Whether you’re in a new relationship, or going out with a long-term partner, forgetting your date night etiquette can make you an awkward Valentine. The following are some of the most common dating conundrums I hear about:
You are ghosted: If your date is more than fifteen minutes late and isn’t responding to your calls or messages, you can consider yourself ghosted. You are under no obligation to wait for them any longer. Reduce the chance of ghosting by inviting your date at least two weeks in advance to show you are serious.
Not knowing who pays: The person who initiated the date is the one who pays. To make things go smoothly, pre-pay for things if possible. At a restaurant, let the waiter know that you are the host. You may even excuse yourself once the meal is over and track down your waiter to pay away from the table.
Grandma is watching: Tonight is not the night to be a shutterbug. Put the camera phone away and enjoy the moment. If you do choose to post a couple photo on social media, make sure it is one you are both comfortable sharing online.
Getting the worst table in the house: If you choose to dine out, plan ahead and be familiar with the restaurant. Visit the restaurant in advance and ensure you will be seated in a desirable location.
You’re not quite a couple: If you are seeing someone but you are not quite a couple yet, you can plan something within two days of the 14th. This gives you an opportunity to spend time together without all the pressures of being someone’s Valentine.
You receive a surprise gift: If your date got you a gift but you didn’t get them one, don’t apologize. Thank them and show genuine appreciation. In a new relationship, only symbolic gifts (flowers, candy, cards) should be expected.
Your date’s card is declined: Even if you are the guest, always be prepared to pay. Don’t make negative assumptions; cards can get declined for many reasons (eg. security reasons). Graciously offer to pay.
You are single: If you are single, celebrate a special person in your life or keep busy. Elderly loved ones will likely appreciate a phone call or visit to know you are thinking about them. If this day brings you down, plan some chores or fun activities to keep your mind occupied.
Visit NotAwkwardAnymore.com for tips on how to find your confidence in your dating, social, and professional life.