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Dinner Dating Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

by nick

When dating a woman, at some point you’ll probably take her out for something to eat. Below are a few do’s and don’ts of dinner dates. Remember these rules before you head out to that fancy restaurant and she’ll be impressed.


Dress to impress – Unless it’s a total dump, you should wear a blazer jacket. It’ll make you look more masculine and authoritative. Also, the inside jacket pocket gives you easy access to your wallet and other things that you carry on a date.

Be a gentleman – Open the door for her, assist her when she’s taking off her coat, pull out her chair for her and let her sit down first.

Let her go first – When ordering food and drinks, always let her go first.

Place your napkin on your lap – Most men are clueless what to do with their napkin. They usually pick it up and place it somewhere out of the way. At the end of the meal they might use it to wipe their mouth – wrong! Instead you should take the napkin and place it on your lap before eating. When you excuse yourself from the table, fold the napkin once and place it on the table. When you’ve finished eating, either place the napkin on your left, or if the table has been cleared, in the center.

Use your hands to break off a chunk of bread before eating it.

Always eat with your knife and fork at the same time – Fork in your left hand, and your knife in the right.

Pace yourself – Men in general tend to eat faster than women – slow down your eating. You’re not in a rush and there’s no deadline to finish your meal. Plus if you’ve always got food in your mouth, how can you have a conversation?

Come prepared with interesting conversation topics to discuss – Knowing what to talk about is essential for a successful date. Read our article The Art of Dating Conversation: Do’s and Don’ts so that you’re prepared and avoid any awkward silences.

Pay for the bill – No ifs, no buts, you’re paying the entire bill. Also leave a generous tip.


Never chew with your mouth open or talk with your mouth full. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t already know how bad this is, wait until you catch someone in action and you’ll know what I mean.

Never tuck your napkin inside your shirts collar – You’re not a child.

Never blow your nose at the table – Go to the bathroom.

Wear a hat at the table – I wouldn’t recommend wearing one at all, but if you are wearing a hat, remove it when you enter the restaurant.

Don’t drink too much – You’ll probably have a glass of wine with your meal, maybe two. But having a third over dinner almost ensures that she won’t be up for a few more drinks after dinner. And even if she is, you won’t be at your best by then. Also, when drinking wine, never hold the glass from the cup. This will warm the wine. Hold the glass from its stem – the long thin part that connects from the foot from the cup.

Avoid certain dishes – Some foods can be messy and I’ve got two words for you; sauce spatter. Avoid ordering dishes such as spaghetti and soup. No matter how skilled you are with your cutlery, there’s still the possibility of getting sauce all down your shirt. Also, be weary of ordering foods such as fish, onions, garlic – unless you’ve got a pack of mints in your pocket.

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