We Need To Talk About: Basic Guide to Dating Etiquette

By Sophie Colvin
5th Oct 2016


As a twenty-something who's had some great dates... and some absolute shockers, I thought I'd share a little insight into the trials and tribulations of Gen Y dating. The Urban List water cooler has been known to provide some juicy stories and some hotly contested debates when it comes to the ins-and-outs (pardon the pun) of all things, sex, and relationships. So what better way to share our collective knowledge than a regular article? Once a fortnight, we're going to bring you advice that's better than your aunts, but not as good as Dolly Doctor, so keep your eyes peeled for advice (some you should follow, some you definitely shouldn't) debates and all-round life laughs. 

*We take no blame for any dating misadventures, we're still figuring it out ourselves. 

If you've made it as far as your twilight twenties and are single, you're either A: Loving the dating scene and Tinder is your oyster (who even are you?!) or B: You feel like you've been put through a spin cycle and you no longer have faith in humanity. Either way, it's 2016 we’re all still largely clueless when it comes to dating. But despite being clueless ourselves, we've put together a list of what's what, when it comes to dating. We've started with the grassroots basics. 

Honesty Is Sexy

‘Well, duh’, I hear you say. But I mean REALLY freakin' sexy, and probably not in the way you’re thinking. To break it down, if we have a few great dates and the conversation is better than Messina, we have a similar stance on neck tatts, and the word ‘moist’ BUT you don’t want to do a hot monkey dance with me, then that’s totally, 100% more than fine. But you need to bloody say so. Don’t keep messaging me three out five days, we both know you don't care how my Tuesday was. Cut me loose. Set me free. Dump me. Whatever you want to call it, just do it. If it’s under four dates, I think you can probably get away with a polite text message, though a phone call will make me hate you less.

Money Talks

Nothing is a bigger turn-off than stinginess. (That's a lie, sneakers and jeans are worse) I think that girls need to remember that this applies to them too. Frankly, I don’t really care who pays. Just make sure whoever it is, they pay in full—there is no greater vibe-killer than calculating the split between his extra pint and your added gluten free bread.

To give it to you in super digestible terms, I’ll re-tell an analogy I once heard. “If a same-sex couple is meeting for the first time, one of them should pay for the lot. In similar hetero situations, the man should pay. “What?” I hear the sisterhood saying. To them, I reply, “If you’re offended by this old-fashioned custom, then don’t be shy about whipping out your wallet instead.”

Listen Here, Champ

Did you ask questions in uni lectures? Do you talk during your house mate’s favourite TV show? Yes? Then all signs are pointing to you being a god damn Chatty Charlie. Learn from this and zip it. We’re not saying that you need to be a boring mute, quite the opposite. We’re just saying that you need to remember to ask questions. Have a cheat sheet of basic ‘must asks’ saved up your sleeve if you must. Remember this: deep down, everyone likes to talk about themselves. Ask questions.

A friend of mine wound dating someone who after a solid six months of regular dates, she realised had asked her nothing about herself. We're not talking small stuff, tt wasn’t like he just didn’t know her favourite Shapes flavour, he literally didn’t know a thing about her family, where she grew up, or where she’d traveled. He was a tool. Don’t be a tool.

Be Yourself

This sounds like solid ‘Mum advice’. But we mean it. If you're getting around in fluoro high-tops, orange fringed chaps and a velveteen singlet, and he rocks up in pressed slacks, golf shoes, and a collared shirt—you need to know these things from the get-go. Smile, follow our above tips and hot-foot it outta there. 

Image Credit: Unsplash

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