Dating dos and don'ts

Find a comfortable spot for a least-awkward approach, stay away from sex, overindulgence

Find a comfortable spot for a least-awkward approach, stay away from sex, overindulgence

July 14, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Don't talk about money, religion or exes.

Do talk about mutual friends, movies and current events.

Dating can be awkward, so try to make it as comfortable as possible by following a few tips, says Dr. Joy Browne, a clinical psychologist and author of "Dating for Dummies."

"I'm a great fan of the outdoor date," says Browne, who hosts a nationally syndicated daily talk show on WOR Radio Network in New York City.

With dinner and a movie, you're worried about what's stuck in your teeth, not talking with your mouth full and what you're wearing.


Instead, go to an amusement park, an art gallery opening, a botanical garden, the zoo, a car show or street fair, she suggests. That way you can wear comfortable clothes; no worries about buying new clothes.

Basically, you want to find a comfortable way to get to know each other, Browne says.

Daytime activities are less stressful.

Dinner is better than cocktails, lunch is better than dinner, brunch is better than lunch, she says.

And when the check comes?

Whomever asked the other out should be the one to pay the bill, Browne says.

Browne suggests not dating people who are married or recently divorced or separated.

And to talk about?

"One guy said don't talk about your mom on your first date," relayed bartender Christina Hutchinson from a customer at Brewer's Alley in downtown Frederick, Md.

Other advice her customers shared were that the guy should pay the tab, and, if you're a girl, act like you're into sports when it's on the bar's TV.

From her observations behind the bar, Hutchinson recommends not trying too hard and not getting too drunk on a date.

"That doesn't end well, especially on a first date," she says.

It also isn't a good start when meeting someone, says Chris Tereyla, bartender at Firestone's Restaurant in downtown Frederick.

"The one thing I can say for definite that never works is never wait until you've had a dozen drinks to start talking to a girl. That almost never works out well, and you do not become more charming the more you drink," Tereyla says.

Safe conversation topics include food, the weather and each other's jobs, Browne says.

But don't talk about operations, venereal diseases, jail sentences or parents.

"Don't tell (your date) anything you wouldn't want to be in The New York Times," Browne says.

And as for sex?

Browne says that's not a smart step on the first date.

And she thinks the three-date rule some men have is stupid - that is some men believe if they haven't had sex by the third date, it's time to move on.

Wait until you're ready, she says.

We want your dating story

Ever have a date that was so bad that it was just hilarious?

Or a dating experience so awful others should learn from it? And what did you learn? Share your stories and your dating tips.

The Herald-Mail wants to hear about your worst or funniest dating experience for a future story.

Please call staff writer Julie Greene at 1-800-626-6397, ext. 2320, or e-mail her at Type "Dating story" in the subject box. Please include your name and a daytime phone number.

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