Dating Manners

So many budding romances are killed off at the first fence because of our inability to contain our curiosity, keep our mouths shut or dress conservatively. The art of getting to know our fellow human beings is one rarely mastered easily and wrong impressions are often conveyed through nerves or simple impatience.
First dates are terrible. Nerves are understandable considering your chosen companion for the evening is naturally about to assess all your faults and virtues and no doubt find some of them unacceptable.
The trick is to try not to care too much about the second date and concentrate on getting through the first one. Try to be yourself - up to a point - if 'being yourself' involves drinking to excess and then dancing on the table, it might be a good idea to exercise some constraint until you get to know your date a little better!
Before you agree to the date, ask about dress code. If you are going casual, make sure 'casual' does not include torn or grubby clothing. Make sure your hair is brushed and shining and your fingernails are clean and properly manicured. The casual approach is nice as long as there is still some attention paid to basic cleanliness and a nice waft of expensive perfume or after shave in the vicinity.
Formal wear can be a little more complicated but it is unlikely first daters will have to be troubled by formal attire. Low cut dresses are out of the question and pay some attention to wearing reasonable heels. Four inch heels will diminish all but the tallest of men and give the impression of dominance.
Having appeared at the designated time and place (don´t be late), take some time to assess your companion quietly rather than gushing all over the place without giving him (or her) a chance to say hello. If the restaurant is your companion's choice then be sure to politely allow them to ask for the menu, decide where to sit and generally be the one to communicate with the waiter, until such time as you are invited to make your own choices.
If you should decide you like your partner for the evening, remember to give them plenty of time to tell you about themselves rather than hogging the conversation. There should be plenty to say on first getting to know someone; if there isn´t then perhaps you have little in common. Should that be the case, try to enjoy the evening as a one off and not dwell too much on the disappointment of not meeting your dream soul mate. There are plenty more fish in the ocean.
Keep the conversation general rather than personal, unless private information is freely volunteered, and remember that personal information is a two way exchange; if you are not comfortable with imparting private facts about yourself then do not enquire about someone else's.

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