How would you feel if your cellphone rings at the table or there's a long pause when the cheque comes during your Valentine's Day date -- make sure you try avoiding certain situations when you take your loved one out.
Good etiquette commands one's undivided attention to another person while on a date, says Sheena Agarwaal, director of Urbanista Image Consultancy. She has shared tips on how men and women should make the day a memorable one.
Rules for men
* Never wait till the last minute to ask the lady out. Popular or not, most women are most likely to be asked out by more than one man on this night. So make sure you get this one right. Having said that, don’t make yourself seem too over the top. Ideally, a week before the day is a good enough time frame.
* Make sure your choose a good florist. Ideally once you choose your florist, you should stay with them as this will ensure a relationship is built up and they will learn what suits you best.
* Special and meaningful doesn't have to mean expensive. If on a tight budget, cook at home. There is nothing like a home-cooked meal. It also lets you get creative with the menu and dish out some of the lady’s favourite flavours and dishes.
* Usher the lady out the car, hold the door for her and seat her at the table.
* If eating out, make sure you make your reservation well in time. Also, manage your expenses well before the big date. Nothing can ruin the night more than a credit card that just got declined.
* When getting the cheque, offer to pay unless the lady offers to ‘go dutch’. Refusing once is a good practice but not at the cost of getting into a tug of war.
* Remember to always maintain eye contact, but not in a creepy way, while on the date. This day is about the couple expressing the love and affection they share.
* No one wants to be courted by someone with bad breath or dirty nails as your image and persona is vital for success. You don’t have to be dressed from top to toe in Savile Row, but cleanliness and style will pay dividends. When dressing yourself, remember there are sartorial rules for a reason. Break them at your peril!
Rules for Women
* The most important thing to remember is that men are different from women. Give men some space so they can reflect on what a catch you are.
* Dress to respect all the effort put in by the man to make this day extra special for you.
* Remember to keep in mind what your dress says about your intentions -- people can dress to reflect their mood subconsciously for instance a black low-cut neck means you’re interested; a black nun’s habit means anything but.
* Nothing sparkles more than your eye under the candlelight. Hence you should dazzle them all the way. Keep your make-up simple yet elegant for a sit-down dinner.
* Even though you have known your date for the longest time, please reserve your everyday gossip for another day. This day is about both of you.
* Leave your baggage behind and literally so. There is nothing worse than a woman scuffle through her bag to find that lip gloss. Invest into a classy clutch to carry the necessary.