Traditional Vs. Modern Dating Etiquette

Have the dating skills for men changed over the years?  Yes and no.  Some traditional dating techniques are completely outdated, while others are absolutely crucial.  To help you decide which traditional practices to use and which to abandon, here’s a brief breakdown of how some of those techniques apply today.

Paying for the Date

Years ago men were expected to pay for everything.  But nowadays it’s common to see couples splitting the bill.  This has caused a lot of confusion as guys today are often unsure if they should pay the full bill or not.

Here’s the simple answer:  If you invite a girl on a date then it’s up to you to take care of her.  That means picking up the tab.  She may offer to split it, but taking her up on that offer could be dangerous.  Why?  Because splitting the tab can change the dynamic between you.  Suddenly instead of being two people on a date you feel like two friends hanging out.  So to make sure you stay in the “date” category by adopting the traditional dating custom of paying for your date.

There is however an exception to this rule:  If the girl invites you out (especially if she takes you someplace way out of your price range) you’re fine simply offering to split the bill.  It’s not your obligation to pay for her when she’s the one extending the invitation.

Keep Chivalry Alive

One common complaint about modern dating culture is that men don’t take care of women the way they used to.  They’ve stopped doing the little things that show women they care about their well-being.  So an important dating skill for men is to learn how to be the chivalrous guy who takes care of his girl.

Small gestures like walking the girl to her car, seeing she drives off okay, and making sure she got home safe can earn you huge points.  Actions like these show the girl you truly care about her and her well-being.  They are the kind of dating skills men can use to stand out from all the other guys out there.

Go on a Real Date

Dating has become something of a lost art to the younger generations.  Instead of going on actual dates guys will invite girls to hang out with them and their friends.  Now this is fine if you don’t yet know the girl and want to meet in a low-pressure situation (or if you don’t want anything serious).  But if you’re really interested in this girl then you’ll want to invite her on a real date.

The best way to invite a girl out is to be direct and honest about your intentions.  You can say something like “You’re really cool.  What are you up to Thursday?  I want to take you (out for drinks/dancing/etc.).”  If she asks “is this a date?” own your intentions and let her know “Damn right it’s a date!”  The more confidence you show when asking her out the more likely she’s going to say yes

What to Do on a Date

One area where the traditional dating skills for men just don’t cut it anymore is coming up with what to do on a date.  The old “dinner and a movie” date is played out and can often be downright boring.  Instead of taking the girl out to a date she’s done 1,000 times look to give her a new experience.

A great way to do this is to make your date an activity date.   Take dance lessons.  Check out an improv comedy show or local band.  Invite her over to your place and cook dinner together.  Activity dates like these make it easy for both of you to enjoy yourselves and each other.

Taking Charge

Another dating skill for men that’s worth adopting today is being willing to take charge of the date.  By planning the date yourself and taking care of all the logistics (when to meet, where to go, when it will end) you make her job easier.  She’ll be able to relax and enjoy herself knowing you’ve got everything figured out.

Now when planning the date it should go without saying that you’ve got to pick something you both enjoy.  On top of that, it’s usually a good idea to have a “plan B” in case your first idea doesn’t pan out.  If that improv show is sold out, or if you discover she hates that kind of thing, having a plan B in place means you can still save the date.

How Far Can You Go on the Date?

People may have taken more time to get physical a few decades ago, but an important dating skill for men  today is the ability to build sexual tension.  That chemistry is often the difference between whether or not you see each other again.  So to make sure that spark is there you’ll want to flirt with and touch her frequently throughout the date.  If you can build enough sexual tension early you won’t even have to wait until the end of the date to go for the kiss.

If things are really going well and there’s a lot of sexual chemistry you may want to take things even further.  This is something you’ll want to prepare for ahead of time.  Keep your living space clean and have a reason to invite her back to your place (dessert, wine, hookah, a game).  That way if the opportunity to take things further arises, you’ll be ready.

But keep in mind not every girl will be okay getting physical.  Some girls may be more traditional and refuse to even kiss you until a certain number of dates.  If that’s the case accept it and just enjoy the process of building sexual tension.  That alone may get her to change your mind.  If not, you may find that putting the physical part off can actually make things more exciting.

More Dating Skills for Men

Want to learn more about the fundamental dating skills for men?  Then check out this article for even more dating tips and advice.

Brian M - author of 192 posts on The Art of Charm

Once he realized attraction was something he could learn, Brian spent way too much of his free time studying and practicing everything he could find on the subject. He stumbled across The Art of Charm podcast and eventually signed up for an AoC bootcamp. Excited by the progress he's made in his own life since the program, he decided to start writing for AoC to help other guys do the same. By writing about interpersonal dynamics, he’s finally able to put that psychology degree to good use.

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