Valentine’s Day a magical time when love is in the air and romance is in full bloom. However, the taste of romance can turn sour when certain protocols of dating are breached. Your Valentine’s Day can be a lot sweeter if you keep the following etiquette tips in mind.
Give as much notice as possible when making your restaurant reservation. Most restaurants are booked several weeks prior to the holidays. By booking early, you increase your chances of getting a good table with the best view. For maximum privacy, request a table that is not situated near the kitchen, the entrance, or the restrooms.
Be on time for your date. Tardiness does not reflect well on you. It tells your date that she is not important enough for you to make an effort to be punctual. A few minutes behind schedule is acceptable to most people but if you are running extremely late, show your respect by calling and apologizing.
If you are paying for dinner, you are also responsible for choosing the restaurant. Consider your date’s interests and tastes when making your selection.
If you are the host, allow your date to select their menu choices before you make your own. If your budget permits expensive items, make suggestions to your date by saying, “The lobster is excellent.”
When your food arrives, eat at a moderate pace so that you can focus less on the food and more on your date. Never take or make a call on your cell phone or send a text message at the table. To make a good impression, give your date your full, undivided attention.
The question of who pays for what on a date can be complicated. Traditionally, the man was expected to pay for everything but like many traditions the custom has changed and molded itself into the new society to allow for common sense. Today, the cost of a date is sometimes split or the woman may offer to pick up the tab. Just remember…the person who does the inviting is responsible for paying. Nothing ruins a great dinner faster than learning that your host has no intention of paying the bill.
The Art of Gift Giving
Pamper your date with a genuine compliment such as telling him how nice he looks. A compliment should be received graciously and not be dismissed by saying something like, “These pants are so old; I just haven’t had the opportunity to wear them until now.”
As a token of your love or friendship, present your date with a gift. The price of the gift will depend on how well you know each other and how long you’ve been dating. Flowers are a popular choice this time of year. Red roses are traditionally associated with romantic love. But flowers today have a much broader vocabulary and a favorite color or flower can express just the right sentiment. Many people prefer yellow, pink, peach and white roses. Unconventional colors such as lavender and orange roses are also becoming more popular. Men and women alike enjoy houseplants and orchids.
Other popular gifts include fine chocolates, a bottle of wine or champagne, scented candles, a cookie bouquet, or a decorative picture frame. Gift cards to the movies, Starbucks, an online bookstore or tickets to a musical or sporting event can also please a variety of people.
Show Your Gratitude
Thank your date as a means to show your gratitude. With a positive attitude, you can always find something nice to say, even if the evening proves to be less than perfect. If you had a nice time, call your date the next day or write a thank-you note as soon as possible.