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Manners in Dating

When a young man calls a girl to ask for a date, he should not call at the last minute. This might imply that she is too unpopular to have another date. He says, "Could you go out with me next Saturday evening?" rather than, "Are you doing anything next Saturday?" She may not be doing anything, but may not want to accept an invitation for that evening. The young man should tell the girl what the plans are for the evening, if he knows them when he calls, so that she will know what to wear. It is almost always his responsibility to decide what to do, except for such occasions as a dance at the girl's school or when the couple plans together for the date.

The young man usually calls for the girl at her home, but if they must meet at a public place, he should be sure to get there early to avoid keeping her waiting. When he calls for her at her home, he should be on time, and she should be ready when he arrives. Neither the young man nor the girl ever cancels a date at the last minute except for a very good reason, such as illness. It is particularly impolite to cancel a date because a more enjoyable one has come up afterward.

When a couple goes to a restaurant for dinner, the man chooses the place, making sure it is one he can afford. Once inside, the girl goes first toward the table, following the waiter, and the man follows her. The waiter may hold the chair for the girl and help her get settled, or the man does it. He gives her the best seat, against a wall or out of the line of traffic. The girl tells the man what she would like to eat, and he orders for both. If the man suggests something, the girl mayor may not take the suggestion, but she should realize that it might be a hint about price range. In any case, she does not order anything very expensive unless it is directly suggested. If they are going on to another place from the restaurant, the man is the one who says it is time to leave. The girl goes toward the door first, and the man follows.

For an evening at the theater, the man gets the tickets in advance, unless the performance is one for which the girl already has tickets. In this case, she not only gets them but pays for them. If there is an usher, the girl follows the usher and the man follows her. If not, the man goes first to find the seats, then stands aside and lets the girl go into the row first. In a movie house where the seats are not reserved, the couple usually decide where they would like to sit, and they go down the aisle together.

It is important to be a few minutes early at the theater. Other members of the audience do not like to be crawled over during the performance, and it is disturbing to the cast. When they must pass people already seated, the new arrivals should apologize and get to their seats as quickly as possible. Once they are there and the performance has started, they should be quiet, not talking, whispering, or rattling candy wrappers.

When a young man takes a girl to a party of mutual friends, greetings are spontaneous and introductions unnecessary. If the girl knows very few people at the party, however, the man introduces her to the hostess, who then introduces her to others. At a very large party it may be more practical for the young man to make most of the introductions. Although the man is attentive to the girl while they are at the party, they should not stay together for the entire time. They mingle with the other guests. If there are refreshments, the man either gets them for the girl or goes with her to the room in which they are served.

When the occasion is a dance, the man often gets the girl a corsage. He may take it with him when he calls for her, or he may have it sent in advance. The flowers might blend with the color of the girl's dress, if he knows what color it is. Otherwise, white flowers are always appropriate. In any case, the corsage should be a simple one, not too large or elaborate. At the dance the man dances the first and the last dance with his date and several dances in between. He also dances at least one dance with his hostess. He introduces the girl to several friends so that they may cut in during the evening. When a particular dance is over, the man asks the girl for the next dance or escorts her off the floor toward other people. He never just leaves her on the dance floor.

During the evening the girl shows her escort that she appreciates being invited by being cheerful, responsive, and interested in the occasion. The girl is the one to suggest that it is time to go home. Except in very special circumstances, the man takes her all the way home, to the door of her house or to the elevator of her apartment house. If the elevator is a self-service one, he takes her as far as the door of her apartment. She thanks him and says she has had a good time, and they say good night.

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