You’ve read dating ‘don’ts’ — Here’s the ‘do’s’


* Strive for a great two-way, give-and-take conversation and share some upbeat, positive points about yourself. At the same time, find out a few about her. What does she like to do that you also like to do? How did she choose her profession? What would she like to do that she’s never done? What are her activities?

* Find something to talk about besides college, guys, unless you’re in college!


* To the men: although it is not equitable, you must pay for everything or you will be labeled as “cheap ” by the women. At the very start of the date, ask her what she would like to drink. Don’t give her a chance to buy her own or wonder if you’re going to pay. It is usually best for the first encounter to be a brief meeting for coffee or a drink. You do not need to take her to lunch or dinner at the first meeting. If the two of you like each other, you can take her to lunch or dinner on the second date. Better yet, find an activity that you both enjoy and do that on the second date, if you get that far. If you really want to take her to dinner on this first date, choose a quiet spot where you can talk.

* And women: don’t expect a man to buy you dinner, especially an expensive dinner, on your first meeting. That is just not fair. If he insists, okay, but I always recommend a brief meeting so you can check each other out.

* Men: At the end of the date, walk her to her car. Chivalry is always in style.

* But touching her is not. As a general rule, please wait until at the least the third date to touch her. And at that point, make sure that you and she are on the same page. I keep saying this, but the guys are still not controlling themselves and are jeopardizing a potentially fantastic relationship. Hands off, for now!

* Do shower and shave before a date. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash. Getting a haircut or style might be good, too.

* Do clean out your car–she might see it!

* For the guys, business casual is probably the best attire for most first dates. For the ladies, wear what men have told you looks good on you.

* Make sure that you are on time. It is inconsiderate to keep anyone waiting for any reason unless you have a true emergency.

* Do make good eye contact. Even if you have decided in the first moment that you never want to see that person again. Just gently get out of the situation. And if you are interested, make great eye contact!

* If you have not done so already, figure out a foolproof method of monitoring your breath before every date, during the date, and during your life. I’m not sure whom you can enlist to help with this, but halitosis limits your options. Unbeknownst to you, this seemingly minor flaw could be sabotaging your relationships (and jobs, etc.) What a shame.

* If you are on a date and have made a definite decision that your date is never going to be your spouse (or your friend!) even if they are the last person on earth, please don’t lead him or her on. Politely thank your date and excuse yourself after _ hour or so. Perhaps your date would be suitable for a friend of yours.

* Be upbeat, interesting, and positive, even though dating can be stressful. Good luck!

For more tips, take a look at the book SpeedDating: a Timesaving Guide to Finding Your Lifelong Love, by Yaacov and Sue Deyo, the creators of SpeedDating. Or visit

Who is Paula?

Sparks Matchmaking Service strives to connect Jewish individuals for the purpose of dating, marriage, and Jewish continuity. There is no charge for Paula’s services but donations are requested in order to improve the program and to attract new participants. Contact her at 314-721-3638 or [email protected].