By Leontina Richardson | President of Stepping into Etiquette
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. If you’re in a new relationship, this day might be a big deal because you want to do everything right. How do you do that?
- Ask rather than assume. If you are exclusive with someone, you might expect to spend the evening together, but check with your date first. Your partner might have to work, or perhaps your partner made plans to attend a concert with friends before you met. You should still ask him or her out on a date — the old fashion way.
- Plan the evening. After a few weeks of dating, hopefully you know a little about your date’s interests, so pick something that they will enjoy. A few years ago, my date took me to a banjo concert — yes, a BANJO concert. Why? Because he had an eclectic taste in music and wanted to see the show. Let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite Valentine’s Day. When planning your evening, you need to think about your partner’s interests—not yours!
- Make sure your date knows what to expect. Surprises are great, but let the person know what to wear so that he or she isn’t over- or under-dressed. If you plan a fun night of bowling, you don’t want your date showing up in a cocktail dress.
- Be on time. . Try your best to be on time in case your date has made reservations or has tickets to a comedy club with a set-time for when doors close. Have your purse and lipstick ready when your date arrives.
- Bring a gift. Since it’s a new relationship, you don’t have to purchase an extravagant gift, but something thoughtful will make a good impression. His favorite book, her favorite bottle of wine, a modest bouquet, or a DIY trinket are all charming ideas. You can never go wrong with a card with a nice note inside.
- Be present. Stay off of social media. You don’t have to record or take pictures of your evening out, so wait to take pictures of the flowers until you get home. Be present in the moment.
If your date plans something small, like a night in, but you’d rather do something fancier, don’t assume that your relationship is headed south. You’re still learning about each other. Valentine’s Day is just another day, so here’s wishing all the lovely couples out there many more dates to come.
Leontina Richardson is the president of Stepping into Etiquette, a training firm specializing in business etiquette, manners, and hospitality. For more information, visit the company website at www.steppingintoetiquette.com.