I never used to really recognize the importance of the dinner date until a friend pointed it out to me. I was fine with a happy hour or meeting for coffee. A friend stressed the importance of feeling valued by her suitor and part of that was having food on the first date. I will admit it does make a gal feel special if the guy takes the time to pick a nice place to eat on the first date. At the very least it’s showing the guy is willing to spend some time with you instead of just grabbing a drink and bouncing.
I once had a guy announce to me on a date that he does not pay for food on first dates. This after inviting me out to a restaurant during dinner time. He just wanted to do drinks. I told him that I needed to eat and proceeded to end the date (no way was I going to pay for my own food on date one, call me old fashioned). He then quickly changed his mind and said he would make an exception for me. How sweet.
So, you make it to date one and you lucked out and food is involved (brunch, lunch, dinner, it’s all good) here are some things that can make for an awkward first time food (and drink) dating experience:
The Dieter- So I get the side eye from a guy when I order a salad on a date (oh you’re one of those girls) but, call me a hypocrite, I can’t help but raise an internal eyebrow when a guy orders a salad as well. I’m not saying he has to order a steak and fries but, dagnabit if he orders a salad that means I have to order one too (to keep up appearances and such). Then I began to wonder if this is a food conscious guy (because, welp, I’m not really). So that means I have to pretend I am too (Ok I don’t have to but I don’t want to look greedy, especially because I’m not skinny). So already the food portion of the date is a no go and caused me concern so the conversation should be outstanding!
The Overdrinker- Ok, I don’t judge heavy drinkers but on a first date we need limits. The Millionaire Matchmaker says a two drink maximum and I agree. I’ve actually gone out on a first date with a guy who was tipsy by the time I got there. I get it, a drink can take a little of the nerves off but darn, you aren’t meeting Beyoncé, it’s just me (I kid). And for the guys who toss them back during the date, I do wonder if they have a drinking problem or are just trying to get me drunk too so they can have a “night cap”. Nothing good comes of a first date filled with binge drinking at least not for me!
The Cheapie- So I already mentioned that not taking a girl out for food on a first date can seem unimpressive. Yes, women want to be wooed. Now that doesn’t mean breaking the bank at some five star restaurant. But it also doesn’t mean taking them to Denny’s at 4pm. Work within your means, and if you are tight on funds be inventive. I don’t mind eating at the bar during happy hour at a nice restaurant. If you caught a deal for a high end restaurant on Groupon, hey I’m game. It’s the thought you put into it that counts.
The Orderer- Somewhere in time it was seen as gentlemanly to order food for the woman and at some point it went out of style. So when a guy happens to do this I don’t mind. Hey, I’m an old school courting type o gal. However, you’ll pull out the new school in me if you order for me without seeking my input. Sure, tell the waiter that I want the trout after I told you I want the trout. Don’t tell the waiter what I’ll be eating without discussing it with me. Or order a shared appetizer without asking me if I wanted to eat it. I once had a guy do that and being that there are certain things I don’t eat (like red meat), I had to cut in and tell him could we get something else. It was slightly awkward but we got through it.
The Techie- I’ve said it many times before but I’ll say it again, Go Off The Grid! At least for a little while. Keep your phone (or phones) off the table, take the blue tooth out and those new blue tooth necklace things. Unless you are expecting an important call from the president is it so bad to unplug for an hour or two? And if I see you so plugged in all the time then my expectation is that you are always that way (so no excuse later on when I call that you left your phone at home or your phone died- LIES). It really makes a gal feel special if you can just focus your attention on her at that moment. Give it a try.
What are some of your first date food and drink no-nos?