First dates are stressful and while the internet is overflowing with first-date etiquette, it can be a tad overwhelming. Whatever set of rules you decide to abide by, please remember that, like everything in life, moderation is key. If you care too much about dating etiquette, you might just lose sight of the purpose of the first date (which is to have fun and get to know each other). Below is an excerpt of Maitre D’ate first-date etiquette guidelines that I believe will make your first date run smoother and the likelihood of a second date greater.

1. Lose the expectations

Expectations are a recipe for disappointment. If you go into the date without expectations, you will be amazed at the outcome. However, if you have expectations, you will view success through a very narrow window and will inevitably go home disappointed.

2. Stay in touch

Once you’ve made a date, don’t disappear off the face of the planet. Stay in touch and express that you are looking forward to meeting in person.

3. Don't chit chat via text

Don’t incessantly message each other leading up to the date as you would with a friend. The person you’re going on a date with is a potential significant other, not a potential friend. Keep the conversation flirty, fun and concise.

4. Put your phone away

During the date, keep your phone on silent and put it away.                                                                        

See also: Do Smartphones Ruin Holidays?

5. Don’t forget it’s a date

It’s a date, so remember to flirt away. If, however, you realise that this person is not for you, flirting is not an absolute must. 

6. Deep and meaningful conversation is essential

No one ever fell in love after an evening of small talk so delve a bit deeper. Share stories showing vulnerability, resilience, redemption, and/or strength.

7. Who pays?

It doesn't matter who pays, but the other party should show some appreciation. A simple ‘thank you’ is fine but why not take it up a notch by offering to treat the other party to dessert or a post-dinner drink elsewhere.

8. Get home safe

Hong Kong is a safe city but there’s no harm in making sure your date gets home safe & sound. Hail a cab for him/her and ask them to send you a message when s/he gets home.

Ariadna Peretz is the founder of Maitre D'ate, a matchmaking agency for Hong Kong singles who want to fall in love. She also offers date concierge services, coaching, and online dating support.

See also: A Matchmaker's Guide To Online Dating

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