Modern dating is full of etiquette land mines, from appropriate texting to when to “friend” request. But here is one I am most curious about since available single people are rare in the “middle” age bracket: What is the etiquette for connecting with someone else when out on a date?
You are at a party with a date with whom you have not yet committed to a singular relationship (we used to call that status “going steady”). You meet an attractive, available person with whom you have much in common and you would like to get to know better. Should you:
A. Give them your number and ask them to call you? After all, good prospects are scarce.
B. Wait for them to ask for your contact information and give it freely? They made the first move. Obviously they are interested.
C. Neither give nor receive contact information? Behave! You are out on a date after all.
D. Get their contact information later from the host or a mutual friend? This discrete tact saves face for you and your date while allowing you a way to pursue something interesting.
Given the lack of information available online on this particular subject, I consulted the next best source of information at hand—my Facebook friends—and got some pretty hilarious answers . One likened the situation to U.S. international relations and bridge-burning, using a supply and demand model. Another suggested that cuteness and winking would smooth over any bad feelings on the date’s part and entice the third party. Several responses concerned defining the “dating” relationship and gave answers based on the level of involvement—the more involved you are with the “date,” the less passing out of contact info you should be doing. But my favorite response was this: Take a cue from Frank Sinatra’s song list (not his personal life) and listen to the lyrics of “Luck be a Lady Tonight.” I think my friend meant this stanza in particular:
A lady never flirts with strangers
She’d have a heart, she’d be nice
A lady doesn’t wander all over the room
And blow on some other guy’s dice
I have to agree. The way one behaves in public speaks volumes regarding their character. Plus, if dating is an audition for a long term relationship then loyalty is an important character trait. I would be offended if my date gave out contact information to another woman for personal reasons (business is another matter). It shows a lack of respect. If I am out with a guy and we are just friends and we both have a clear understanding of that, then I would explain that to any potential dating material before I gave him my contact information. If the date and I are not exclusively dating, I would totally get the third party’s information from the host(ess) later.
It seems to me the better behaved one is, the better chance of attracting a nice person in the long run.
Mary Burruss is a freelance writer and blogger who thinks moving to Charlottesville was one of the best decisions she ever made. She writes about art and culture for pubs like Art Times, US Airways Magazine and Virginia Living, and blogs on culturenuts.wordpress.com and datingbycommittee.wordpress.com. Salsa dancing is the latest in a long string of her passions.