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Dating Etiquette: Mind Your P’s and Q’s

The Dating Etiquette series continues — and this week we’re tackling yet another social faux pas:

Why isn’t anyone saying “thank you” anymore..?

Heartalytics reader, Rusty, wrote through the ask page with this concern:

“I’ve noticed what I consider to be a somewhat disturbing trend: The lack of a “thank you” after a date. As the initiator of most dates, I feel I should cover the cost of the drink(s). I find it nice if my date offers to pay, but I always politely decline. Of late, though, something unusual has been occurring. After I pay, I’ve often not received a “thank you.” I realize this may sound old school, or even a bit weird, but am I expecting too much by expecting a polite “thank you” after having paid for a drink or drinks? Any thoughts? Am I being too “old school” expecting what I consider basic manners?

As stated in previous articles, there has been a trending rush of questions from readers indicating a general lack of mannerly behavior on dates. Rusty’s observation falls neatly into this category, as did Ann’s from Dating Etiquette: How To Make Introductions. The root cause of this is a bit of a mystery and one can only speculate. I provide some possible explanations in the first impressions piece, but I think Rusty’s specific concern may an have additional cause.

Contemporary dating culture has yielded one undeniable fact: We are dating much more frequently.

It is not unusual for an individual to go on 3+ dates in a single week — all with different people. It’s completely exhausting! And perhaps the pressure to be on your best behavior flies right out the window by date 3, because you know you’ll be out again in no time with another faceless stranger. Ugh.

Just food for thought.

Regardless of the cause, there really is no good reason not to say thank you. That is, unless, your date paid begrudgingly and treated you poorly during your time together. Of course, my opinion is not the only one that matters. Per usual, I forwarded Rusty’s question to our Matchmaking team to provide a more detailed collection of responses on this topic.

Matchmaker Corinne Dobbas speaks directly to Rusty and makes some interesting points about core values:

You’re not being “old school.” You’re being clear in what it is that you want. You want to feel like your efforts are appreciated. The type of woman you want (and will likely end up dating long-term) will absolutely 100% appreciate you for picking up the bill, but more importantly communicate that to you.

There are many verbal and non-verbal signs that you pick up in the dating process. I call dating a “process because through dating, you’re able to determine your core values and preferred way of living. If your date doesn’t express gratitude for taking them out, then it may very well be an indicator that she doesn’t align with your core values. And not everyone will – that’s why people date!

However, if you find you’re really interested in your date and all aligns rather well (even if they don’t express gratitude), give them a second chance. She could have just had a really long day, she could be nervous that the end of the date is approaching, or it just may have slipped her mind.

Matchmaker Sophy Singer asserts that “thank you” never goes out of style:

Of course she should say thank you!

That’s not even old school. That’s common courtesy.  When someone treats another person (male or female) to anything, the person should say thank you, and say it like they mean it. I always expected men to pay for me on first dates (and hopefully most dates), but I still always felt special and thankful when they would meet those expectations.

Rusty is not alone here. I’ve read countless date feedback that expressly highlights how much the “thank you” at the end of a date was appreciated. A San Jose Member, Adam, included this with his date feedback:

“She also hit a home run by saying a genuine “thank you” after I paid the bill. It’s a pet peeve of mine when that doesn’t happen.”

There is something vital to note here, however. Yes, if you pay for a date you should absolutely be granted a “thank you.” I agree with Sophy that this is common courtesy…

But your monetary gift is not the only expenditure exchanged.

Your date has given you their time, their conversation, and their attention. Someone’s time is also an expenditure to be thankful for. So I challenge all daters to be gracious about the thank you’s they receive, accept them with a “you’re welcome,” and offer a “thank you” back:

“You’re welcome. I enjoyed getting to know you! Thank you for making the time to meet.”

Now that’s minding your P’s and Q’s!

Love Wisely,

Valerie Presley Ackler
Editor, Heartalytics

To catch up on the Dating Etiquette series, click here.

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