“If kisses are too long or too frequent they are apt to be sexually stimulating – particularly to the boy. This often causes trouble.”

-- So You Think It’s Love! (Dating – Necking – Petting – Going Steady), 1950


How to Date

On personal hygiene …

It seems obvious, but some people have a tendency to forget the little things in life that can mean so much to those around them, like, um, bathing. Once you’re coupled up and complacent, you might be able to get away with a skipped shower or that thatch of greasy hair, but if you’re planning on entering the high-stress world of competitive dating, you’d better learn fast that people will absolutely not love you for you. Especially if you smell a bit like old socks.


On meeting new people …

Pay attention to what the other person is saying, particularly if they’re saying things like “My husband and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary this weekend” or “I saw lots of stabbings back in the big house.”


On giving someone a good-night kiss …

When going in for a kiss (particularly a first kiss), never pounce on the person as if you’re trying to capture a chicken –- that can result in chipped teeth, broken eyeglasses, and quite possibly, a lawsuit. First ascertain whether your kiss is welcome by telegraphing your intentions with small intimate gestures: the hand on the shoulder, the deep stare (some advise staring at the person’s lips), or a subtle statement such as “Gee, I’d like to kiss you.”  If your kiss is unwelcome – or unwelcome at that time – your date will let you know. Some dates may be shy or play a bit coy; however, in no way should a sock in the eye or knee to the groin be interpreted as “playing coy”. If your kiss is welcome, it’s best to start off slowly (sudden and passionate can be incredibly sexy but is hard to pull off unless you’re French). However, don’t move so slowly that your date has time to get up and make a cheese sandwich.


– Excerpted from “How to Date in a Post-Dating World” (Sasquatch Books, 2006), by Diane Mapes


How to Date in a Post-Dating World • published by Sasquatch Books • Seattle, WA