When asking someone out on a date it is polite to do it face-to-face or at least over the phone. If you are doing the inviting it is up to you to make the arrangements. If you are going to be late give as much notice as possible, preferably by phone. Being up to 15 minutes late should not be a problem, and a brief apology will be fine. Being more than half an hour late looks perilously like rudeness unless you have a genuine excuse. Cancelling a date should be done as far in advance as possible, and you should always phone, not email or text. If you fear you may have offended, you could send some flowers or other suitable gift.
If you have been stood up don’t jump to conclusions, there may be a reasonable explanation. Make a call after about half an hour of waiting to find out what’s gone wrong. If there’s no answer you can suspect the worst. Maintain your dignity and don’t leave an angry message. Reassure yourself that you have made a lucky escape and move on.
Conversation on a first date should centre on safe topics such as work, hobbies and family. Don’t dominate the conversation but make sure you each have equal opportunity to speak. You should switch your phone onto silent and not answer calls or send text messages during the date. Paying the bill is the responsibility of the inviter, at least on the first occasion. As things progress it is fine to take turns settling the bill. It is polite for a man to ensure that his companion gets home safely – if necessary hailing her a cab. It may be convenient to share a taxi, in which case the woman should be dropped off first, unless this is impractical. If not taking a taxi, a man should accompany a woman to her bus stop/ front door/station.
For a first date drinks are probably the best option, as you will not be obliged to spend the whole evening together. If things go really well you can always have dinner as well.
If you have another commitment to go to afterwards tell your date at the outset. A daytime date requires spending more time together so is best left until you feel more comfortable around each other.