Choose the venue
At all costs avoid the, where shall we meet? conversation. Procrastination and dithering are off the menu. Being decisive is a great quality.
“Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.” — Brian Tracy
So, do your homework and find a restaurant or bar which is a memory in itself. Five Guys is not going to cut it. If in doubt, choose the nearest five-star hotel and start there.
8 pm is the best time to meet. This is long enough for your date to get home from work, get ready and get to you with no stress. Leave this information via a text the night before, to allow plenty of time for preparations and potential cancellations.
Obviously, by announcing a beautiful destination in your text, the excitement will build and you will both automatically make more of an effort to look good. It will feel special.
Finally, always meet your date outside the chosen venue. People get nervous enough, without having to navigate a busy bar or restaurant alone.
The barman handed me the menus. I paused whilst he held them, it was a handshake via a leather-bound menu. I looked him in the eye, so as not to have to repeat myself in the cacophony of sounds around us, and ordered a Cosmopolitan and a Spiced Pear Bellini.
Complimentary water was placed down on the beautiful coasters in front of us and I finally turned to face my date. She looked incredible. It was our second meeting. I felt the familiar feeling of nerves and excitement, which consumed me, every-time we met.
2. Take control of the drinks and food
Before you go out on a first, second or third date, do some research into what your date loves to eat. It’s not difficult. Then construct the perfect menu and drinks in your head and find a bar or restaurant that can deliver it.
In any walk of life and any aspired success, you’ll need to put the work in and focus on the super detail, in order to make an impression.
She turned every head in the bar. Her effortless grace was a magnet to all eyes. This, I loved.
I knew Cosmopolitan was her favorite cocktail. It was one of the first things I’d asked her. Her smile told me everything. Good start. As we talked, I quickly worked out the food order in my mind. I was starving. Sushi wouldn’t cut it.
The first cocktail went down quickly, the second round a repeat – I played it safe by re-ordering the same cocktails.
I made a mental note of others ordering meals and the time it took to arrive. The kitchen was turning food around in 20 minutes, so halfway through the second cocktail, I flipped the menu and gestured to the barman.
I ordered five items to share in a blink of an eye, remembering my date ate fish but no red meat. I assured her I’d been here before and she could trust my say on the food.
3. Manners maketh the man
It’s not money or background that makes a man appear cultured and confident. Manners and positive social skills are available to anyone. You just have to want to be that kind of person. The one that will occasionally push a door open first, or hold the umbrella at his own expense.
Equally, we have to be sensitive to equality and not assume that every woman wants to be ushered through a door or have a car door opened and a handheld for them. It’s a fine balance.
“60 percent of women say good manners ‘absolutely’ make a man more attractive” — Men’s Health
Being complimentary is essential too but again don’t overdo it. Too many compliments can make you look creepy.
Socially, politeness is essential to people who serve you and open doors for you. Engaging in polite conversation with the guy that serves your table shows confidence and is just, in general, a good way to be.
The food arrived. It was an impressive spread. My date looked suitably pleased. I was satisfied.
As the music turned up a notch and the bar team jumped into full swing, I took a moment to survey the room for a more intimate seat. I spotted a sofa in the corner. I caught the attention of the maitre’d and asked her when it would be available.
Yes it was busy, yes it was Friday night in one of the coolest bars in London but you have to try.
She said it would be available at 10 pm. I asked her to let me know. The chances were it would be available earlier, so I kept my eye on the young couple eating their way through Tekkamaki and Wakame Seaweed.
4. Don’t be a pig
Where you can, share a food plate. It’s intimate and less formal. Plus, inevitably, a shared platter will end up with the odd item being left, so always offer this to your date. Leave it if she doesn’t want it.
Food should be savored, so as much as you could eat a harras of horses, take your time. It just looks better.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the couple on the sofa start to leave. I seized my chance. I ordered another round of drinks and an Espresso Martini, before grabbing my date’s hand.
The couple was not quite ready but I smiled and asked if they had enjoyed their food. In an instant, they were warm and helpful and left happily as we sat down on the sofa.
Our view of the bar was amazing. It was also a fraction quieter, so we could talk more intimately and laugh more loudly without any unwanted attention.
5. Always pay the bill
I don’t care if you are as double dutch as Virgil Van Dyke or as tight as Mr Scrooge, you pay for the night. Even if they insist, you decline and tell them perhaps they can pay next time, which they won’t. Obviously.
I have my own tactic to ensure this runs as smoothly and drama-freely as possible. At some point it will be obvious that you’ve both had enough to drink. So, when your date excuses herself to use the restroom, simply pay the bill.
We were getting on amazingly. The introduction of the caffeine-fuelled martini added another moment of fun to our evening together.
When my date excused herself to go to the restroom, I seized my opportunity. The stylish barman took my payment and I tipped him well. It had been a wonderful evening.
When my date returned, we finished our drinks and got ready to leave. I thanked the over-worked bar staff and climbed the stairs to the street level.
London was buzzing. I hailed a cab. I knew my date had work the next day and would be feeling drunk enough already without me extending the night. Time stood still as we kissed deeply. It was the perfect ending to an amazing evening.
Taking control on a date is not for everyone. But, it can be an impressive way to orchestrate a magical evening that will stay in your date’s memory for a long time.
So, be confident, do your research, be polite, don’t be greedy and always be generous. These basic rules of etiquette will ensure you make a wonderful impression every-time
Hope this was helpful
culled from medium.com