TODAY THE TRADITIONAL DATE SEEMS TO BE QUICKLY EVAPORATING. COURTING AND DINNER DATES ARE NOW SELDOM SEEN OR DONE, SO IT’S A RARE KIND OF MAN WHO ACTUALLY PUTS HIMSELF ON THE LINE TO ASK A LADY ON A DATE. EVEN MORE RARE, IS WHEN A MAN KNOWS HOW TO ACT ON A DATE. AS A LADY IT’S IMPORTANT TO IDENTIFY A GENTLEMAN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE BEFORE OUR EMOTIONS COME INTO PLAY. WHILST THIS ISN’T SO APPARENT ON THE FIRST TWO DATES, NUMBER THREE SHOULD BE SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE SPECIAL BEFORE THE NIGHT ENDS AND YOUR DRESS HITS THE FLOOR. NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, WHAT YOU DO, OR HOW IT ENDS, THESE ARE THE WAYS TO TELL YOU’RE ON A DATE WITH A GENTLEMAN.
A groomed gentleman is the difference between someone who has just gotten out of the shower and a man who has actually put some effort into looking his best in every way. While obviously he should have shaved and done his hair to a standard which shows a good deal of effort, a gentleman knows that small details speak loudest and a lady knows where to look to find them. Teeth, nails, the hair on the back of his neck, it’s these details that show the value of a mans hygiene and grooming, as well as the fact that if you can tell he’s had a hair cut, he’s obviously putting in the effort.
A gentleman’s clothes say almost as much about him as his grooming. His shirt should be ironed and everything, of course, washed. An ironed shirt shows effort but also, simply respect from the garment and for his presentation and if it’s a collared shirt, which it absolutely should be, collar stays are that extra detail that shows he knows what he’s doing.
A gentleman knows that the things that he takes care of, take care of him in return, so a real gentleman knows how to polish his shoes properly. To achieve a proper polish he has to set aside an hour or two to really make them gleam, which means he’s actually started getting ready for this night a few hours ahead of time and didn’t just jump in the shower and spray on some scent. So give him some credit for making as much effort as we are sure you did and remember that if he isn’t wearing leather shoes, you shouldn’t have said ‘yes’ to the date.
A gentleman picks his scent more carefully than he picks a wine and says a great deal about his character and personality. When it comes to cologne he should know the difference between an aggressive scent and an interesting fragrance. If he has gone for something incredibly macho, laden with tobacco and leather, or if he is wearing some citrus and marine laced aroma, he has no idea. On a date, a gentleman’s cologne shouldn’t be a massive statement, but rather a subtle gesture, he knows that at some point of the night, your going to be close enough to him that he doesn’t need to bombard your senses with a miasma of perfume. Spice and floral notes, are the scents to look for when you’re close enough that you want him to smell good.
Manners maketh man and good manners make gentlemen, so if he doesn’t know how to eat properly, he’s not going to have bothered to learn the way a gentleman does anything else. Knife in the right hand, fork in the other, napkin on lap. Though if you do count yourself as a lady, you’ll know what to look for anyway. You don’t want to bring someone to meet your parents, who can’t chew without looking like a cement mixer.
Ladies drink more wine than men, so it’s a test of a gentleman’s character to pick the wine. While tradition dictates that you allow him this slight dictatorship, don’t be afraid to speak up against a truly awful choice (ordering just a glass, is a good way to get round this, if it looks like he just has no idea). Usually if your having dinner, your already had a coffee and drinks date, so if he’s being paying attention he will already know what your preferred vino is. Gentlemen drink wine on a date and letting him choose a bottle is a test not only of his wine knowledge, which should be extensive, but also whether he’s been paying attention over the last few dates. If he can’t remember what you like to drink he doesn’t care and if he orders a beer for himself, its time to go.
Any man can learn how to dress like a gent, learn to polish his shoes and pick a wine. However, it’s the finer points of manners than distinguish a mere man from a gentleman. These manners, show not simply a desire to impress you, but rather the aspiring character of a man who is a gentleman even when not on a date, because a lady knows that a man is either a gentleman always or never. A gentleman is polite, doesn’t curse or use bad language, he knows its not attractive. A gentleman walks on the roadside of the sidewalk, he protects his date from traffic. A gentleman arrives early, he knows you want to be seen arriving. A gentleman compliments you on what you’re wearing, he knows how much effort you’ve put in to looking amazing. A gentleman simply knows these things, weather from upbringing, education or instinct, these are the ways a lady knows she is on a date with a gentleman.
Remember, A date is nothing but the difference in the amount of space between you on a park bench.