Your Valentine’s Day etiquette reference

If this is not going to be your first date, do not follow your usual routine.

If this is not going to be your first date, do not follow your usual routine.

What you need to know:

  • How you treat and talk to waiters and waitresses shows the kind of person you are.
  • Don’t bring up questions about weddings and children or start a bitter rant about your former lovers.
  • Valentine’s Day is not the day you go mining for compliments or dishing out excessive and overbearing compliments.

If you are planning to go out on a date this Valentine’s Day, there are several turn-offs you should avoid if you want a memorable day.

The routine

If this is not going to be your first date, do not follow your usual routine. This means do not book the same hotels or buy the same flowers you have previously bought. Routine is boring, and on Valentine’s Day, it will tell your partner that they were an afterthought. Let this be the date you pull out the magic wand. If you don’t, you’ll probably be in a crowd participating in the red theme as everyone else on the street. Dr. Chris Hart, a psychologist and the author of Single & Searching suggests that you go against the grain. “Instead of putting on the usual red, why don’t you go for something romantic and African? Instead of going for expensive cuisines in order to look uptown and sophisticated, why don’t you go for a recipe from your cultures?” he says.

The appearance

Nowadays, there is a lot of pressure to experiment on looks. To each their own, it is said. But when it comes to appearance this Valentine’s Day, avoid putting on so much makeup that you end up losing your natural identity. Also, avoid experimenting with products you haven’t tried before, lest they give you a nasty reaction and leave you with your face on your hands. Dr. Hart recommends you stay delicate and as natural as possible. If there’s a possibility that your date will have a view of your lingerie after your Valentine’s date, avoid wearing items that will turn him off. “G-Strings are not sexy at all and men are not into them. They love thongs instead. Get into some silky and sexy knickers if you can, or some thongs,” he says. If you are a guy, do not assume a personality that is not yours to impress your date. For example, says Dr. Hart, don’t put on huge, cheesy sunglasses and rugged jeans to show what an irresistible bad boy you are.

The compliments

Valentine’s Day is not the day you go mining for compliments or dishing out excessive and overbearing compliments. “Don’t go fishing for compliments or constantly appear as though all you want is for your date to validate you,” says Dr. Seth Mayers, a psychologist and the author of Find the Love You Deserve.

The dining

Do not be a fussy or picky eater. At the same time, do not overindulge. Don’t get messy with alcohol too. “Do not take too much that you end up losing control and misbehaving. It will also not be a good idea to order for alcohol when your date isn’t taking alcohol,” cautions psychologist Patrick Musau. Be aligned in the things you consume. However, saying, ‘Niletee kama yake’ will not be a very good gesture. If you’re not familiar with terminologies, ask the waiter what they mean.

The conversation

Don’t bring up questions about weddings and children or start a bitter rant about your former lovers. “Questions about marriage or weddings will mostly backfire while topics on children will leave him feeling like a sperm donor,” says Dr. Meyers. This does not mean you schedule topics and subjects that you are going to discuss and then table them one after the other. Be spontaneous and interesting. Do not monopolise the conversation or inundate it with details on how accomplished you are.

The waiters and waitresses

How you treat and talk to waiters and waitresses shows the kind of person you are. “If you have a habit of using bad language on other people, or judging and describing people at face value, chances are that you’ll soon use the same adjectives on your date. Your date will notice them and your relationship won’t go very far,” says psychologist Ken Munyua. But it is not just the descriptions. Don’t give halfhearted compliments such as compliments that have a tinge of negativity in them.

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