First date etiquette for those awkward moments

Imagine the candlelit restaurant, the wine and delicious food and the conversation going really well for a first date. The comes that awkward moment

The bill arrives. That carefully folded piece of paper ready to snap like a mousetrap on the first fingers to touch it.

He picks it up, after all he is a gentleman and you can see on his face that the bill has come to more than he expected.

Who picks up the tab?

What do you do? You search your mind. There must be a first date etiquette about who picks up the tab.

Well, there are three options –

* He pays
* You pay
* You split the bill

Either way, when the bill arrives or the barman asks for the cash is too late.

If you haven’t dated for a while and are just getting back in to the swing of things, then a good idea is to lay out the ground rules before either of you order anything.

After all, you may have chatted about a lot of things, but probably not mentioned money because you don’t want to seem vulgar, rude or a gold digger.

So eliminate the awkward moment that’s bound to arise and have a chat about who pays for what before you go in the pub, restaurant or wherever you have lined up to go.

That way, you can both enjoy yourselves and order what you want without feeling embarrassed and having that nagging thought at the back of your mind that you just haven’t got enough cash to cover what you spend and petrol to work as well.

To kiss or not to kiss?

Other first date etiquette covers meeting for the first time and saying goodnight.

Do you do a showbiz style air kiss on both cheeks or shake hands?

Probably the air kiss is best – but avoid the lips as you don’t want to give offence or the wrong idea the first moment you clap eyes on each other for the first time.

But there’s nothing wrong with holding hands while you’re walking

Then there’s the goodnight. Do you offer coffee and hope he turns you down?

Just show some commonsense and humour. Thank him for a lovely evening and tell him you have to be up early for whatever and go for another air kiss.

For a gentleman, the same applies.

First date etiquette also calls for both of you not to refer to a second date – it’s better to follow up with a message or a call to say thanks for a great night and shall we do it again?

That gives you both time to think about the date and each other.