When you become an international inside the US part of the experience will include the new people you meet- including any love interests that come about. If you’re considering dating while studying in the US it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with a few standard protocol items within the dating world before you venture out. Knowing these can help ensure that cultural differences won’t make you appear rude during a night out on the town.
Where To Go
If you’ve asked someone to go on a date then it’s standard for you come up with the plan on what you’re doing and how you’ll get there. If you’ve just arrived in your new host town and you’re not yet sure of great places to go, make sure you ask around so you can have a plan of action ready to go. Also, make sure you take into consideration what your date would enjoy doing. If they’re not a big party animal don’t take them to a night club- mini golf or a movie might be more up their alley and help the date run as smooth as possible.
This one is tricky as it’s not always black and white. In the US, traditionally the male pays. However, as time progresses there are more exceptions and caveats to this rule. Depending on your date, here are a few other routes that the payment situation can take:
- Whoever asked the other on the date pays
- All bills are split
- One individual might pay for dinner while the other pays for the movie
In any situation, make sure you have enough money readily available to cover any bills throughout the night. However, if your date asked you to go out, then orders the most expensive item on the menu without even offering to help with the bill- don’t feel bad about allowing them to pay for the next event in the night.
What to Wear
Unless you’re going somewhere extremely fancy, wearing a suit isn’t necessary when going on a date in the US. However, you should dress nicer than what you wear on a daily basis, to show that you made the extra effort. If you typically wear jeans and a polo shirt then a nice pair of black pants and a button up shirt or sweater would be appropriate date attire. Also, make sure you take into consideration where you’re going on your date- if you’re going for a hike skip the dress and high heels. Make sure your date is also aware of where you’re going so they can dress appropriately.
Don’t Forget to Tip
If you’ve been inside the US for a few days or weeks then you might already know it’s customary to tip. If you’re paying for dinner don’t forget to add on a few dollars to tell your waiter or waitress thank you. Not tipping after a meal might give your date the wrong impression, and ruin your server’s night, so don’t forget!
No matter how your date dresses or what signals you think they’re giving you- don’t assume that they want you to kiss them or pursue any further physical contact through the night. If in doubt, ask! Also, don’t assume that at the end of the night your date wants you to walk them to their door or go inside- even if you’re simply trying to be polite, this might give them the wrong impression on what you expect.
Mention a Second Date
If everything is going great- hint at a second date. Their reaction can help you judge how the date is going and if you should ask them out on a second date! If the date isn’t going so great this can also be a great cue that the night should take a turn (if they’re not enjoying stargazing take them bowling!) or come to an end. Most Americans will make it obvious (or even tell you) if they like you or if they’re just wanting to hangout as friends- so don’t be surprised if this happens!