Each time you spent hours composing the perfect online dating profile, afflicting around every word and punctuation mark also, the idea of the need for dialogue with a date face-to-face can probably feel immensely overwhelming.
It’s polite to put up initial resistance, but after that you should go with the flow.
And if you decide to split the bill, don’t quibble about details or ask for a VAT receipt - neither is a very courteous (or romantic) stance to take.
Certain topics of discussion should be out of bounds - your ex, your weight, your illnesses, your losses on the stock exchange … And avoid making comments that could be taken amiss …”Your hair looked much blonder in your photo,” or “You don’t really mean to say you believe in astrology, do you?
”, or telling the other person what they ought or ought not to do …”You shouldn’t put so much salt on your food.
It is still highly acceptable for a man to help a woman on with her coat, or at the very least to hand it to her.
He should also offer to walk her to her car, bus, train or whatever.
If she accepts, then he should not see that as a come-on.
And when the two of you say good-bye to each other, read the signals carefully: if you are unsure what’s going on - and if you want to, of course - you can ask the other person if a parting kiss is in order.
Again, neither of you should read anything into this social gesture.
Good manners also make a difference, of course, when you are turning someone down – even if it’s at the initial stage of a contact request.
It can be too easy simply to disappear into Internet anonymity or to behave in a way that wouldn’t be acceptable in ‘real life’.