When I worked with teenagers, a high school freshman preparing for his first homecoming dance approached me. He was nervous and asked for advice about how to treat his date. I took a moment to think back to my own first date. It all felt so awkward, but at the same time, my dad prepared me well. Even so, I was the same kind of nervous I saw in the poor kid sitting across the table from me. As I started to give him advice, I was shocked to see him take out a pen and paper to write down what I said.
There is plenty of debate about teen dating, but I think dating provides a great opportunity for teens to practice relating to one another. So, as our sons venture out into this new phase of life, we need to prepare them with a great foundation. There are several principles I think are important for our sons to know about treating a girl well on a first date. Here are 10 things to teach your son for a first date.
1. Bring her flowers.
All women are beautiful and this is a symbol of acknowledgment of her beauty.
2. Be on time.
A man is a leader and a provider. This is a sign of self-discipline.
3. Clean your car.
No woman wants to get into your dirty automobile. Women like things clean and straight.
4. Open all doors.
It might seem old-fashioned, but a gentleman should open all doors, including the car door.
5. Pull her chair out for her.
Before sitting down at the table, first pull her chair out and let her sit first.
6. Use all the manners you’ve been taught.
Place your napkin in your lap. Use the proper utensils for the proper course. Chew with your mouth closed!
7. Let her order first, and don’t eat until she’s taken a bite.
I’ll admit that my wife doesn’t like it when I wait until she eats before I start, but I will continue to do it. I believe it bolsters the attitude of putting the other person first and shows your willingness to sacrifice for her.
8. Be pleasant and charming.
Smile. Engage in conversation that she will enjoy. Don’t spend the entire dinner talking about your own interests. Let her lead the conversation to a place she is comfortable.
9. Pay the bill.
It might seem old-fashioned, but a gentleman should open all doors, including the car door.Discreetly pay the bill without mentioning the cost. Always tip generously!
10. Close out in style.
You’ve made it this far—now close the deal. Drive her safely back home. You do not need to kiss her to consider the date successful. If it feels awkward or not right, then don’t do it. Walk her to the door, give her a hug, and thank her.
Sound off: What are some other things our sons need to know before a first date?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “If you could plan out the perfect date, what would it look like?”