Expert Dinner Ordering For Your First Date

by Jennifer Kingsman

A first date matters. According to Top Dating Tips, 71% of people believe in love at first sight. You never know, your meal out without someone new could be the start of something incredibly special. This is why it’s important to consider a few potential dinner pitfalls. It may be a long while since you have been on a date – don’t let a bad food choice or poor manners stand in the way of a perfect evening together. Here are a few tips for your first dinner date.

1. Never order for your date 

Some years ago it might have been considered chivalrous to order for your date, but now it is definitely a faux pas. As we get older, dining etiquette has changed. It is however good manners to let your date order first. Compliment their choices and talk about the find of flavors that they like to eat. It is good research for a potential second date. If you want to order a starter, check first if they are planning to do the same thing. On a first date it is a bit odd sitting there eating chicken liver pate whilst they watch you. This is however a good opportunity to suggest a sharing platter to start your meal.

2. Pick your dinner carefully

First date food choices can be a minefield. If you’re wearing a white shirt, then  perhaps spaghetti bolognaise isn’t the best choice, unless you’re particularly adept with cutlery. Unless your date has boldly ordered a dish with garlic, it might be best to steer clear too, if you’re hoping for a first kiss. Now is not the time for wacky food choices either. Play it safe, you don’t want to end up ordering something that you may not like, or end up not eating.

Of course if you are a brave foodie, have what you like – it could be a talking point!  And food ordering can be an opportunity to see if there are any areas that are red flags e.g. a staunch meat eater and a vegan may not be very compatible practically or ethically.

3. Be kind and polite with your server

How you interact with your server and other restaurant staff will be judged by your date. Be kind and polite to them and ask for advice on seasonal dishes and wine pairings. Even if there is a problem, or things don’t quite go to plan, treat the staff with respect and resolve things in a reasonable manner.

If your dinner date is rude to staff, take note… it’s not a good sign.

4. Don’t discuss the diet 

A survey found that the top conversation killer on a first date is talking about past relationships.

The second is discussing diet and body image.

On your date, leave the keto/paleo/Dukan/cabbage soup diet at the door and instead order the sharing portion of ice-cream cake, with two spoons. The dating app Hinge conducted a survey and found that the most popular first date food was fried chicken – just goes to show that counting calories is definitely out.

If you are going to stick to the diet, then good on you for willpower, but just order the food without the running commentary about the diet.

A first date is the stepping stone to a future relationship. Hopefully your first meal out together will be memorable for all the right reasons.

With thanks to Vincenzo Landino for the photograph

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