Improved Old-fashioned Dating Etiquette

Not that we're advocating a return to those cringe-worthy pre-bra-burning days when women only spoke when spoken to, had to be tucked up in bed (alone!) by lOpm and had never so much as heard of a zigazig-ha, but there's a lot to be said for learning not to give too much of yourself away too quickly. Here, the vintage dating tips tweaked for today's dating scene. 



The '50s Way: 

“When a guy asks you out, it's polite to give an immediate answer.”

The 2012 Way: 

A bit of teasing is fun — but only after you have secured a first date. Before that, he'll just find your evasiveness frustrating. Men don't enjoy being led-on — they want a date. If you feel a connection with the guy, accept his invitation for a date quickly. And be direct and tell him no if you are sure he's not your type. Save the text tennis for post-date games. 

The '50s Way: 

“Don’t break a date without a valid reason”

The 2012 Way: 

Not only is social gazumping just plain rude, it's also likely to land you in hot water. People are connected virtually. They post on their Facebook and Twitter about seeing you. How embarrassing for your date to see you went out with someone? Honesty is the best policy. 

The '50s Way:

“Be ready when your date arrives”

The 2012 Way: 

It might take you hours gluing on your falsies and perfecting that just-got-out-of-bed 'do, but he doesn't need to know that. Fashionably late is when a man waits for you at the door for ten minutes tops. If he has to wait an hour, you're telling him that it takes quite a bit of effort to look as good as you do and that's a problem: we want our style, grace and class to look effortless. 

The '50s Way: 

 “Don’t apply your make-up in public”

The 2012 Way: 

Guys told that preening at the table is a big no-no. They hate it when a girl starts applying mascara or lipgloss in front of them.

man and women first day
The '50s Way: 

“It’s ladylike to let him order for you”

The 2012 Way: 

Unless you're in Mad Men and on a date with Don Draper, it's uncool for a guy to order your food — after all, you're the one has to eat it. But if he's footing the bill, be conscious of going to town on the caviar and bubbly. Pay attention, he might discreetly suggest the limits of his budget. If he suggests the lobster and steak as great menu choices he is saying order what you prefer — there's no limitation. But if he suggests menu items lower in price or on special, follow his lead and do not order something expensive. Likewise, if dinner is your treat, subtly let him know if you're prepared to shell out for a slap-up three-courser, or if he should skip starters and go straight to mains. 

The '50s Way: 

“Don’t humiliate guy by trying to pay on the first date”

The 2012 Way: 

This one can be tricky. General rule: its fine to let the guy pay, just make sure he knows you don't expect him to break the bank every time you go out together. Let a guy pay if he asked you on the date. But offer to invite him to your favourite restaurant next time or to yours for dinner. 

The '50s Way: 

“It’s only floozies that ask guys out”

The 2012 Way: 

We've moved past the days where we have to wait to be asked out, but don't give too much away from the get-go. Take your online dating profile: if you list all your qualities, it puts you in a position of sales woman, asking men to 'buy' your product. Instead, list the qualities you are looking for — this switches the tables and means he has to 'sell' himself to you. 

The '50s Way: 

“It’s only proper to introduce your date to your parents”

The 2012 Way: 

You may not be living with your parents, but it is a good idea to invite a new date in to meet your flatmates — you can't underestimate their judgement. It's easy to get charmed by a bad boy, and once your attraction-meter skyrockets your judgment can plummet. So, introduce him to trusted friends a.s.a.p.

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