First dates, hugs, kisses and awkward elbow taps

Dating etiquette

First dates, hugs, kisses what is the dating etiquette in the brave new world of dating post COVID?

Finally, in most states of Australia, you can meet face-to-face and everything is starting to feel relatively normal. But not quite! COVID has changed life – including how we date!

It can be awkward enough on a first date without having to worry about what are and are not permissible and acceptable hellos and goodbyes.

So, how do you do it without feeling awkward?

Do you embrace the awkward elbow tap or foot shake? Do you blow them a kiss and wave goodbye from 1.5 metres away, desperately hoping they’ll contact you later? What do you do if someone insists on a kiss or a handshake when you just don’t feel comfortable with it? What is the new dating etiquette?

Dating Etiquette Post COVID

The definition of etiquette is:

etiquette, noun

  1. the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.

Standard dating etiquette is:

  • Have good manners, don’t chew loudly, eat with your mouth closed, etc.
  • Don’t just talk about yourself, listen twice as much as you talk.
  • Be on time.
  • Don’t drink too much
  • Leave your phone in your bag/pocket
  • Dress to impress, don’t come dress like you are about to do your gardening.
  • Be respectful and polite
  • Don’t talk about exes, politics or religion.

Standard dating etiquette still applies, however, COVID has changed the rules around personal contact. Dating will be different post-COVID.

Shaking someone’s hand has become normal behaviour on a date, in a social situation and in business. In fact, for many people, it is a habit! So, trying to avoid it can feel really awkward and there are plenty of people who take it as a personal insult. So, I am going to let you know what you can say.

As a Dating Coach I feel that a handshake is a too formal for dating situations. It is businesslike rather than flirty and I believe it is a good thing if COVID makes it a thing of the past!

Origin of the Handshake

It is interesting to look at the origin of shaking hands! Shaking hands, was used as proof that you came in peace and weren’t holding a weapon. It was a sign of trust that you believed the other person wasn’t going to take their sword out to fight! You used your right hand to shake hands as that was usually the hand you would hold your weapon in!

Not flirty! Although I know plenty of singles who would like a sign that they could trust their date!

How do you respond when you don’t want to Shake someone’s hand?

Often it is not what you say but how you say it that matters. If someone tries to shake your hand use a light-hearted tone of voice and rather than saying,

‘I don’t want to shake your hand’ say ‘I am sorry, I know it feels weird but I am not shaking hands with anyone just now.’ That way you are not making it personal or about them.

Or you could say ‘I’m going handshake-free to be extra careful,’ This shows thoughtfulness and respect for other people’s health and well-being.

I don’t recommend saying that you don’t like germs or want to spread germs! That can feel insulting for the person receiving the comment. It can feel like you are saying you think the person is dirty or sick! It doesn’t feel nice. to be on the receiving end of.

If someone clearly tells you that they don’t want to shake your hand it is important not to take it personally. Take it as a sign of self-respect and not an insult. I know many people during COVID had parents who had sick or elderly family members who were at higher risk. I am sure you would prefer to date a person who cares about other people!

If you feel awkward remember that it’s far ruder to pass on germs and get someone sick and of course this doesn’t just apply to COVID!

You may also find that post lockdown some people may still feel the need to wear a mask or bring along hand sanitiser. I recommend that you don’t pre-judge them as over cautious or nervous but rather see that they are a person who cares about others.

What can you do Instead of the handshake, hug or kiss?

Have fun with the situation! I recommend taking a light-hearted approach to meeting other singles at any time. Have fun and smile when meeting rather than feeling the need to touch a complete stranger. For many singles having to touch someone they don’t know feels uncomfortable anyway.

Smiling is a universal language that makes everyone comfortable and is more likely to build a genuine connection.

An elbow tap or a foot shake may sound weird, yet you can have fun with them and humour is always a good way to deal with any awkwardness.

The New Dating Etiquette

The new dating etiquette is quite simple and if you are struggling to know what to do in the dating work, that is where a Dating Coach can help. Why not book in a discovery call now?

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