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Date Etiquette:

by Lisa Laird

Problem: You’re at the party with your “honey” and he/she leaves you to talk to someone of the opposite sex. They are gone too long and your comfort button is pushed.  You go over, ignore the person they’re talking to, and pull them away. You express your dislike in no uncertain terms and you cause a scene, or you simply stay where you are, sulk, say nothing, and pout the rest of the evening.

Protocol:  You don’t go over at all.  When you’re out, you allow your partner all the room they need to be sociable with others, as long as they remain respectful.  If they don’t, you don’t confront…you just leave – which makes a far better statement than anything you could ever say.

Problem:  You have a date with someone who you sometimes enjoy, but you’re not necessarily fascinated.  When the evening comes, you change your mind and decide there is something else you’d rather do or someone else you’d rather be with.  You don’t call to cancel, because you can’t stand the drama, or you don’t feel like creating an excuse.  You just don’t show up.  You make up your mind to lie the next day.

Protocol:  Be honest.  Call the person and tell them the truth without the details.  If you decided you want to see someone else, regrettably apologize for the last-minute cancellation, and say that your plans have changed, and you’d like to make it another time. Remember, cowards lie and jerks just don’t show up.  The worst thing to do is keep the date with your mind elsewhere, and cut the evening short when you can’t stand it any longer.

Problem: You’re in a social setting with a date, and you’re pulled over to be introduced to someone who strikes you as not interesting.  You don’t smile or look the person directly in the eye because you don’t view them as important.  You nod and look away distractedly while shaking the person’s hand. You are not interested and it’s obvious to the person.

Protocol:  Keep in mind that you’re being introduced to a person just like you.  You should be gracious and not judge anyone by their appearance.  You smile warmly repeating the person’s name for clarity with genuine interest as you extend your right hand to shake and use your left hand to cup the handshake. You say with sincerity that you are pleased to have made the acquaintance, and you mean it. For emphasis on this point, think about how you’d feel if someone responded to you in the above manner…you would most likely be highly offended.  Plus, you never know where you may meet up with that person again, and you may be in need, and they remember the slight.

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