How Are Your Dating Manners?

Manners may seem old-fashioned, but they’re still important in making a good first impression. Take this fun quiz to figure out if your manners are good, bad or ugly.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

1. How do you greet your date?
  • “Is that what you’re wearing?” (Score = 1)
  • “Ready yet?” (Score = 2)
  • “Hello.” (Score = 3)
  • “Hi. You look great. I’ve been looking forward to seeing you.” (Score = 4)
  • With a nod. (Score = -1)
2. Your cell phone rings during your date. How do you react?
  • Check the caller ID. (Score = 1)
  • Excuse yourself to take the call privately. (Score = 2)
  • Quickly turn off your phone without taking the call. (Score = 3)
  • You wouldn’t have your phone on in the first place. (Score = 4)
  • Take the call. (Score = -1)
3. During dinner, you notice spinach in your date’s teeth. You:
  • Decide he or she is a slob. (Score = 1)
  • Clear your throat and point to your mouth. (Score = 2)
  • Wiggle your tongue over your teeth hoping that he or she will get the message. (Score = 3)
  • Whisper in his or her ear. (Score = 4)
  • Recoil. (Score = -1)
4. You see some friends while you’re on your date. You:
  • Greet them without introducing your date. (Score = 1)
  • Hide, hoping they don’t see you. (Score = 2)
  • Ignore their attempts to get your attention. (Score = 3)
  • Call them over and introduce them. (Score = 4)
  • Go over to see them, leaving your date. (Score = -1)
5. The entrée isn’t to your date’s liking. What do you do?
  • Tell him or her to get over it. (Score = 1)
  • Apologize. (Score = 2)
  • Ask if he or she would like some of yours. (Score = 3)
  • Ask if he or she would like to send it back. (Score = 4)
  • Ignore it. (Score = -1)
Less than 0: It’s not just your dating manners that need work, my friend. You’re pretty rude all the way around.
Tip: Start small and you’ll get big results. “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’” suggests Andrea Lavinthal, a coauthor of The Hookup Handbook: A Single Girl’s Guide to Living It Up. “Be nice to the waiter or waitress.”

0 to 5: It’s all about you, isn’t it? That’s not a turn-on for anybody.
Tip: “Know whom you’re dealing with,” suggests Emmy-winning composer and pianist Misha Sigal, author of Get Women (Even If You Can’t Play Piano Like Me). If manners are important to the person you’re with, they’d better be important to you too. Otherwise, you’ll end up alone!

6 to 10: You have the potential to be well-mannered, but you’re making only half the effort.
Tip: “Find someone who has great social skills and mimic that person’s actions,” Lavinthal notes. “You don’t have to totally mirror what he or she does, but use it as a guide so you’ll feel more secure.”

11 to 15: You’ve got a pretty good sense of civility, which bodes well for relationship success.
Tip: Segal suggests taking lessons from old-school movie stars to hone your manners. “Watch anything starring Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, et al.”

16 to 20: You know how to treat people with respect and make them feel comfortable.
Tip: Keep minding your manners and you’re sure to meet with dating success.

Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer based in North Carolina.
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