Dating Etiquette – Who Makes The Effort?


The dating world is an etiquette minefield. What photos should I use? Who messages first? How soon should I reply? Who picks the venue? What should I wear? Who pays? How do I escape if he turns out to be a twat?

To help answer some of these questions, Micro Loans company Ferratum canvassed the opinions of 600 daters to find out what people’s expectations are in the quest to find love, and here are the results – along with some of my personal reactions.

Before the date

  • 50% of men agree that dating apps are a good way of meeting people, while only 40% of women agree.

So men are more optimistic than women, huh? Could this be because they haven’t had to field as many penis photos and arsehole comments as we have?  When you’ve received your third aubergine emoji of the day and then had tonight’s date cancelled at the last minute, you can hardly be blamed for thinking the whole thing is a total waste of time. In fact I’m surprised the number of positive women is so high! Clearly they haven’t been doing it all that long. Poor lasses, they’ll soon learn.

But seriously, the fact that less than 50% of daters overall think dating apps are a good way to meet people speaks volumes. It’s time for something new. 

  • 40% of men and women agree that a meal out is an ideal first date. 

Again, check out the naivety of these people. A meal is DEFINITELY not an ideal first date, IMHO. You need to be able to cut and run at any time if the other person turns out to be a weirdo, a nutcase, or, worse, super dull, and you can’t really do that if you’re still waiting for your seafood linguine.

  • Women are far more likely to stalk someone on social media before going on a date with them (55%) while only 40% of men admit to doing so.

This is just common sense and TBH again I’m surprised the number is so low. Only 55% of women check out their date online first?!  There are so many creeps out there that we women should ALL be checking to make sure he is who he says he is, and not married, or a criminal, or a UKIP supporter, before we go to the trouble of putting on a face and actually going to meet him.

Getting ready

  • 61% of gents dedicate time to shaving before a date, versus just 44% of women.

Well I don’t know who these 61% of men are, but I’d bloody love to find them.  All I ever seem to see on dating apps are guys with giant beards.  Send the 61% my way!

Unless, of course, these guys are shaving somewhere other than their faces? Hmmm…

Personally I don’t shave before a first date, unless it happens to be summer and I’m getting my legs out anyway.  Though if I really like the look of him I will make the effort to pluck the one or two stray hairs that have started appearing on my chin. Fuck you, age!

Subsequent dates are a different story. If I think sex might be on the cards, then of course it’s a full landscaping. Which is why it’s so bloody maddening when someone cancels after you’ve gone to all that trouble, and why in my opinion it’s better to wait until date four or five as there’s less chance of all that hard work going to waste.

  • 17% of men spend time whitening their teeth before a date, but only 10% of women are concerned about having a dazzling smile.

People whiten their teeth before a date? Who has time for this?!  That said, teeth are one of the things that are often overlooked and are surprisingly important, so if your mouth looks like it’s full of rotting corpses, for fuck’s sake do something about it.

  • 32% of women spend up to £49 on their appearance and 14% shell out an eye-watering £100 on clothes for a date. The gents, however, spend far less, with 33% of men typically forking out no more than £20! 

I’ve gotta say, when I started dating seriously I did invest in quite a few nice dresses that would be suitable for both work and a post-work date. And those babies don’t pay for themselves. I guess it’s easier for guys, all they need to do is rock up in trousers and a shirt – in other words, the same stuff they wear every day. And socks. Please, guys, for the love of God, wear socks!

  • 44% of men put more effort in their appearance when they are single vs in a relationship. Women are more likely to put in just as much effort in their appearance when they are single and in a relationship. 

No surprises here then.   It’s a well-established fact that women don’t just (or even?) dress for men, they dress for themselves, and for other women. So that doesn’t change whether you’re in a relationship or not. You still want to look nice and feel good about yourself. So men, please take note. Just because you’ve caught her, doesn’t mean you can relax and stop making any effort. You need to keep her!

On the date

  • 68% of men would offer to pay the bill on the first date – which is good news for the 25% of women that wouldn’t have it any other way! The chivalry drops off dramatically after that, with 41% of men agreeing that the bill should be split on any further dates.

Is it only 25% of women who expect the guy to pay on the first date? That seems low. I suspect many of the women questioned were lying. But the fact is, no matter how feminist you may be, a lot of women still enjoy a spot of old-fashioned chivalry. It’s a chance for the guy to prove he’s a gentleman and genuinely interested in the lady. So it’s nice to know that most guys also subscribe to this view, and of course, once the etiquette is out of the way, most people are happy to go Dutch on future dates.

What do you think? Do you agree with the findings? Would you have voted the same way? Feel free to comment below!

Want more info? Here’s the full infographic:

This post was written in collaboration with Ferratum Money.


1 Comment

  1. Sam Salleh
    9th October 2018 / 7:31 pm

    I guess it is different for Asian. Some are the opposite ways.

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