Etiquette for Dating
The Dreaded Word: Curfew
The hour at which a teenager must be home is one of the most difficult problems to be
settled between teens and their parents. During the early teens, the parents should
set time limits on dates and see that they are kept, even though this may mean waiting
up to greet the returning son or daughter.
As a general rule, ten-thirty or eleven is a
reasonable time for a thirteen or fourteen year old to be home. The hours should be
made a little later each year, so that sixteen or seventeen year olds might stay out
until twelve-thirty or one. If they are going to be late, they should call home and
tell their parents so they don't spend all night waiting up for them.
When a youngster
reaches his late teens, his hours should be regulated only by his or her own need for
sleep or for the rules of his school or the wishes of his parents.
Boy-and girl dating really should not begin until they
are either thirteen or fourteen years old although girls generally are ready before boys of
the same age are. This is probably best determined by how mature and responsible the boy
or girl is.
At what age a boy dates depends very much
on the boy himself. The first sign, of course, is cleanliness. He will suddenly begin
bathing without reminders, spend hours sitting in front of the mirror combing his hair,
begin wearing cologne, and constantly wondering HOW he smells, and constantly asking if
anyone notices how deep his voice is getting. Any of these are signs a boy is beginning to
Most teens feel more comfortable starting out on dates with another couple or
two. Dates on their own should wait until a later age.
Refusing a Date
Suppose there is a school dance coming up. Heidi,
like every other girl, is dying to go and waiting impatiently for the phone to ring.
The wrong boy calls up.
Does she fib and make up an excuse?
Should she tell the truth?
If he is a shy, insecure young man, she should be
extra-careful and compassionate about the way in which she refuses. Suppose a young
man calls and wants to "go out" with a young girl. If she does not wish to go, she
should be "genuinely" sorry about having already accepted another invitation first, or
"having to go somewhere with the family." If he persists in inviting her and she does
not wish to go out with him, the kind thing for a girl to do is to invite him to a
gathering of several young people at her home. The same goes for guys.
Dating and Money--Who Pays
Dating does bring
with it increased financial responsibilities. And boys should learn early to be frank
with girls about what entertainment they can afford to offer.
Or rather the dat-ee should
be frank with the dat-er. Girls can ask guys out too and should be prepared to pay if they
do. Or she may wish to give her date a sum of money from which he can pay
for thing's as they go along. For either person, pretending to have more
money than one actually has is very foolish, and usually no one is fooled by the
Dating and Money--Running Short
Running short of money can be embarrassing but really it shouldn't be. A girl should always
have some money with her on a date. If a boy finds he doesn't have quite enough money,
he can always ask the girl, "Can you lend me some change?" The girl should be ready
to chip in and forget about the repayment.
The First Date--Meeting the Parents
The girl's parents should meet
any boy who is going to take their daughter on a date. He should be able to exchange
a few words with them, and the parents in return should realize that this moment can be
very embarrassing for the boy. Conversation should be light and casual. After all,
the boy has been willing to show his face at the door!
Teen Car Manners--Guys AND Gals
When a young man is picking up a date, he should go to the girl's door to pick her up.
She should not
keep him waiting. The traditional courtesy of a boy always opening the car door for a girl is not
often practiced today, although girls still enjoy the extra attention.As she approaches the car,
he should lean over and open the door for
her if he so chooses.
Sometimes a girl has her own car
and the boy she dates does not. If she picks him up, she should also be ready to meet his
parents and pick up the tab. The girl's date may certainly drive in the car with her, but he
should not be permitted to take the wheel if the car is registered in her parents' name
without specific permission from them, because it is possible the insurance might be
invalidated in case of an accident.
In Both Cases
In either case, a young driver
must take very seriously the responsibility for his or her passenger(s).The driver must
not crowd the car beyond the legal limit or drive while under the influence of alcohol
or drugs. Neither should the driver permit an unlicensed driver to take the wheel.
Both hands should be on the wheel. Remember, a car can be a
potentially lethal machine.
The passenger should be very careful not to let
his or her date drive if he has been drinking or is under the influence of drugs and should
be ready to take the wheel at the first sign of careless driving.
He/she can always say,
"You have been drinking. I will not go with you. Let me have the keys. I'll drive now."
If that is unsuccessful call home for a ride. Better to be considered
old fashioned than to be dead or injured.
Returning Home From a Date
A boy should not just drop his date off but should see her to the front door of her
home when returning after dark. Whether a body is invited in after a date depends on
the hour and a girl's understanding with her parents in the matter, and whether or not
someone is home.
History of Etiquette
Etiquette for the Phone