pull out chairs.

10. Don’t wear out your welcome. Set aside 1 to 2 hours for a first date. If it goes well, both of you will be looking forward to the next one.

Regina Gershman is a certified Image Consultant and Dating Coach from George Brown College.  Her goal is to empower her clients’ dating and etiquette style, appearance, business, social, anger-management, and adult/teen’s self-esteem.  For more information, please visit: , by email: or call (416) 305-4477. 


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