With today being Valentine’s Day, etiquette expert William Hanson has shared some new dos and don’ts for the confused modern man and woman.
Paying the bill
Back in the 1950s and 60s, the rule was that men paid for any and every date. Then it shifted to men just paying on the first date.
New rule: whoever initiates the first date pays. After that, alternate.
Rising from your chair
Traditionally, date or no date, when a woman left the dining table to freshen up, any men immediately around her would stand up or slightly rise from their chairs to acknowledge her departure – and then do the same when she returned. But really no one, male or female, should leave the table during a meal unless there is an emergency. Not only does it disrupt and impede the service, it causes all men to panic as to whether they should or shouldn’t rise. Men – if you know a lady likes it (whether she is your girlfriend, wife, friend or mother) when you rise then do. If she doesn’t enjoy it then stay seated. All parties of whatever gender should rise to acknowledge any newcomer (again, of whatever gender) at the start of a meal, however.
At the height of the feminism movement, it was strictly taboo to seemingly patronize a woman by assisting with a door. Today, you should hold the door for everybody (man, woman, child). It’s the nice thing to do.
Phones at the table: Put it on silent and put it away.
Posting about your date on social media: Just don’t do it.
Who receives the bill: It should always be passed to the person who asked for it, and not automatically the man.
Taking compliments: Reply with a simple “thank you,” and make a mental note to return one later.
If you don’t like the chivalrous action: Simply tell the person you appreciate it, but there’s no need.
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