bragging
iStock

15 Dating Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid This Valentine’s Day from 15 Dating Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid This Valentine’s Day Gallery

15 Dating Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid This Valentine’s Day Gallery

Editor
Whether you’re in a new relationship or happily married, these blunders put Cupid to shame
bragging
iStock

15 Dating Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid This Valentine’s Day

15 Dating Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid This Valentine’s Day

iStock

Valentine’s Day, for better or worse, is a holiday focused on date night. Yes, this Hallmark-approved day is meant to celebrate love and romance, but it’s really an occasion meant for a night out on the town. So, you’ve likely gone through the effort of planning a spectacular evening for two in an attempt to show the one you love just how much you care. But just because you booked a reservation at a fancy restaurant, that doesn’t mean your effort as a date ends there.

Whether you’re spending this holiday with a new date, significant other, or spouse, you can’t forget to be a courteous date — and that means you need to follow proper dating etiquette. In increasingly casual times, some of the nuances of being a good date are being left behind. Sure, you know you shouldn’t chew with your mouth open or discuss politics, but there are plenty of fumbles, both big and small, that can take your Valentine’s Day from a day to always remember to one you wish you could forget.

Not Knowing Whether It’s Really a Date

Not Knowing Whether It’s Really a Date

iStock

We don’t necessarily recommend going on a first date on Valentine’s Day — that’s a lot of pressure. But, hey, people are going to do it. But if you’re going on a first date on February 14, make sure both parties know it’s a romantic occasion. Nothing would be more embarrassing than going in for a hug when the person you’re with is expecting a handshake. Be sure whoever you’re out with knows you’re looking to be more than friends.

Picking a Potentially Divisive Activity

Picking a Potentially Divisive Activity

iStock

Hopefully, if you’ve reached the point where you’re going on a date with someone, you know the things they like (and don’t like) to do and you can plan your evening out accordingly. An activity like going rock climbing, spending the night at a comedy club, or trying out a new sushi place may sound like a lot of fun to you, but not everyone enjoys these things. Double-check with your date before finalizing any plans.

Dressing Inappropriately

Dressing Inappropriately

Shutterstock

Even if your date is keeping your final location a surprise, you don’t want to be severely over- or underdressed this Valentine’s Day. Ask a few questions about where you’ll be going and dress accordingly. Nobody wants to be in a ball gown at a fast-casual chain, wearing jeans at a Michelin-star restaurant, or rocking a turtleneck at a night club.

Being Late

Being Late

Shutterstock

This should go without saying, but if you and your date are meeting at a restaurant or other mutual location, make every single effort to be there on time. Get ready for your date well in advance, check for traffic, and leave early if at all possible. Being late for an engagement is rude to your guest and shows an inherent lack of regard for their time. Basically, it’s the worst way to start off a date.

Ordering for Your Date

Ordering for Your Date

Shutterstock

Unless you and your date agree that you’ll be ordering for the both of you (or that you’ll pick each other’s dishes as a fun game), don’t do this. Pushing your ideas about food onto another person is rude. If you really feel strongly about a certain dish on the menu, suggest it casually but leave the final decision up to your date to avoid an awkward situation.

Staring at Your Phone

Staring at Your Phone

Shutterstock

If you went through the trouble of asking another person out on a date, you should make sure that you’re fully present at said date. Keep your phone in your back pocket or purse for the duration of the date. Playing games, texting others, or checking Twitter during your Valentine’s Day implies that the other person in your company isn’t interesting enough to hold your attention.

Avoiding Eye Contact

Avoiding Eye Contact

Shutterstock

Just because you manage to stay off your phone doesn’t mean that you’re going to be an engaged date on Valentine’s Day. To show your date the extent of your adoration and interest, be sure to make eye contact. This shows that you’re focused on them, you’re interested in what they have to say, and they’re attractive to you. This is an easy and great way to make a great impression on your date.

Discussing Uncomfortable Topics

Discussing Uncomfortable Topics

Shutterstock

There are a few topics that you should never discuss on a date: politics, religion, money, and exes. Now, if you’re going out on a date with your longtime partner, your feelings on these things will have been long-established, though it’s still not best to get into a fight about Donald Trump on Valentine’s Day. If you’re dating someone new: Forget your ex. Seriously. And save the other serious conversation topics for another day.

Lying

Lying

Shutterstock

Lying in any relationship is a major no-no, but it’s especially important to be honest with someone you’re dating. If the person you’re with is looking for something serious and you’re not, don’t pretend that you’re OK with dedicating yourself completely to a relationship. Don’t be brutally honest to a fault (especially about things that aren’t even asked), but be sure to be real with the person you’re with. It’ll only help you and your relationship in the long run.

Talking Exclusively About Yourself

Talking Exclusively About Yourself

iStock

We get it. You’re interesting and cool and people tend to like you a lot. But it’s exhausting to hear about all evening long. Be sure to ask your date about themselves. And please, be genuinely invested in what they have to say.

Not Talking at All

Not Talking at All

iStock

You know what’s more uncomfortable than lying, discussing controversial topics, or being a braggart? Not talking at all. Sure, if you’ve been with someone a long time and live with them, you could feel like you’ve exhausted all topics of conversation; if you’re out with someone new, maybe you just don’t know what to talk about. Either way, it would be smart to brush up on your small talk skills rather than sit there in awkward silence.

Forgetting Basic Table Manners

Forgetting Basic Table Manners

Shutterstock

Don’t make basic etiquette mistakes on any date, but especially on a special day like Valentine’s Day. Remember to put your napkin in your lap, keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, and set down your silverware when you start to talk.

Being Unkind or Discourteous

Being Unkind or Discourteous

Shutterstock

Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday of the year, so treat your loved one how you would like to be treated (or better). Hold doors open for them, listen when they speak, help them into their chair, and make sure that they’re having a good time all night. Don’t speak over them, don’t walk ahead of them on the sidewalk, and make sure not to leave them hanging when they reach out for a little hug or kiss.

Fighting for the Check

Fighting for the Check

Shutterstock

In theory, the person who initiated the date should pick up the check. So even if you feel uncomfortable with that situation as the second party, perhaps you can reach for the check but then let it slide. If not paying for the dinner genuinely causes you distress, suggest splitting the dinner 50/50 or make sure you pay for the next date.

Not Leaving When Maybe You Should

Not Leaving When Maybe You Should

iStock

Remember that first date thing we discussed earlier? Once again, we don’t recommend it for this particular holiday! But if you made that choice, know that not every first date is a love connection. It’s not OK to ditch a date in the middle of the appetizer course, but it is OK to skip dessert or not go to that second location for coffee. If a date isn’t going well, don’t drag it along. There’s nothing more rude than being misleading. If you’re not feeling it, call it a night. Just be nice about it.

Now that you not what not to do this Valentine’s Day, click here for how you can make this holiday insanely romantic.