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The Etiquette of meeting and greeting

Believe it or not the most awkward part of any first relationship or friendship will be the meet and greet. If you think of it in boxing terms, no boxer fights the same fight twice. It varies on the level of your opponent and dating is no different. 

'I've always wanted to 'Dundee' a girl on a first meet and greet' 

If you haven't heard of this expression then I suggest you revisit the film Crocodile Dundee and watch how Paul Hogan greets a rather androgynous looking woman at a bar.

However, as ballsy as this move is, rarely would I recommend employing it. Nor would I recommend the face lick that Tommy Lee did when he first met Pamela Anderson. 

In my experience there a couple of things you need to be aware of when pressing the flesh for the first time. For example, if you're sitting in a coffee shop waiting for your date or friend to arrive and your palms are as wet as an otters pocket, don't wipe your right hand on your trousers before going in to greet her. 

Alternatively don't give her the fist pump neither, only the Obamas can get away with that! Most women I know are perfectly happy to receive an 'A-frame' hug. The one where your torsos never connect but you can still reach round to pat each others back (AKA the 'Dad Hug'), followed by an air kiss to the cheek.

Only this couple can get away with the fist pump greeting
Only this couple can get away with the fist pump greeting

Most guys fail when they go in for a 2nd kiss on the other cheek due to hesitation or confusion. Now, if you're English, even a single kiss on the cheek is unchartered waters for you. We like the good old handshake, but if your date is European, then she may want to go in for the double cheek kiss, but don't sweat it. You won't be judged on the cheek-kiss but you will be with the sweaty palm-shake. 

The Two Date Rule 

You'll always hear the gears grinding on a first date as you start to get the measure of each other. If all your jokes have gone down like farts in elevators, chances are you'll get a polite handshake at the end and never hear from her again. 

However, if the date has gone well and you're thinking it deserves to end with a kiss, just give her a non-suggestive peck on the cheek, and tell her you'll call. Then, when you go in for a rematch a week later, you'll find she's already been softened up psychologically. 

She hasn't gotten over some of the tough punches you already served on your first encounter and now she is there for the taking. So don't risk an awkward kiss on the first date, you'll jeopardise all the rewards coming your way on the second. 

*Illustration by Nicholas Frazier

"Chances are you'll get a polite handshake"
"Chances are you'll get a polite handshake"
"Don't risk an awkward kiss"
"Don't risk an awkward kiss"

*Handshake image via Shutterstock

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, writer for the Metro Online, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own MenswearStyle podcast show.

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