When leaving my exercise class at an elementary school auditorium, this sign caught my eye. It made me think it ought to be posted at coffee shops to remind daters to use their manners!
Why did this cross my mind?
I had another date that left me scratching my head. I checked with a couple of male pals to see if I had too-high expectations.
“What happened?” you ask.
We’d talked, texted and emailed for a few weeks as we worked out a mutually available evening. There seemed to be a shared interest.
When I arrived at the nearly empty coffee shop, he was sitting at a table typing on his phone. I stood opposite him and said “Hello.” He looked up from his phone and said “Hello.”
He didn’t rise to greet me. I can’t remember a date not rising when I appeared, and then either offer a hand or a hug. Heck, I rise on first meeting someone at an appointment whether male or female.
I sat down. He said, “Let me send this email.” I watched as he finished typing.
He asked if I wanted something to drink, then got up to order and fetch it. OK, this guy has some manners.
We had an enjoyable conversation. After 90 minutes, the shop began closing. He said, “We need to go.” I stood up, took my coat from the chair and donned it. He rose and stepped back from the table, which I thought was odd. Did he find me so odious he was stepping away? Was he scared of me? I said, “Give me a hug,” which he did. He followed me to the door. I opened the door into the night.
Upon exiting, he said, “I’m parked over there,” pointing in the opposite direction than my car. “I’m over there,” I said. “It was nice to meet you,” he said and turned to walk to his car.
It’s been a long time since a man didn’t offer to walk me to my car after dark.
So was this man without basic manners? Or was I expecting too much? I chocked it up to he wasn’t into me and was doing only the minimal of niceties. My male friends tell me that when a man is into a woman, he’ll put his hand out to take her coat when she reaches for it. He makes sure to open doors, and would always want just a few more minutes with her by walking her to her car to ensure she reached it safely. Heck, if he was into her, he’d say, “The coffee shop is closing. I’m enjoying our conversation. Would you like to continue over a bite to eat?”
However, when I arrived home he texted me that he enjoyed meeting me and liked our conversation. If he wasn’t interested, why would he text? It was a non-committal text that didn’t suggest another encounter. I responded to him that I liked our conversation, too, and he said he’d call me soon. I figured I’d never hear from him again.
Two days later, he texted then called. I said I was surprised to hear from him. He asked why, and I said I didn’t think he was interested in me. He sounded incredulous and asked why. I pointed out the not walking to my car and the tepid follow-up text. He said he could see me walking to my car and saw I was safe.
I learned from a wise person to make sure the other person knows of your efforts, as they won’t think you care if they don’t know. That’s not to say you should announce every nice thing you do for another, but make sure you say, “I filled up your gas tank” or “I made sure to get the brand of OJ you like” or “I hunted for two-toned flowers and finally found the ones you like.” (These are sort of lame examples, but I hope you get what I mean.)
So in dating, if you are attracted to someone you need to show it clearly, otherwise the person may not know.
What are your expectations of manners in dating? Do you give the other person a little slack on first meeting? Or do you think if s/he isn’t conscious of manners at the very beginning it won’t improve?
Want more information on what to look for in a first date? Then get your copy of First-Rate First Dates: Increase the Chance of a Second Date.