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The Valentine’s Series…Traditional Dating Remixed


Grandma’s rules for dating in a modern world for both men and women

When I was a little girl growing up, I would hear my elders talk about the proper etiquette for a young lady or what I like to call the “do’s” and “don’ts” of dating.  Men had rules to follow too and were certainly not excluded but they usually followed suit with what was expected for women.  It all seemed so simple back in those days as compared to modern times when you have to guess who will pay for the date or if you will get a “call back” after the date has ended.  Maybe it’s time to revisit those days.  Well at least revisit the rules that were set in place to ensure a successful courtship and see if we can update them to suit our modern day needs.

First, I’ll start with the ladies.  As young ladies, we need to value our worth.  You see, the more confident you feel about yourself on the inside, the more it will show on the outside.  You have to believe you are worthy of a guy who treats you like a queen.  If a guy is not treating you like the queen you are, he is not worthy to be with you.  There’s plenty of fish in the sea.  You have to know how much you bring to a potential relationship and that any man deserving of you should know this and respond to you accordingly.

Fellas, don’t think I forgot about you.  It is critical for you to maintain a certain level of confidence too.  As a matter of fact, I recommend not leaving home without it.  Women look forward to meeting men who are confident and can take charge on a date.  It’s such a turnoff for a man to be indecisive and “wishy-washy” on a date.  Generally, women want men who have a clear direction and purpose for their lives and that she can look up to and admire for his endeavors.

Now, while dating has certainly changed since I was a little girl, some things never change.  I still believe women enjoy it when a man approaches her rather than vice versa.  We still enjoy receiving phone calls from men as opposed to texts as well as men asking us out on dates.  I’ve listed a few of my favorite do’s and don’ts below that can still be applied to our modern day dating world.

Do’s –
1. Men – please do plan dates in advance.  Sure, last minute dates are fun in the beginning and creates a certain level of spontaneity for us.  But sooner or later, it gets old when we may have already made plans with our family and friends and you expect us to drop those plans because you called at the last minute. 

2. Women – please be ready for the date on time.  Yes, I know that you are only trying to look your best but it’s really not cool to keep the guy waiting, particularly if he has made reservations.  Try to time yourself on how long it takes you to put on your clothes and apply your make-up so you’ll be ready on time.

3. Men – please do be chivalrous.  Open the car door for us or pull the chair out for us to sit.  If we seem a bit parched, offer us another drink.  Surprise us with flowers on the first date.  We notice these things.  The more chivalrous you are on a date, the better your chances of having a second one.

4. Women – please do be flirty.  Throw your hair back.  Cross your legs a little higher than normal.  Let him know you really like him by subtle body languages.  It will make him feel special and appreciated.  Not to mention, it will turn up the heat!

5. Men – please do pay for the date.  Women love it when a man pays for the date.  Yes, I’m sure you’re thinking it would certainly be nice if a woman paid for the date once and awhile but on the first date, just stick with the traditional thing.  Ask yourself the question, would you rather have it your way and not get a second date with a beautiful woman or would you rather stick with the “tried and true” with the hopes that she will see you as a true gentleman and be honored to give you a second date?

6. Women - please do feel free to give thanks and appreciation.  It doesn’t cost you anything to say thanks to your date, even if the date didn’t turn out so well.  If he at least paid for the date, despite anything else that happened on the date, he certainly deserves a thank you.  Men really do like women who can give them appreciation and they tend to respond in kind.

Don’ts –
1. Men – please don’t invite her to “hang out” with you rather than go out on a real date.  Show her some respect by taking her out to a nice restaurant, movie, etc.  She probably does not want to come over your house for drinks like one of your buddies but rather be treated like someone special by being taken out on a real date.

2. Women – please don’t try to bring your lonely girlfriends out with you on the date.  I get the fact your girlfriend just broke up with her man and you feel guilty that you are going out at such a critical time but it’s not fair to your date.  He asked you out on a date and not your girlfriend.  Besides, you can call her when you get back home.  If she’s a real friend, she will understand your decision.

3. Men – please don’t talk about yourself all night long on the date.  I know that you want to impress your date by telling her all about what you do for a living but give her a little light to shine too.  Allow her time to share something about herself as well.  Remember, she’s judging you on how much you are listening to her which goes a long way in a budding relationship.

4. Women – please don’t talk about your ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands on a date.  If there was one rule I think you should adhere to, it would be this one.  Even if your last relationship caused you to have chest pains, please do not share this on the date.  When you go on a date, you are trying to put your best foot forward.  Telling your date about how your son or daughter’s father was no good will turn him away faster than you can count.  Remember to keep the focus on the two of you.

5. Men – please don’t disappear between dates.  Fellas, when the girl you are dating does not hear from you for a week or two, it makes her think you’re not interested in her.  In many cases, she will move on.  If you have to take a “leave of absence”, the least you can do is let her know beforehand or just give her a quick 5 minute call to let her know you’re okay.

6. Women – please don’t try to extend the date past the time that it should end.  Picture this:  He looks into your eyes as you into his and you don’t want to look away.  You hold hands and watch the stars in the sky.  The night is perfect and you don’t want it to end.  This is where many women miss the signals to end the date.  I recommend the golden rule of no more than 4-5 hours on a date, particularly the first few dates.  The reason is because you want to have something more to look forward to in the future.  Try to savor the moment.  If you play your cards right and leave him wanting more, you’ll have many more dates like this one.  Patience is key.

So there you have it!  My take on grandma’s rules remixed for modern day men and women.  Sure, we certainly can’t turn back the hands of time but we can at least utilize some of her best kept secrets for dating.  And who knows maybe a few marriages and long term relationships can be made as a result.

This was the last part of my Valentine's series of blogs.  Hopefully, you have enjoyed them all! 

Have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.


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