How to behave on a date

Unbelievably, The Independent newspaper recently offered the following tips on dating behaviour:
  • Even if the conversation has run dry within 15 minutes, do not do a runner. It’s just mean and rude.
  • No “negging” – handing out backhanded compliments to gain the psychological upper hand. Although recommended by pick-up “experts”, it usually backfires for those looking for long-term romance.
  • Even if you are getting on brilliantly, rein in your fantasies about the future. Don’t make jokes about your wedding, and do not invite your companion to an event too far in the future.
  • Don’t treat it like a job interview. “How did you choose to spend your time during the career gap you had in 2017?” is not an appropriate question. Try to make the sharing of personal information reciprocal.
  • Don’t bring a friend. It may put you at ease, but it’s sure to have the opposite effect on your date.
  • Even if it’s going badly, don’t exploit your date for their professional expertise, however tempting it may be.

Wouldn’t you think all this would be common sense?  Whatever happened to judgment?  It might have been appropriate to tell the reader, not only what not to do, but what works best.  If I may make  some common sense suggestions:

*    Make her laugh

*    Make her laugh

*    Make her laugh

*    Ask her questions and don’t talk about yourself unless she asks.

*     Self-deprecation with a wry grin often works a treat ( in England, anyway!)

Please add to the above.  Only the experienced and successful need apply.



  1. A delightful topic a relief from the “news of the day” world. The five points might benefit by shifting the weight a bit. E.g., point #1 should be stated once and point # 4 should be stated three times. Shared laughter is a well-known tactic and relatively easy one to carry off (if both are from the same culture.) More important, shared humor can strong bond when it signals a wider world view. I don’t agree that learning how to navigate any part of human relationships is “common sense,” rather it takes heavy, heavy socialization of the young.
    The most demanding tip? “Ask her questions and don’t talk about yourself unless she asks.” That requires parental teaching from about age three when a child has developed from babbling phonemes to speaking in sentences. I’ve watched mothers teaching the child questions: “Ask Uncle Bob about his summer plans” or
    “Ask Nonna about her day.” By puberty the children are primed not only to ASK questions but also to LISTEN to the answers. On dates, engaged listening is particularly aphrodisiackey. The tricky part of #5, self-deprecation because the listener knows that the deprecation is carefully chosen so it may seem a back door to virtue-signaling. Eager to learn of other “tips.” 🙂

  2. I’m shocked by the number of men I know who don’t know how to talk to women. The problem is twofold. Men often struggle to talk about their emotions, especially to those they don’t know well. This is terrible when talking to women, who place a greater emphasis on emotions. Also, men struggle to relate to women on a practical level. They don’t know how to have conversations on topics women may find interesting. None of this is helped by the nature of male-only conversation, which often consists of coarse banter, in-jokes incomprehensible to the outsider, and an over-emphasis on sport.

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