Category Archives: Dating Etiquette

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Does Your Date Deserve An Introduction?

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Just about a week ago, my friend Justin Kimpson extended an invitation to attend the Ford Freedom Award event  at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.  I was already scheduled to be in town teaching dining etiquette for Deloitte, so the timing could not have been better. Now, we have been friends for quite some time, so there was nothing awkward, weird or out-of-place about going as his “fake date” for the evening; I was actually very much look forward to it.

Since we’re both native Detroiters, went to high school together and still work together in different capacities, we have a ton of mutual friends and colleagues, but since I travel quite a bit and formally live in Washington, DC now, Justin knows way more people than I do. There were several instances where Justin formally introduced me to people who I did not know, which was great. Now, I have no problem with working a crowd, introducing myself and joining in on conversations, but I must say, it is nice to be naturally pulled in and introduced.

I did, however, notice something very interesting that was occurring – lots of people were not introducing their dates, or were doing so as an afterthought. Now, it is understood that perhaps the lack of introductions were intentional for whatever reason, but if you are inviting someone as a date to an event (either in a romantic capacity or as a friend), it is your responsibility to engage them, at least during introductions. It is also wise to give some thought to the type of event that you are going to, and the type of person that your date is. In advance of extending an invitation, ask yourself:

  • Do I even have a +1 to extend?
  • What are my obligations at this event and will I have the time to entertain a guest?
  • What type of event is this and would my date be comfortable?
  • Have I given my date the heads up about what to expect, including attire expectations and any of my obligations that may leave them standing alone for a while?

Scarlet Says…events can surely be fun, and bringing a guest can take the fun up a notch, but without giving some thought to who you’re bringing, if they will enjoy and be comfortable there, and if you are comfortable enough to introduce them to others, you could be setting yourself up for a bad situation and a lousy night out. So, extend your +1 to events with care!

Until Next Time,



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How To Entertain Like a Boss! National Etiquette Week – Day 5

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The E-Word – entertain, can really rattle some people. If you are used to being the guest versus being the host(ess), even considering entertaining family and friends may shake you up a bit. Contrarily, if you are the master host who regularly has family and friends over, today’s post will merely be a refresher, with perhaps a few new nuggets that you can use at your next event.

So, how is it done? How do you position and prepare yourself to host your own event? While being a seasoned, experienced and efficient event host takes a while to master, you can certainly pull off a dynamic event by following some key elements:

Mind Your Guest List

Your guest list just as important as the event itself. Unless you are in to planning and solely attending your own events, you’ll need some guests to make the event complete. Now, here’s the thing, which we mentioned in Wednesday’s blog post – Yes, YOU can host a dinner party too, all of your friends or acquaintances may not be complimentary of each other. So, this means that you’ll need to give some honest and careful thought to your guest list.  Complimentary personalities does not mean that everyone must be a parent, attended an Ivy League School or work in government. This just means that you will have to ask yourself some simple, yet effective questions in determining who is best to attend THIS particular event.

Questions like:

  • What is the maximum number of people my venue can hold?
  • Is there a theme for this event? Is my guest list representative of people that I would enjoy being around and would they embrace this theme?
  • Does my guest list consist of people who will only talk about themselves or are they open to collective discussions?
  • Is my guest list filled with people who have picky personalities that would pick this event apart piece by piece and make my night a challenge?

Now, you certainly don’t want to alienate your potential guests solely because they are picky or have certain expectations, but you do have to ensure that your event goes the way that you planned it. In a perfect world, you’d be able to invite any and everyone, but if you really want to have a successful, enjoyable and peaceful evening, do give some thought to who’s on the list!


You Are The Event Host. Embrace It!

The bottom line is that you are the ringer leader, the front runner, the pioneer, the champion and the torch bearer for the event. People will likely accept an invitation to an event in large part because YOU invited them. While there may be good food planned, perhaps an expectation of great music and maybe event a hosted bar, many people would forego all of those things if the host left little to be desired personally. This is why you have to own this thing. This is your name, your vision, your personal brand out here, so invest some thinking and some planning into this!

Before your first guest knocks at your front door, rings your doorbell or sends that text that says, “I’m here”, you should already be in “host mode”. Host Mode (or as I referred to it in my wedding planning days, GO MODE) is when the imaginary director in your head says, ACTION. It is when you turn on your gracious ability to ensure guests are comfortable,  snacks are being snacked on, libations are being poured and people are generally having a good time. Mentally switching to host mode ensures that you will be fully ready to engage with your guests instead of finishing up last minute things in preparation for their arrival.

As you think through your event and what’s going to happen, you’ll also have to make some decisions on what you’re not going to do that may conflict with your regularly scheduled life. For example, perhaps you are a huge fan of Game of Thrones (as many people are), but subjecting your guests to watch it just because the season finale is on and it happens to fall on the same day as your dinner party isn’t the best move. Now, if everyone that you invited is a huge Game of Thrones fan, perhaps its not that big of a deal, but if it will detract from the focus of the event or bore half of the crowd, perhaps its best to just save it for you to watch another day.


What’s On The Menu?

Whether you decide to go the cheese and crackers route or spring for sushi and an array of the finest cured meats, it is in your best interest to give some intentional thought to your menu selection. The menu selection starts with one fundamentally important component for all events, the five words that most of us dread hearing or considering – HOW MUCH IS YOUR BUDGET?  Being honest, up front and accountable to your budget will make your event experience a positively memorable one. There’s nothing worse than wrapping up what you thought was a fantastic event, only to realize that you spent 200% of what you thought you were going to spend.

As you move towards actually selecting your food items, make sure that the items themselves are complimentary toward any activities that you have planned. Have you ever had a delicious meal and ended up feeling immobile for the remainder of the day? Do you want to have a philosophical conversation after the food is served? Are you planning to have open dancing? If your food selection has consisted of an array of comfort food like, mashed potatoes, short ribs, greens and cornbread, chances are your guests are going to be completely wiped out and very much uninterested in rigorous activities. When choosing your menu, be sure to keep your overall goals in mind.

Additionally, allergies are no longer a uniquely rare thing that just a few people have. About 1:5 people have some level of an allergic reaction to food. This means that if you took a quick poll of your immediate friend circle, at least one of those people will have a food allergy. Chances are, at least one of the people that you plan to invite to your event has a food allergy, so you may want to have multiple options to choose from, or if your guest list is small enough, take a poll to see what you’ll include and what’s left off the menu.

When guests arrive, you shouldn’t be still preparing food, cleaning up or getting yourself ready. There are ways that you can cook the meal yourself and still be in hostess mode when your guests arrive. If you go this route, you’ll just need to watch the time and ensure that you keep a to-do list to ensure that you’ll be ready to rock and roll when the first guest arrives. If you decide to go the route of cooking all of the food yourself as opposed to hiring a caterer, you may want to consider meal or grocery delivery that could assist with the added hassle of a trip to the grocery store.

As a treat to our Scarlet supporters and readers, and because I am an avid user of Hello Fresh, you now have an opportunity to try out your first Hello Fresh box at a deeply discounted rate. Hello Fresh provides weekly deliveries of farm fresh ingredients and delicious recipes to your doorstep. Visit their website and use the promotional code, Scarlet35, towards your first box. 

Ok…now back to the list…


How Wet Is Your Bar?

Right up there with your food selection choice lies another event component that requires some intentional thought – the bar and beverage choices. Generally speaking, your beverage choices are:

Wet Bar: consists of complimentary alcohol beverages during the event. (also referred to as an Open Bar)

Dry Bar: is completely void of alcohol or in some cases, alcoholic drinks that you can purchase.

Moist Bar: may consist of complimentary beer and wine and in some cases alcohol is available for purchase. Your decision to serve (or not serve) alcohol at your event is completely yours, but if you decide to, consult your budget first. Alcohol and food are usually the most expensive elements of any event. While an open bar is certainly attractive and will be very welcomed by your guest, if you are looking to reduce costs, consider a moist bar.

Also consider that, there are many people who do not consume alcohol or consume it, but are at a particular point in their life where they can’t consume right now, like pregnant women or people who are on specific medications. Of course you can have carbonated beverages, juice tea and coffee on- hand, but you could also take it one step further and have non alcoholic cocktails.

Scarlet Says…at some point in your life you just might get an urge to switch roles from guest to event host, and when you do Scarlet wants you to make sure that you are cool, calm, collective and pleased with the event outcome. Give yourself sufficient planning time, use these tips to your advantage and most importantly take time for you to actually enjoy the event yourself. Happy Planning!

Until Next Time,



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Are You Done Dating Your Mate?

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You’ve found the one – the one person who does it for you. They’re pretty much everything that you wanted to have in a mate and things have gone just magically.

So, your relationship progresses, then you decide, let’s expand our relationship a bit. Perhaps you’ve thought, “well, we’re pretty good people, so let’s populate the world with more little people like us”. You agree to procreate and commence to going half on a baby.

Congratulations, the baby arrives and then something less magical appears to begin happening. You and your mate no longer have time for each other anymore. The baby has completely taken over any of the free time and money that you once had.

This is a recent scenario that has been shared with us numerous times and couples are frustrated because they really want that old thing back-the romance, the desire to feel special or just an acknowledgment of the sacrifices they are making to make the relationship work.

So, what do you do if you’re in this situation? What do you do if you feel like your relationship as you once knew it is being hijacked by your children, your career, your parents or your business?

You’re pretty much going to have to revisit the basics. The same things things that you diligently engaged in to initially secure your mate will have to be dusted off and revisited.

  • Did you once take your mate out on spontaneous dates?
  • Did you used to send flowers or lunch to them without warning?
  • Did you used to make their favorite meal or snack and surprise them with it?

Well, guess what? It’s still OK to do these things.

Regardless of which role you play in the relationship, you have an opportunity to make your mate feel special in spite of timing challenges by just revising the simple, little things.

Your career, your children, your entrepreneurial endeavors. All of those things will always require your attention and there will always be items competing for your time. Your mate – the one that once made you feel giddy, special and admired enough to win your heart is still in there.

Scarlet Says…Take the time to tend to what’s important and special to you. You deserve it, your mate deserves it and your healthy, thriving relationship will thank you later.


Until next time,







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National Etiquette Week – #scarletetiquetteweek2015

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Guess what week it is! It’s National Etiquette Week and Scarlet will not miss this opportunity to get in on the action! You can look out for fun opportunities to engage with Scarlet all week long.

Monday: Kick off your week with positivity and thanks! Write 3 people a hand written thank you note thanking them for something that they’ve done for you. Believe me – they’ll remember and it’ll get you some major relationship building points. We stopped by Michael’s and they have a fantastic sale on thank you cards!

Tuesday: Share your etiquette pet peeves! The only way we can really live, work and play together is if we’re aware of how to best engage with each other. Share these pet peeves on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Wednesday: What’s one etiquette rule that you think should totally go out the door? We embrace modern, real-world etiquette so we’re dying to know your thoughts! Share your items on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Thursday: If there were a Scarlet Award – an award for someone who exemplifies what it means to be considerate of others, embrace perspectives and has a great sense of style, let us know. This doesn’t need to be the quintessential standard of what “style” normally is. This could be someone who just has their own flare, style or look. Who do you know? Let us know! Post about them on our Facebook wall, by tagging us and them on Twitter or even uploading a photo of them and tagging us on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

Friday: If you could change your workplace by enforcing this one office etiquette practice. What would it be? Share your item on our Facebook wall, by tagging us on Twitter or even tagging us in a photo on Instagram! We look forward to seeing your posts! Don’t forget the hashtag: #scarletetiquetteweek2015

We are super siked about all your upcoming posts this week! If you don’t want to engage online, but you still want to share, simply email us at

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Until Next Time,



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Wait On Me!: How Are You Treating Your Server?

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20140304-160352.jpgI love going out to restaurants! I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m a “foodie”, but going to a restaurant is just awesome. It’s all about the experience! From the moment I step to the host stand to the second I’m escorted to my table, to the selection of cocktails and appetizers, to the selection of the main course and desserts, and other accompaniments, I am excited! It’s not just the food and the environment that I’m smitten by, but also the people. Now while some good ole fashioned people watching is always a treat, that’s not the people who I’m referring to. I’m referring to the restaurant staff, especially the waiter or waitress, who we’ll refer to as our server for this blog entry.

Your servers and the interaction that you have with them can be the ultimate deciding factor between a fantastic dining experience and a bad one. But, should we as the customer be held in any way accountable for our dining experience. Well, of course we are! Every one of our actions and interactions have an impact on the outcome of that situation. While we heavily rely on our servers to positively impact our dining experience, there are certain expectations that we should have of ourselves when eating out. Scarlet challenges you to embrace these tips during your next dining experience:

  • Address your server properly: While our servers are there to enhance our dining experience, they are not our slaves. “Aye”, “Yo”, “You”, “Baby”, “Sweetie Pie”, “Shawty”, “Handsome”, “Good Lookin'”, are not proper greetings. You can call them by the name on their name tag or “sir” or “ma’am” are also alternative options.
  • Pay attention: We understand that you may not be ready to order immediately when your server first approaches your table, but do acknowledge them when they stop by. We briefly polled servers to find out what their etiquette pet peeve is while serving and the highest reported area was being ignored.
  • Tell them when they’re great: We often hear the stories of when someone gets bad service at a restaurant, but what about when someone gives great service! If your server is awesome and makes your dining experience a night to remember, tell them or leave them a note. (like the one pictured above.

While the food is often the main attraction at a dining outing, the people are what truly make it special! Enjoy your next dining experience and remember to treat your server with respect and dignity.

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ASK SCARLET: “I really like this woman, but she just can’t be on time, for anything…”

ASK SCARLET:  Scarlet, I’ve been dating this woman for about 3 months. We have had a lot of fun and we’ve experienced some really amazing things together, but we’ve also missed a lot of things because of lateness, on her part.  I totally understand lateness every now and then and maybe by 15-20 minutes, but I mean hours late, several times.  I really like this woman, but it seems that she just can’t be on time, for anything. A couple of times we missed events that cost lots of money and couldn’t be recouped. I’m a little concerned that this lateness is gonna be an ongoing trend, but I’m also concerned about rocking the boat too much, too early. Any recommendations on how to handle this? – James

SCARLET SAYS: Well James, it’s good that you are enjoying dating this woman. Dating is an exciting (and hopefully ongoing part) of any relationship. It’s good to be aware of timing and not rock the boat too early, but if you don’t address things that might be bothering you, they’ll likely do one thing – continue to happen. Talk to her about it.  Nobody likes to hear bad news,  so how you communicate not-so-good news is important.  Pick a time or day to chat when your mood isn’t affected by a recent “time” situation.  Choose your words wisely and think through what you are going to say before you say it. Most people tend to want to just “speak from the heart” or ” just say what comes to your mind at the moment, but what that usually results in is saying, “well, what I meant to say was….”. Most importantly, be genuine. Don’t be afraid to say what you do like about them during this conversation to lighten the mood, but do get your point across and communicate what you intended to! Happy Dating! – SCARLET

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