10 Rules for Dating My Daughter/Son

Rebecca E. Samson

When dating, there are certain guidelines that will make for a more successful and positive experience. Whether it is your first, second, or fifth date, whether you are a young adult, middle aged or a senior, dating is about two people getting to know one another to find out if they are compatible. Dating is about enjoying someone else’s company and eventually forming a close bond with the other person in the hopes it could lead to marriage.

RULE 1:

ALWAYS treat your date with dignity and respect.

It’s the first rule, because it is the most important. Treat your date in the same manner in which you would like to be treated. Please’s and thank you’s go a long way, as does considering their feelings in all decisions and throughout the conversation. ALWAYS remember your manners and acknowledge one another with a smile.

RULE 2:

Plan properly.

When asking someone out, give them a few days’ advance notice. Plan the date so the two of you can best enjoy your time together. There are many fun and creative ideas to get you off on the right foot. Discuss different options so that both of you will have a nice time.  If you’ve asked someone out a few times and they’ve pushed you off without a definitive option, assume that he or she is not interested and move on.

RULE 3:

Offer to pay.

In general, guys should pay for the date, especially the first one. However, girls, always be considerate and offer to pay for half of the date. This shows that you do not assume that he will automatically pay and that you appreciate it when he does. While the offer should be made, do not overly insist, as it can become awkward.

RULE 4:

Be Prepared.

Prepare a few topics that you are comfortable discussing, but try keep it light in the beginning. Try to avoid things that are controversial, such as politics, especially on the first date. This may sound strange, but don’t argue or be overly assertive. Allow for natural conversation. Ask about the person’s likes and dislikes, interests, dreams, and aspirations. Remember, dates are meant to see if there is potential to continue. You are not marrying the person after the first date. If there are subsequent dates, you can widen your inquiries and slowly share more personal information about yourself. However, do try not to brag! Arrogance makes most people feel uncomfortable and isn’t a great way to get to know someone. On that note, don’t lie. Even if it’s something you’re embarrassed about. In the end, you’ll get caught, and it’s definitely the wrong way to start a relationship.

RULE 5:

Be on time and never stand up a date!

If there is a good reason why you cannot make the scheduled date, postpone rather than cancel. Don’t just not show up. It shows a lack of respect for the other person and reflects poorly on you.

RULE 6:

Dress appropriately for the occasion — clean hair and clothes.

This may sound basic, but you would be surprised – and horrified- to know how many people do not adhere to this basic rule. Light perfume or cologne is fine, but please don’t forget deodorant. Complement one another when you see each other. You both made an effort to look nice, say something! At the same time, don’t overdress in an attempt to impress with status or wealth, it is unbecoming.

RULE 7:

A touch of class.

If you’re picking up your date, don’t honk! Walk up to the door, converse with the person who opens it, and wait politely for your date. Don’t keep your date waiting unnecessarily.  Guys, open and hold the door for your date, it’s courteous and respectful.  Ladies, show appreciation for these gestures. In general, ladies precede men in the theatre, at a restaurant, at shul and most other places. Another nice touch is to help her to her seat, or at least wait until she sits down first. Guys, lead the way through crowds and traffic walk on the side closest to the street so as to be between her and traffic. It’s the little things…

RULE 8:

Walk her to the door.

This may seem old fashioned, but truly, it’s simple respect. Gentlemen, see your date to the door at the end of the evening. This ensures her safety and shows that you are concerned about her welfare. Ladies, say thank you and let him know it is appreciated.

RULE 9:

Be honest about your intentions.

If you promise to contact your date again, then you must do so within a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, do not promise to “be in touch.” If you did not enjoy the date, and have no desire to go out again, then don’t falsely promise anything. It will be much easier for everyone involved if you are politely honest about how you feel.

It is fine to date other people at the same time until you have a clear understanding of your relationship, but it is best to discuss your intentions with sensitivity and patience so no one will be unnecessarily hurt.

RULE 10:

Enjoy!

While dating can be tiring and stressful, try and look at it in a different way. People are fascinating and can bring all sorts of positive encounters. Even if you don’t suit for marriage, you can have fun while meeting someone and learning about life through their eyes. Perhaps you think she’s perfect for your best friend or she is simply someone nice to speak with. Either way, enjoy the experience and learn from each date how to be better at the next one.

 

B’Hatzlacha!

 

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The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Kol-Isha.org. The articles have been reprinted without editorial input or comment.

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