Modern Dating Etiquette • The Ten Commandments

modern dating etiquette

(1) Thou shalt not use a profile photograph which has been digitally altered.

Soft lighting and makeup can be used to accentuate your charms, but retouching with Photoshop is being dishonest. “You look nothing like your photo” should not be the first thing your date says when he meets you.

(2) Thou shalt not delay meeting in person. 

Chatting online should be for the primary purpose of setting up an in-person date. If a gentleman hasn’t asked you out after a week of online interaction, it is time to move on. Some unscrupulous married gentlemen get their thrills from flirting on dating sites.

There is also a very real danger that you could find yourself infatuated with the imagined version of your suitor. The only way to find out true compatibility is to be in the same room together.

(3) Thou shalt not disclose your address.

In the historical past, before the internet, it was customary for a gentleman caller to pick you up from your family home. In those days, a first date wasn’t usually a first encounter. And if it was (a blind date) you were set up by someone who knew both of you.

It is foolish to give your address to a stranger. He is most likely a lovely person, but there is a slim chance he might not be. Keep your details private until you know more about your suitor.

(4) Thou shalt not wear clothes, shoes or a hairstyle that causes you discomfort.

You will not enjoy your date if you are constantly tugging at the hem of your skirt, have aching feet, or your ballerina bun is giving you a migraine. Be cautious with Spanx on a hot day as fainting is no longer fashionable. How you feel is more important than how you look.

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(5) Thou shalt not offer to split the bill.

Call me old-fashioned but a gentleman should always pay for a lady on a date. If your suitor requests you contribute to the bill, kindly decline and never see him again. If he cannot shout you a nice dinner, he is either miserly or broke. Neither of these things is attractive.

(6) Thou shalt not dismiss a suitor because he doesn’t score highly enough on your “list”.

If you won’t date anyone unless they meet your exhaustive list of requirements, you are going to miss out on meeting some unique and fascinating gentlemen . Throw caution to the wind once in a while.

(7) Thou shalt not play games.

Games are for children. A requirement of adulthood is emotional truth. Playing hard to get is akin to shooting oneself in the foot. Most gentlemen need to be told things plainly and clearly in order to understand what’s going on. Dating, while a lot of fun, is also a serious business.

(8) Thou shalt not feel pressured into having sex, or NOT having sex.

You don’t have to sleep with a gentleman just because he paid for your dinner, but you also don’t have to restrain yourself if you want to rip off his clothes.

Have sex if you want to. Or don’t. It’s entirely up to you.

(9) Thou shalt always be kind.

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Say thank you when your suitor opens the door for you, compliments you or walks you to the bus stop at the end of the night. Remember he is another human being, even if he is not making you swoon. All things can be said gently.

 (10) Thou shalt never give up.

Sometimes it takes close to half a lifetime to find the love of your life. Usually you meet a few dickheads along the way. But don’t let that put you off. There are good, brave and true gentlemen out there — ones who will adore the raw, open, honest, authentic you.

We are all inherently lovable, and deserve the brightest, hottest, most passionate kind of love. Don’t give up and eventually you will find “your person” — possibly in the strangest of places.

Do you agree or is there a dating etiquette commandment I’ve missed that should be on the list?

Click here to read the guide to Modern Sexual Etiquette.

modern sexual etiquette

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

19 thoughts on “Modern Dating Etiquette • The Ten Commandments

  1. Compliment them, it’s not just us that like being told that we smell nice, look nice even that they have nice teeth ! Nice eyes ..anything that you notice as something 5hats turning you on to them, I work with men all day and they get nervous and never know what to wear or how to act on a lot of first dates, especially when they really like the look of the girl they are meeting or have been on their own a long time….

  2. The first face to face date I always always split the bill. Doing so helps me feel equally invested. I don’t take no for an answer either.

  3. I completely agree with the guy footing the bill on the first date. If any decent guy was raised right this isn’t even an issue!

  4. Love this!
    On some of the dating sites, you are rated as a % match based on questions you answer. I have quite enjoyed the conversation of a few I only had a 20% match rate with compared to those who rate 90%. So, I don’t always judge a book by its cover or believe everything you read on the Internet 😉

  5. I am old fashioned and think the gentleman should pick you up at your house so I struggle a lot with this day in age.

    Dating in fact scares me as a whole.

  6. “Thou shall never offer to split the bill.” Really? In 2016? How is a man supposed to know if you truly enjoy his company or are just interested in the places he can take you? I want an equal relationship, I don’t want to be a burden, or taken care of, and I certainly don’t want to make anyone feel used. Given the challenges of our current economy and the strides that women continue to make -or try to make- in the career world, this bit of advice strikes me as outdated and insensitive.

  7. I wish kindness was something commonly displayed: it’s not.

    I would add it’s important for people to be honest on their profiles and in discussions about what they are looking for. If you want something casual – or a long-term relationship – you should say so. I have found so many people who shy away from the truth and it wastes everyone’s time.

    Although I also find women tend to believe a man looking for something casual can be “converted” with ones awesomeness… and it’s so very foolish.

  8. You should also add not to come with friends. Your date wants to meet with you, not you and your friends, and definitely not your friends; on a first date.

    Great article, Katie.

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