Michael Morgenstern's A Return to Romance: Finding It and Keeping It Alive uses case histories to present rather generalized and often vague points, while Marilyn Hamel's SexEtiquette: The Modern Woman's Guide to Mating Manners takes a more direct, practical approach. Some examples:

Conversational don'ts for a first meeting:

Do not give in to look-at-me ploys. It does you no credit to artfully wedge your recently acquired Lamborghini into the conversation. Nor does the negative version: "You know, I don't usually have these split ends, but I'm due for another perm." Both demonstrate deep-seated insecurity, which is more prudently revealed after the wedding.

Does a lady converse with strangers at bus stops, elevators, and the like?

As long as the dialogue is discreet and the man doesn't look like Jack the Ripper. Gentlemen who initiate polite conversation deserve the courtesy of acknowledgment even if they're not of the heartthrob variety . . . It's also quite within the boundaries of propriety for you to lead the way.

Is there an etiquette for singles bars?

Put on your combat mascara and your industrial-strength lip gloss. It is indeed a jungle in there, and anyone who disagrees is either anesthetized or too young to be in a bar in the first place. A novice is wise to audition at a friendly neighborhood pub before trying out in the major leagues . . . Sit back waiting to be sought out, and the only action you'll get is from the handful of hardened veterans -- which is fine if your taste runs to swagger. Gents of more substance, being not so adept at clothing their insecurity in glitz, need to be met halfway -- or more.

Is it possible to resolve our differing views on our choice of entertainment?

Back to the negotiating table. In return for your attendance at the demolition derby, you get the pleasure of his company at La Bohe me. A person's got to be adaptable. If, however, you're whining with every fender dent and he's carping at each recitative, needless to say, the trade-off didn't take. Resume independent activities and team up when the occasion focuses on some mutually enjoyable recreation. Oh, c'mon, there must be something.