To tell you the truth, I knew almost nothing about cars before entering the auto industry. Zero. Zilch. I’m not ashamed to say it. I was selling cars for three weeks before someone explained to me (and showed me) the difference between alloy wheels and hubcaps. True story.What I did always seem to know was how important a role that proper car etiquette played in dating. There are definitely “rules of the road” that a person in the dating world must take into consideration when attempting to make an impression on that certain special someone. I thought it would be fun to list some of the proven (and chivalrous) right ways to use your vehicle on a date as well as a few of the wrong ways. The Do’s and the Don’ts, if you will.
If you have your own practices, whether they are generational or age-related, regional in nature, or gender-specific, please add them. I thought this would be a fun, entertaining, and comical way to remind us the many ways cars shape and affect our lives – away from just the sales and service of them.
Do: Park your vehicle’s passenger side closest to the front door if possible when arriving at your date’s home.
Don’t: Park your vehicle out of sight from the home. When walking back to the vehicle, it makes them feel as if you are leading them to certain doom.
Do: Walk up to the date’s home to meet them.
Don’t: Lay on the horn repeatedly until your date hurries out of the home. Or, even worse, text her with a “I’m here”.
Do: Open up the passenger door for your date.
Don’t: Stand back 10 feet and watch as they get in the car by themselves, all the while creepily biting your bottom lip.
Do: Walk around the back of the vehicle to the driver’s door after closing your date’s door.
Don’t: Walk around the front of the car so your date can hear you mentally psyching yourself up for the night. (Pointing at your own face “Don’t screw this up! Don’t screw it up, you stupid S.O.B.”
Addendum: In days before power locks, it was only proper for the date to lean across and unlock the driver’s door for them.
Do: Have your radio turned off when you start the vehicle. If you know your date’s music genre of choice, a low volume radio/Internet radio station can be playing. Understand, though, a pre-programmed playlist or selected CD playing already looks like it is planned and you’re trying too hard.
Don’t: Have speakers blasting hardcore gangsta rap, raucous heavy metal, or boy band music. It will either turn off your date or frighten the crap out of their parents/roommates still inside the home when they hear you blaring Eazy E’s song ‘Hit the Hooker’.
Do: Ask if the date is comfortable and adjust the air/heat to their liking.
Don’t: Demand that YOU put on their seatbelt for them and make animal noises as you drag the belt across them.
Do: Drive at a reasonable rate of speed and obey traffic signals.
Don’t: Drive recklessly and be overcome with road rage by cursing other drivers with sayings such as “I hope your BMW strikes a median and your family is engulfed in a ball of flames!” or “This funeral procession is the bane of my existence. Who do they think they are?! It’s not like the person in the hearse is in a hurry.”
Do: Make casual conversation.
Don’t: Talk about your car like it is a person. “She’s got an Orion subwoofer in the back. I bathe her thrice weekly.”
And don’t speak about lascivious areas of your car – “Check out how big that back seat is.” “Hey, you ever see the inside of a trunk before?”
Do: Consider taking your date to a drive-in. They are still magical places.
Don’t: Drive to a completely deserted part of town and educate your date “This is where my uncle used to bring me when I was young. He should be getting out soon.” (then shiver).
Do: Wait until your date enters their home before you drive off. Make sure they get in safe. You don’t want them stuck outside. (Only if walking them to the front door is not necessary).
Don’t: Slam the door shut behind them and peel off dangerously down the road while screaming “Back to the motel room so I can get my drink on!”
These are just a few vehicle tips on how to handle yourself when on a date. I’m well past the point in my life where I am dating, but do my best to carry these traditions on with my wife. I’d love to hear from those others who are willing to share similar advice, as well as from those young single folk out there who have more up-to-date experiences.