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I was a waitress on and off for a few years, and it gave me a surprising amount of insight about dating and relationships. It's one of the benefits of observing people as well as being able to converse with them. I also overheard quite a few conversations, some of which certainly caught me off guard. Being a waitress is typically not an easy job, but you meet a lot of people, and after awhile, you're able to point things out about them from across the room that may seem less obvious to those around them. Whether I was a counter waitress or waiting on tables, I learned quickly that you can learn quite a bit about dating and relationships just by listening and observing.
Don't monopolize the conversation
I can't tell you how many times I watched two people on a date where one person was monopolizing the conversation and the other could barely say a single word. I would see the silent person's face go from interested to bored to irritated and the other person didn't seem to have a clue. When you're conversing with your date, ask questions and listen well. You're also there to enjoy the food, so don't rush to fill every bit of silence with chatter -- especially when you're chewing at the same time. Speaking of which, talking with your mouth full is not attractive.
Little surprises will get you major points
One night, a woman walked off to the restroom and her date frantically waved me over and asked if he could quickly have two slices of cake. As I placed them on the table, he apologized for rushing me and told me he wanted to surprise his date because it was her favorite cake and he wanted to show her he remembered that she told him about it weeks before. She had a look of confusion and surprise as she sat down, and he presumably told her what he told me, because her face lit up and she had a big smile on her face. When you take the initiative to surprise someone you care about, it can completely make their day and earn you some major points. Also, listening well is going to be a major part of having a good relationship.
Beware of the cell phone
There is a good chance that your partner, at one point or another, searched through your phone when you weren't looking and checked your texts or missed calls. I've seen more than enough people grab their date's phone when the person got up from the table to use the restroom. I've also seen plenty of arguments over what was found. Several times, the person even had permission to use the phone for one reason or another. There's a few things to learn from this situation; lock your phone and don't do anything that can be considered scandalous with anyone other than the person you're dating and, if you do, don't leave the information on your phone, especially if you give your partner permission to use it. Also, whether or not you have permission to use someone's phone, it doesn't mean you're allowed to snoop.
There's no age limit for a new relationship
There was an older couple I was waiting on once and they looked so in love with each other it was amazing. When I put down their drinks, the older gentleman looked at me with a smile and said about his date "Isn't she beautiful? It's our two year anniversary." Another waitress told me the couple is in their early 70's. Despite what some may think, they're a true testament that there's no age limit for finding a new love.
Being nice to waitstaff can make or break your date
As any waitress could tell you, not every customer is going to be nice. When you're on a date and you're rude to your waitress, there's a good chance your date is not going to be happy. A guy was once so rude to me I thought his date was going to throw her plate at him. He didn't ask nicely for anything, he only demanded. He also threw his gum into a cloth napkin, handed it to me with the gum stuck on top of it, and told me to hurry and bring him a new one; the rude behavior continued for the rest of the time he was there. On the way out, his date apologized for his behavior and told me she's never seeing him again. The nicer you are to those around you and not just to your date, the more it's going to put you in a good light.
The best dates were always when each person had general respect for each other. They listened to their date, asked questions, and genuinely just wanted to put a smile on the person's face. It's easy to be nervous when you're out with someone you like, but the next time you're on a date, keep in mind that the best thing you can do is be yourself, be respectful, show interest and everything else will fall into place.