This Valentine's Day, consider wooing your beloved the old fashioned way.
A 20-year-old friend recently told me she was really quite done with Tinder.
"For once, I would like to be asked out on a date properly and not be slept with!" she said, sounding evidently frustrated.
It seemed like a fair request.
We're living in a fast-paced world where one-night stands and friends with benefits are more common than the Hindu Mahasabha might want to admit.
Whatever happened, she asked, to old-fashioned courting?
So here it is, for the sake of my young friend, a list of things that you our dear young readers must consider while asking a girl out on a date.
1. Ask her out on a date
If you like someone, say it!
Don't guise it as friendship or 'hanging out'.
This also doesn't mean you pull a Ranbir Kapoor from Rockstar.
Pick the right moment, be sincere about your feelings and intentions and ask her out on a date.
2. Keep sex off the table
Did folks from our parents' generation end up in bed after their very first date?
Chances are they didn't.
If your hormones are raging, sex will be on your mind. But why should it be on the table on your first date?
There's something about the thrill of chase; experience it.
Moreover, be a damn gentleman for a change! There's something nice about it.
3. Pick her up and drop her back
Talking of being a gentleman, if you've asked someone out on a date, she is your responsibility for that evening.
So it is only fair that you offer to pick her up before the date and drop her home after.
However, take into consideration the fact that she may not want you to do either (her parents may not be approving, she doesn't want you to know where you live... the reasons are many) but it is only fair that you offer.
4. Dress the part
Would you dress shabbily for a job interview?
Why then would you do the same for a date?
Don't show up in some shabby t-shirt.
In fact, unless it's a polo neck don't even think about a t-shirt!
Polish your shoes.
Shave for god's sake!
Show your date some respect. She will appreciate it!
5. Turn off your mobile phone
Again, think of yourself in a job interview.
Would you keep your phone on? Or would you turn it off?
If you like to see yourself as being a professional in a job interview you should have no problem being a gentleman on a date.
6. Don't be ashamed of being seen
Let's get this straight: If you've asked someone on a date, the least you can do is not duck under the table if someone spots you.
You're on a date; you're not committing a robbery.
If someone you know walks up to the two of you (and yes there's a good chance it's a curious aunt or uncle with nothing better to do), ensure you introduce your date to the person.
Be polite but remember you are not obliged to be truthful to the said person.
Feel free to keep it vague.
If they ask you that irritating question: What are you doing here?
Give them the most obvious reply: I am here with so-and-so and we are having dinner (or taking a walk).
Don't try to pretend that your date doesn't exist or try to hide behind her.
It will tell her that you will stand by her even when you're put in a spot.
7. Spell out where you stand
How often, after a date or two, do you find yourself being disinterested in the other person but don't tell her?
Be fair to your date. If you don't like her, she needs to know.
And don't be rude or sly. Be honest.
Tell her why you don't think this isn't working out and tell her you're sorry about it (remember, you've taken her time).
Don't break up over a text message or an email or a phone call; treat your last date just as important as your first one.
Be a gentleman at all times... not because it'll make you look good before her but simply because that is the proper way to be.
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Image used for representational purpose only.
Photograph: Chris Lewis/Creative Commons