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Manly Skills

A Gentleman’s Guide to Proper Dining Etiquette

Evening gents, welcome back to The Young Gentleman’s Guide! Now, we’ve all gone to eat at  someone else’s house or at a restaurant before (like a real, sit-down restaurant, not a fast food  place). And I would hope that you try to keep proper table manners and common decency in mind, because they do in fact still apply past your days as a kid when your mom asked you to keep your elbows off the table. By doing that, you’ll create a much more positive self-image for your hosts, show respect to them, and it will overall make your dining experience all the more enjoyable (especially if you’re on a dinner date, fellas). So just in case you don’t keep table manners in mind for any reason, today, I’m going to give you five (5) easy steps to improving your dining etiquette.

1. When do you start eating?

This can be a difficult question to answer. Most people will say to start eating when other people do, but that can be a bit hard to gauge. I was always taught to wait until everyone has their food served to them. However, it may take a while to get for everyone to get their food, especially if you have a large group. So a good rule to follow is that if hot food is being served, if at least two (2) people are seated and served, then you can start eating, provided you yourself have been served. Of course, this is all assuming you’re eating in a group larger than four (4). If your group is four (4) or fewer, just wait for everyone to be served. In general, you do not want to be  the only person eating, but you also want to eat hot food while it’s still hot.

2. Mind your elbows

This is a simple rule. You should not put your elbows on the table while in the middle of the meal is NOT ALLOWED! It’s simply improper, plus you’ll run the risk  of getting a stain on your shirt (if  you’re wearing long sleeves, that is). However, it is perfectly ok to put your elbows on the table in between courses or during coffee is perfectly okay. It’s only when there’s food on the table that you should keep your elbows off the table. That actually brings me to my next rule.

3. Do not reach

Whether you’re eating at a restaurant or at someone’s house, there is likely to a large spread of food across the table. So there might be something you’d like to eat that’s halfway across the table. With that in mind, how should you go about obtaining that item? It’s fairly simple. If you have to reach across the table, meaning you have to get up out of your seat to get it, don’t even bother. Simply ask someone else at the table to pass it over to you. Simple as that

4. Bring the food to you; don’t bring yourself to the food

Let’s face it, we’re guys. Our natural instinct is to shovel food into our face like an animal. This is fine if you’re eating by yourself in the privacy of your own home, but if you’re out eating with someone, you’ll want to make a good impression on whoever you’re eating with. It could be family, a co-worker, or a lady friend. So if you want to leave said impression, it would be smart to not eat like an animal. A couple of good general rules is that you should not put as much food on your fork or spoon as you possibly can and to let the food to travel at least a good ten inches to your mouth.

5. Put the phone away!

It always surprises me how often I sit down at a dinner table and see so many people glued to their phones, as if they’ve forgotten what the purpose of going out to dinner is! The whole point of going out to dinner is to interact and socialize with whoever you’re eating with. And just like I said earlier, you’ll want to leave a positive impression the host, whether it be your boss, your family member you haven’t seen  in a long time, or your date. So in order to avoid making things awkward and leaving other diners feeling offended, just turn your phone off. You’ll be fine without having to check Facebook or Instagram for an hour or two.

So there we go! Follow these simple steps, and you’ll end up leaving a very nice and positive impression on your dinner hosts. As a result, they might invite you to even more dinner plans! Thank you all so much for checking in on The Young Gentleman’s Guide. Please comment down below if there are other ways to improve your dining etiquette that I missed, and be sure to follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Twitter. We have a pretty big announcement coming in the next few days, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. But until next time, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide signing out!

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How to Date

Afternoon gents! So, I recently read an article from the Odyssey Online called “Why We Need To Start Dating Again.” It was a fantastic article which I’ll include a link to right here

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/miami/why-we-need-start-dating-again/105125

After reading that, I instantly knew it had to become a post on the blog. So today, I’m going to give you four (4) easy steps on how to date more properly. Now, for those of you who saw the video on my YouTube channel about ways to improve your first date, some of those things may apply to this post as well. So without any further ado, let’s start the list!

1. Ask her out in person

Now this applies before the date even starts. Now, in today’s increasingly digital age, it’s easy to just ask the girl you like out on a date over text message, Facebook Message, Snapchat, etc. And it’s because of this that asking someone out to their face is practically unheard of nowadays. But there is a huge problem with this. Without that direct channel,  you won’t be able to see her reaction to your proposition! Whether she’s single, taken, or just not currently interested in dating, she will, more often than not, be extremely flattered that you want to date her. And I get it, it can be extremely nerve-wracking, but the worst she can say is no. It’s not the end of the world if she doesn’t want to go out with you. It’s not like she’ll never want to speak to you again, she just doesn’t have those same feelings that you have. (On that note, there’s no such thing as the fabled “friend zone. If she doesn’t want to go out with you, just leave it at that.)

2. Set a time and stick to it

More often that not, all you hear about when someone goes on a date is that the person’s date was late either to meet them at the place or to pick them up (and yes, being “fashionably late”, whatever that means, still counts) . This is a problem not only with dating today, but with people in general. People don’t seem to value punctuality as much as they used to. The best thing when you ask someone out, hopefully in person like I mentioned earlier, you two should establish a time either to meet at wherever you two are planning to go, or for one of you to pick the other one up. You’ll just be asking for trouble if you can’t show up on time.

3. If you pick her up, go to her front door

We’ve all experienced it; someone picking someone else  up at their house and them just texting them saying “I’m here.” To those people, I have to ask: what’s wrong with going to their front door? It’s a great way to leave an impression on your date, and it could even be a way to introduce yourself to your date’s parents. Again,  I understand. It can be incredibly nerve-wracking, and it could be incredibly awkward, but it’s not the end of the world. So one small aspect of the date is kind of awkward. So what? It’s a date, it’s inevitable that not everything will exactly as planned. Just continue with the date and have fun!

4. Keep conversation colloquial

Up until now, all these tips apply before the actual date starts. But now that you’re out on the date, you need to keep your date engaged while you’re out. Obviously, you’ll have a conversation while you guys are out, but you need to keep what you’re talking about appropriate. You’ll clearly want to avoid any sensitive or controversial topics such as religion or politics, unless you two share similar views on such things, but for the most part, it should be avoided. Just keep things simple; if you guys are both in school, talk to each other about what you’re studying or what classes you’re taking. If you’re both working, talk about your jobs, what you do, or what your schedules look like (which could really help in setting up future dates). Those are just a few examples though. You could talk about your families, your hobbies, your favorite movies, etc. Again, anything except religion and politics.

So there you go! Follow these four (4) steps, and you’ll be on your way to a great date! Don’t worry if things get awkward, just keep it natural and enjoy each other’s company. If you follow these steps, things should go really well between you and your lady friend, and you could even have more dates in the future!

Be sure to follow me on social media and let me know how any of your dates go following these tips. Until next time, this is Max from Men in the Making, and I’ll see you next time!