• Sit up straight and stop fidgeting – good posture is good for your back, makes you look more alert, thinner and like an adult. Fiddling around with your keys, phone, fork, whatever, makes you look juvenile, nervous (which you might be) and inattentive.
• Say please and thank you – these words have been scarce or missing completely on a few dates I have been on. Doormen, waiters, and cashiers are people, too. Do them a solid and acknowledge their hard work with a thank you. If you want something, ask for it nicely and use the word please. If I do something nice for you like hold the door, pick up the pen you dropped or pass the salt to you, would it kill ya to acknowledge the effort with a thanks?
• Look at me when I’m talking to you – It’s good manners now to look at someone when they are talking to you to show interest and engage with them. Please do not check out other patrons in the theater or on the light rail. You can people watch on your own, but not on a date.
• Excuse me – This is a simple term to acknowledge a rude noise like a burp, to alert someone to your attempts to get by them in a crowded area or what you say when you accidentally step on my toe. It literally and figuratively takes the sting out of minor transgression. That’s all it is unless you fail to use the words, excuse me.
A gentleman or a lady is distinguished by their manners. Be one or the other.