(Closed) Etiquette Lessons?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3778 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Men don’t take hints. You have to say,” Fiance, it’s not acceptable to eat salad with your fingers. You need to keep your elbows off the table. No one wants to look at half-masticated cow rolling around in your wide open trap. You’re not a barnyard animal.”


Maybe I’m being mean but if a grown adult doesn’t know proper table manners, there’s no easy way to get them to learn. 

Post # 5
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@s2bmrscook:  Nope, you certainly are not. If you’re an adult and still haven’t figured out how not to eat like you were raised by wolves, I give you no passes either. 


My mother had us all take etiquette lessons when we were children. I thought it was so very boring and pointless…until I grew up and realized there are people lacking even very basic table manners. How can you not know that actually licking your plate in a public restaurant is poor manners?!


@luluvohn:  And OP, I will add that mum had an exponentially harder time making sure the etiquette lessons were cemented in my brother. I believe patience will definitely be needed if you want to do the same with your Fiance. 😛

Post # 7
12068 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@luluvohn:  i deal with this regularly.  I was raised like you, I know how to set a table for a 4 course meal, what for goes with what and so on.  My FH, not so much.  He’s gotten better over time, he knows when we’re out with my family you wait until everyone is served before you eat, in public he doesn’t talk with his mouth full (although home is another story), he’s usually pretty good with some gentle reminding.  BUT I’ve also had 8 years with him to ‘train’ him.

Post # 8
46402 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@luluvohn:  Is it just him or is his whole family lacking in basic manners? If he wasn’t taught how to behave as a child, it’s really not his fault.

I disagree that nagging him will be effective though. I think it will cause problems for your relationship if you act like his mother should have acted.

I would find a local class and sign up as a couple.

Post # 10
1357 posts
Bumble bee

Just tell him straight up. I did that with my SO and he has great manners now (at least in public…). Be armed with good reasons, my SO would always ask “But why??”

Post # 11
11587 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

commenting to see if anyone has a good idea that doesn’t result in defensiveness. Ive avoided this because I don’t want to come off like mommy or like I’m judging, but uGh. Open mouth chewing. Leaning over the plate like a caveman. Snarf. No pause in the shoveling in. Lol. Then again, I am turned off by men who make a show of being dainty with their napkin dabbing at their mouth thru the whole meal. It just seems affected. Lol. This is why I just shut it… 

Post # 12
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I would take the direct aproach with him, like @s2bmrscook  said.  If he’s old enough to get married he is old enough to learn manners.   It’s shocking to me how many parents don’t instil basic table manners with their children, early and often.  My parents  started in our home, we always ate with formal table manners, it’s easier to learn at home. 

I can tell you from personal experience that not only will your family judge him on his table manners, but the rest of the world will also.   I’ve seen a possible merger fall through because the CEO of the other company ate like a pig.  My boss said to me, if a man at 50 still eats like a pig, he was worried about the other CEO’s business practices.  Maybe you could take them with him?  Just so it’s not such an attack, but something you two do together.

Post # 14
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I feel for you…

If you’ve been raised with manners… especially good table manners, it can really drive you up a wall if you are out with others who don’t have em… (shovelling food = shudder). 

It can be even more problematic if it is a loved one, or extended family member, in that you have to see them eat often enough.

I’m guessing he’s getting all defensive because of your approach… saying

“did your parents ever mention the right  way to hold a knife?”

clearly is criticism (and a bit of a barb) … so it naturaly opens the door to the reponse he is giving you back…

All defensive and “Are you  questioning my the way my parents raised me?”

YOU are his partner… he depends on your for support.  Not criticism.  And as his Lover you are not his Mother… so don’t try to be a Parent to the child within him (because he isn’t a child).  Just don’t do it.

Like HisIrishPrincess: said manners, and particularly so bad table manners, can come back to bite him on the butt in his career.

That would be the way I’d be broaching the topic… tell him that leading up to the Wedding, and how you guys are starting your ADULT MARRIED COUPLE LIFE together it is time to make some changes / learn new things so as to establish yourselves in the world as a RECOGNIZED Social Unit.

And then like julies1949: suggested, sign yourselves up for an Etiquette Class (most often these days offered by Career Improvement Counsellors / Groups).  The same folks who offer info on Career Dressing etc.

Usually the Lessons offered be they Etiquette or Dressing Right for every occasion, are very informative (and not really boring).  Lots of great stuff to be learned.

I suggest you both go (less intimidating for him that way)… and besides there is always something to be learned from the world of Etiquette for everyone (even an old seasoned pro like myself who knows a lot of the rules off by heart, and in jest calls myself an “Etiquette Snob” here on WBee can always shine up on my skills… lol, like eating fresh artichokes… something that I certainly don’t do that often).

If the two of you together, go into the process… as a chance to learn ways to improve your career (and you will), it can be far more rewarding / fun.

Lol, and do have some fun with it.  Take your new found skills out on the town… or have a posh night at home once a week.

And, there is no time like a Wedding to order some personal stationery… maybe a set of Personal / Calling Cards etc (Mr & Mrs)… great for when you are meeting new people socially / telling folks your address etc. 

Hope this helps,


Post # 15
3283 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Maybe coming from a slightly different perspective–my whole family, myself included, chews with their mouths open, smacks their lips, etc. I had NO idea I was doing that, and I’m fairly mannerly otherwise, until a boyfriend in college pointed it out.


I was SO embarassed, to the point where I would cry when he would bring it up. He made it seem like everyone in the world was watching me and thinking how gross and disgusting I was, including him and his family! I’m sure that I’ve kind of exaggerated it in my mind, as it’s been almost ten years, but it was so awful! I tried for YEARS to teach myself to chew with my mouth closed, not smack my lips, basically just eat quietly. I think I’m better about it now, but it’s really hard to change the way that you eat, since you kind of do it without thinking!


So, all this to say, try to bring it up NICELY to your SO. He may be more sensitive about it than you realize, and he may be trying to change his habits, but struggling.

Post # 16
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@luluvohn:  Haha, I’ve already told my husband that I will be the one teaching our children how to hold a knife and fork! Luckily, his table manners are very good for the most part.

If your fiance just doesn’t have good table manners then, as others have said, tell him outright that it’s not pleasant to watch him eat that way, particularly when you have company. Failing that, maybe try copying his way of eating and see how he likes watching someone chew with their mouth open, or eat with their fingers.

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