First Date Phone Etiquette

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Relationships can be tricky. And while the innovation of smartphones and social media have made it easier for people to stay in contact, the unavoidable and sometimes sad truth is that it has also led to a decline in the ability to connect on a personal level.

This can be doubly true when dating. First dates often have the potential to become awkward and uncomfortable (or second dates or even third dates for that matter), and sometimes the easy way out is to find a distraction. In these situations, the quick solution is to pull out your phone. Unfortunately, this is usually the worst thing you can do. Instead of taking a second to regroup and think of what to say or do next, phones often creates a distance between you and your date.

But, you might argue, what about those situations where it is helpful or advantageous to have a phone handy? Never fear. While there are some instances where a phone can be a valuable asset, there are some ways to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect your date at the same time. Here are a few etiquette tips regarding your phone when going on a date.

Plan Ahead

First dates can be amazing, but rarely are they spontaneous. Make sure to inform your friends and family that you will be unavailable for any kind of communication during the evening. While you may get some grief from some of your more sarcastic friends, it will definitely give you a leg up on the date.

Communicate Clearly

If you should need access to a potential call or text, say for a medical situation or work emergency, make sure to clearly communicate with your date. Let them know at the beginning what the situation is and that you may need to respond.

Be Prepared

Technology rules our world, and the ability to use it effectively can send a message that you are up to date and on the ball. Don’t be afraid to pull out your phone for a specific purpose such as confirming a reservation with OpenTable or using GPS to make sure you reach your destination on time. Just be sure to give your date your primary attention and your phone secondary.

Remember the Moment

Making sure to record the moment can have many advantages. Not only will you have a permanent memory of the night but it also can show your date that you care and truly want to remember the night. Taking advantage of the recent camera technology on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 will make sure that every detail is crisp and clear.

Ask Before Sharing

With apps like Instagram and Facebook, your first reaction might be to share any pictures and details of the evening with everyone you know. But, remember that you aren’t the only person involved. Make sure your date is alright with you posting the selfie you just took together, and, if they are, go crazy and share your fun with the world!

The most important thing to remember is always make your date your first priority. If you keep them the center of your attention and don’t get distracted by what might be happening in the world, they will feel both respected and appreciated. That will give you that much better of a chance in getting the second or third dates, or more!

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A Birthday Gift

I received this beautiful Jim Thompson scarf, by a fellow blogger and follower of my series for my birthday that recently passed.

Big shout out and thank you to Hugh Paxton for this beautiful gift from Thailand, where he is currently staying and blogging about.  You can visit Hugh’s blog here.

 

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Have a Romantic Date at Home

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Dating doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be fun, especially if you are dating that perfect someone. Sometimes the routine of dinner and a movie can get old and going out all the time can be expensive, so here are a few ideas for having a date night at home.

Wine Tasting

Whether you are a wine expert or not, this can be a fun way to experiment and find out what your date likes in their dinner beverage. If you want to get really creative, pair the wines with appropriate foods.

Cooking Together

Find a cookbook, flip to a random page and cook something brand new to the both of you. Have each person in charge of different parts of the meal or just wing it and see what happens. Not only can it be fun and adventurous but you might find a new favorite meal in the process!

Movie Marathon

There are a few options here. You can each pick your favorite movie and spend the night watching each other’s choices, or you can pick random movies and live on the adventurous side. Or, have fun and pick something you wouldn’t normally watch like a childhood favorite. Whatever it is, make sure it is light and fun.

Theme Night

Here’s an opportunity to go all out. Try anything from Arabian nights to a murder mystery to a favorite movie like Frozen. Just make sure you dive in 100 percent. Plan everything from the characters to the costumes to the food and music, and let your imaginations run wild.

Board Games

This is a great chance to relive the fun of your childhood by bringing out a beloved board game. You can each pick your favorite like Twister or Monopoly, or grab something brand new like chess. For something a little more intimate, consider a more adult-oriented games like Battle of the Sexes or An Enchanting Evening.

Dancing

First, you need to make the playlist. Get together with your date and pick out several songs from various genres, and maybe keep a couple of the songs secret from your date. Then, spend the evening in each other’s arms trying to dance the night away.

Breakfast in Bed

Do something a little different. Make breakfast for each other, and spend the evening cuddled up in bed maybe watching a romantic movie or listening to music.

Video Games

Play a variety of different games so you and your date can go crazy together. You can battle each other with Mario Kart and Kinect Sports, work off some energy with Dance Central 2 or work together with Little Big Planet. Just be sure to have fun, keep it light and don’t get too competitive.

Camping in the Backyard

Have a campout in the backyard. Go all out with a campfire, tent, lanterns and other equipment. Cook and eat under the stars while you enjoy the weather and each other’s company.

Talking

It sounds simple, but many times people don’t spend enough time just getting to know each other. If you need some help getting started, incorporate games like 20 questions, truth or dare or would you rather…? Sometimes just communicating with each other can make the best date ever.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure to keep it new and fresh. Alternate who is in charge of date night so that both sides always have something to look forward to. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and be sure to discuss what you liked and didn’t like so you can improve both your dates and your relationship.

Six Fresh Alternatives to Boring First Dates

You’re not alone, 102 million people were unmarried in 2011, according to the United States Census. This group also made up 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents who were ages 18 and older. Further, the dating industry revenue topples $2 billion a year with an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent. Regardless of if you’re married, single or currently dating, everyone can benefit from some fresh ideas it comes to finding the perfect date. Here’s a list of fun ideas to put the romance back in your relationship or impress someone on your first date.

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Find a Brewery Tour

Get out of your usual rut of dinner and a movie and do something truly unique. A brewery tour can take you behind the scenes of your favorite brew and gives the opportunity to sample. Most breweries will also give a few beers for free or at a discounted price so you can keep the fun going. If you’re not sure what to talk about after the tour, brainstorm your own beer ideas until your date turns into a fun adventure on setting up your own brewery with a ridiculous name. I’ll sample a Date Draft whenever you’ve got the first batch ready for sale.

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Go on a Motorcycle Ride

Go on a motorcycle ride through the country, city or the open highway. There’s no destination better than wherever the road takes you. But to really get into the biker spirit, shop for motorcycle jackets and accessories together to ride on your adventure out. Then come up with your own biker names and take on the persona of a young couple out for trouble—or maybe just to clean up trouble.

Volunteer Together

Refuel your relationship’s chemistry with a volunteer date. Working together for a common cause from packing up supplies for a food pantry to taking care of animals can help form bonds in your relationship. Pick an activity lasting from a few hours to an entire day and talk about how volunteering impacts your life. You might get a fresh perspective on your date you wouldn’t have seen before.

Go Stargazing

Cuddle up under the stars for a romantic date night. If you’re in a private space like your backyard, bring along a bottle of wine and snacks for an evening picnic. Don’t forget to look at museums for stargazing events.

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Be a Tourist

It’s easy to forget all the fun events and attractions in your own hometown or nearby city. Plan out a fun day of amusement parks, museums, festivals or the zoo for a staycation date. Look at your attractions’ calendar of events. Your zoo might host a jazz night, or the museum might offer a cocktail evening with a guest speaker. You’ll impress your date by your ingenuity and desire to find the very best in your own community.

Watch a Foreign Movie

Head to an international food store and stock up on cultured foods to match your foreign film of choice. Cook a meal together with your date and then cuddle up together for the main event. Opt for a flick without subtitles and try to guess what’s happening and improvise the dialogue. You’ll have a great time laughing at each other’s guesses and will still have time to chat without getting too distracted by the film.

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