Welcome to the second Etiquette Monday since I started this category on the blog. I hope you had a wonderful week and weekend.
The discussion for this week is “Old fashioned dating habits”.
This week is the week of love. Tomorrow, 14th of February is Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day! Tomorrow is a day where florists, fragrance shops, restaurants, day cruises, car rentals and others make a profit off the value placed on love. Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day came to be? I came across a narrative of Valentine’s Day from the history channel. For centuries people have recognised and celebrated the day with their loved ones by giving them gifts and all the attention they deserve.
My etiquette post today, will be based on your Valentine’s date. As you plan for tomorrow, are there any etiquette rules that you will be following? Or do you think that etiquette is only necessary in business settings or when meeting aristocrats? In everything that we do, how we conduct ourselves goes along way. Let’s take an example of a usual Valentine’s date. As the gentleman you will book a fancy restaurant for dinner, tell her to get a taxi (if you cannot pick her from her house), meet her at the restaurant, give her a rose (if the lady at the restaurant reception hasn’t already given your date one), order for your meals, eat and drink, participate in small talk, then either walk her to the taxi waiting for her or take her home with you; and the date is over.
Below are 10 old fashioned dating habits I found on the internet, that I know would make a difference if followed this Valentine’s Day and days after.
Let’s use the example of the Valentine’s date above but incorporate some of the habits above. Before booking a fancy restaurant, send him or her a letter or message asking the person to be your Valentine (don’t assume that you are automatically their Valentine), preferable do this today. When she or he accepts, now go ahead and book the fancy restaurant (book it today if you haven’t done so) or better yet cook a fancy meal at home. If you choose to do the latter you may need to decorate your dining room or living room (where you’ll be eating from) with either some red and pink roses, or red cut outs, or candles (the internet will give you different ideas), it does not have to be something expensive or overdone.
As you shop for ingredients or for the restaurant remember to shop for a gift. Do not rely on the single roses that most restaurants give ladies on the day. A gift is a noble gesture. When the time for the date nears, please plan to pick her up from her house. Make sure you are well groomed. When you reach her house walk to the doorstep ring the doorbell and wait for her. Walk her to the car and open the door for her. When you reach the restaurant or your house, get out of the car before her and open the door for her. Most ladies notice all these small gestures.When at the restaurant, put your mobile phone on silent, switch off wi-fi or cellular data and leave it in your pocket. The few hours you have together give her or him your undivided attention.
As you both eat get into meaningful a conversation. Get to know how her/his day was; what their plans for the new year are; build a conversation from the interest she/he mentions. If there is music and a dance floor, ask her to dance if you both like dancing. Later before or after dessert, present her with the gift you bought or made for her.When you have finished eating and you are both ready to leave, take her home and walk her to her doorstep. At this point you may be tempted to get in and have a cup of tea or glass of wine or beer, but what if you said goodnight and gave her a kiss or peck then you leave (if you two do not live together)? The views on this maybe different.
If the date above is not your usual planning, try it. It will not be difficult. All you need to have is initiative. Practice at least 7 or 8 of the above habits tomorrow and every day after that. The end result will be different from the previous Valentine’s dates you have had in the past. For others, if that is how your dates usually are, please teach those who have it different from you.
Although we live in a technology era, let us bring back old fashioned dating and when best to start this, if not tomorrow. Whether, you are dating, married, or taking your friend on a date tomorrow, practise those habits.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and week.