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According to the 2010 Census, 48% of households in America were classified as “Married”.  This is down from 53% of “Married” households in 2000. And for the first time since the census began, that figure fell below 50%. We will see the results from the 2020 census soon. These statistics can make for several interesting blog posts. However, as it is February, today’s blog is on dating.

No longer is it just the young adults of the household on dates in America….more and more it is the parents who are back in the single scene. In this faster than a speeding bullet society many people – especially those new to the scene (again) have a hard time just knowing what to do…how to ask…who pays? Do I hold the door, or will she be offended?

There once was protocol for dating that is more defined than today. However, there still is a code of behavior to follow on a date and this code helps set the tone of mutual respect.

Men take note…Social etiquette is based on chivalry and it is not dead! It is making a huge comeback. I find that although there are plenty of men, more and more are interested in being a gentleman. I often tell men offering a courtesy like holding a door for a woman does not mean she is weak, it simply means you are a gentleman and you would show that respect to anyone. And when challenged with this a gentleman may say, “I am not holding the door because you are a woman. I am holding the door because I am a gentleman and I would do it for anyone.”

Most women I know enjoy the respect that chivalry offers. Although sometimes the incorrect behavior is not on the man, but rather on the woman.

She may think she has to give up being a woman to be strong (much more on that to come in future blogs) or maybe no one has ever done it for her before so she is not sure how to react.

So let me give you some thoughts on dating. Some may think it is old school, but these thoughts have always been the standard for a gentleman. Now you know and it lets you decide.

-Typically a date is set one to five days in advance for a simple date…two weeks or even earlier for a party or major event.

-The person who does the inviting is the one who is expected to pay.  In this day and age, it is acceptable for a woman to ask a man on a date, but she then is expected to pay. Shared expenses are also allowable but should be discussed up front.

-When calling to ask for a date, make sure in addition to the basics, you let your date know if any additional people will be joining you.

-At one time, the man would pick up his date at her home.  Today, this is still appropriate, but it is also acceptable to meet at a desired location.

-Whether being picked up at home or meeting elsewhere, do not make your date wait more than a few minutes. It is considered impolite.

– In a social situation, it is still correct for a man to hold a door open for a woman, whether entering a building or a car.

-On a date, if a man and woman are walking down a street, the man walks to the outside of the woman, closest to the street. This is said to have originated from a time when street brawls and road hazards were common, and men could better protect a woman from that position.

-If at the movies, the woman leads into the row, the man sits on the aisle seat when applicable, and he leads out through the crowd upon exiting.

-The man offers to carry packages, umbrellas, etc.

-In a restaurant, the woman follows the hostess to the table and the man follows her. However, upon leaving the restaurant the man leads out.

-It is considered impolite to drink to excess.  This shows a lack of respect and may imply boredom on the part of the drinker, not to mention that being with a person who has consumed to much is not fun either.

-Do not tell your whole life’s story on the first date. Listen more and do not talk excessively about yourself. This is never considered polite.  Keep the conversation more on a lighter note.

-Dates can be exciting and are most often looked forward to. Sometimes however, you may be asked on a date that you really do not want to go on.  It is ok to say, “I’m sorry, I already have plans for Friday night,” while not suggesting another time.

In this arena when a man interacts with a woman, she needs to know that she is respected and admired, as he does also.  The respect that you show, although it may not be verbalized is noticed and may directly determine the willingness for another date with you.

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