I have women ask me about dating etiquette. Essentially do the traditional dating rules still apply today?

The answer is mostly they do.

So, here is my take.

I believe when on a date, the gentleman pays. Pure and simple; if I have to pull out my wallet to pay for anything on the first date … there will be no second date. No exceptions.

Are doors opened and chairs pulled out for me … yes, they should be.

What has changed for me however is that I use to insist a gentleman would take me out to dinner and I would use his selection of restaurant as a weighing factor on whether or not there would be a second date. Call me shallow. Absolutely!!! It was one of my many learning experiences along the dating journey.

After about my first 6 months of spending 2 hours at dinner with gentlemen I really had no interest in; I came to the conclusion that it really didn’t matter where our first date was. I also realized how judgmental I was being. I was so glad I changed my tune; because it made my dating much more flexible as to what time of the day we met and what we did.

By the time, Grand Dude and I met I was well beyond the hang-up of where we went. I had learned that it's the person I'm getting to know; not the venue. Our first 3-4 dates where at a local Starbuck's. I’m so grateful for changing my tune on that point. Our conversations were so rich when we talked and still are to this day.

Another tradition that fell by the wayside is a man picking me up at home. That NEVER happened until I’m sure there is a future in our dating. We always met at a public spot. First is safety for me. Second is safety for my child.

Speaking of children. Be wary of anyone who wants to rush you to meet their children or wants to meet yours. Anyone wanting to pull kids into the relationship too soon never appealed to me. I am a firm believer that the relationship with the adults needs to be firm before introducing the kids.

Grand Dude and I didn’t meet each other's kids until our third month of regular dating when both of us KNEW our relationship was going to be long-term.

The inverse is true as well. I dated some men who absolutely had no desire to meet my daughter; they just wanted a relationship with me and me alone. I moved on from those men as well.

The dating scene was an area that I grew emotionally stronger. I learned what was of value to me in another person and more importantly not to compromise on the values important to me. It is one of the reasons it took 5 years of dating to find Grand Dude and fall passionately in love.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson has been a single divorced mother for 9 years. She has a teenage daughter. Debbi is also a recovered alcoholic for 9 years who’s marriage didn’t survive her getting sober.

Newly sober and divorced she struggled with reclaiming her life and writes about her experiences in her blogs. Through her own mistakes, she shares her experience, strength and hope for the bright future which today she now enjoys.

She is intimately familiar with the struggles of single parents endure whether it’s answering our children’s questions about divorce, spending holidays alone or finding love again. She also tackles topics such as dealing with ex-spouse, setting boundaries and steps to reclaiming You!

Debbi is widely published including being regularly featured in Huffington