First, let’s define what “Old Fashioned” means. Let’s not go with the definition that old fashioned is something your parents or grandparents did that none of your friends do now. This insinuates that old fashioned is something that should be left in the past, like small pox.

I think we should use the definition of something that is timeless, always works, and definitely worth trying; at least once. For instance, I love old-fashioned ice cream and old-fashioned caramel—fewer ingredients, but they come together to form perfection. Also, even though reading on the Internet has its advantages, nothing is quite as comforting as reading an actual book next to a crackling fire.

If you have never tried old-fashioned anything, try these ideas.

#1. Go on a real date – The word “date” insinuates something specific; as in a definite time, place, what you plan to do, and when you will be home. It isn’t “hanging out;” which really isn’t a date at all. Real dates are more precise and if done correctly, are special occasions. Also, if it is an old-fashioned double date, make sure everyone is in on the plan.


#2. Pick up your date – Okay—I realize it is the 21st Century. If you are fully caught up on gender equality, then whoever did the asking should be the one picking up. But to get back to old-fashioned, pick up your date at the door and be on time. If your date is a minor, meet the parents and let them know your plan and when you will be returning.

#3. Look your best – To be clear, looking your best isn’t about putting on a show. It is a gesture of appreciation for the invitation. Since you accepted the date, put your best foot forward—dress like you care, and put on a smile.

#4. Mind your manners – (Yeah, we are still in the 21st Century.) Manners never go out of style but they do evolve, evidently. You should try to use all the good manners you know. Good table manners are always acceptable as well as turning off your cell phone or at least putting it on silent.

In the tradition of old-fashioned, guys should offer to open the door for their date and be willing to pay for meals and entertainment—unless…she prefers otherwise. At that point, determine each others’ preferences and go with them. A date isn’t a good time to argue about social trends.

Above all, you should never put your date in any danger or in a compromising position. For instance, if you want to experience the thrill of shoplifting or driving drunk, do it on your own time.

And, of course, don’t forget please and thank you.

#5. Know the purpose of your date – You should never date without a specific purpose in mind. A first date should be designed to get to know each other better. This is why the old-fashioned dinner and movie date is such a great standby. Go have a meal together. Take your time, talk, and get to know each other. Does your date monopolize the conversation? Do you? Does your date talk at all? How does your date react to spilled ketchup? If they go ballistic—that’s good to know. A movie is a nice respite from talking after that—and if it’s a good movie, all the better.

There is also the, “I had fun last time and enjoyed being with you. Do you want to do it again?” date. What’s the purpose of this date? It is to discover more about each other, have fun, or do something meaningful.

Eventually, your dates may evolve into more romantic ventures. However, as any married person will tell you, your relationship will always need dates with a variety of fun, talking, adventure, and fulfillment. A make-out session isn’t a date as much as it is…well, something else.


#6. Put away your expectations – The person of your dreams just said yes to a first date—calm down—don’t go ring shopping just yet. Keep things in perspective. She or he may find you boring and end up disliking you. So much for your expectations of a romantic, lingering kiss at the door after you just laid out a week’s salary for the expensive dinner and carriage ride. And…back to the 21st Century—even if you both had a good time, what makes you think sex would be a great way to end your first date? (I don’t care what they do in the movies)

#7. Be yourself – A date isn’t a theatrical play and you shouldn’t be trying to portray a character that isn’t you. It is actually a form of lying and not exactly a lie you can maintain. Even if your date buys the act and you go on other dates, or worse, you start hanging out, he or she will feel betrayed when they find out who you really are. It is never worth it.

#8. End the date on a high note – No matter how much you didn’t enjoy the date, you should always end the date with some form of positive gesture that shows gratitude. Your date took precious time out of their life to spend it with you. If you fail to show gratitude, you miss the point of dating. Dating is a preview of your future life and subsequent long-term relationships. If that seems like an old fashioned idea to you, thank you for the compliment.