Love At First Bite: What to Order And Do On The First Date

The dating world is filled with land mines. In particular, on that first evening when you and your potential partner are sizing each other up, there is a seemingly endless array of things that you should keep on your radar. In addition to how you look and the place you choose, what you decide to eat during that first pivotal meal can make all of the difference.


From your local dive bar to the finest French restaurant, your dining choices span the spectrum. Whether you are each paying for your own food or one of you is doing the treating, both of you should be aware of the price tag on what you choose. In most cases, your best bet is to opt for a selection that is closer to the inexpensive end of the continuum without being so cheap that you look like you are depriving yourself for the sake of a couple of dollars. The bottom line is that you neither want to come off as a cheapskate or a spendthrift.


More than just about any other social endeavor that humans enter into, dating is a game of first impressions. Like it or not, what the man or woman sitting across from you thinks of you during this first meeting might very well determine if there is ever a second one. For that reason, you should put some thought into what you choose to eat. Considerations should include not only cost but also characteristics about the foods themselves. Will they leave your breath wreaking of onions or garlic? Perhaps worse still, is there a potential for embarrassing digestive side effects later in the evening? Is your entrée attractive on the plate and easy to eat without a great deal of ripping, tearing or sawing of knives? If you have chosen finger foods, will they drip or leave your hands stained and messy? After all, even the best sloppy joes will probably drip, perhaps even onto the clothes you so carefully picked out for the express purpose of impressing.


Another menu aspect to consider is how you want to approach any food allergies or eating preferences. Of course, you should abide by any rules that are required for your physical health. For example, don’t ignore the fact that you are violently allergic to shellfish by going along with a server’s recommendation of the clam strips even if you have to be assertive in ordering something different. If your date is worth pursuing, they will understand the importance of avoiding things that will make you sick.

On the other hand, you might want to keep your opinions about fat content and unhealthy choices to yourself, particularly when it comes to what the other person is ordering. Just because your companion decides to dine on the “heart attack on a plate”, that does not mean you must – or that you need to launch into a lecture about cholesterol and obesity. You will have plenty of time for that should your relationship flower into long-lasting love.

Meeting new people is challenging enough without heaping mounds of additional pressure on yourself. To the best of your ability, do what you can to make your evening as uncomplicated and uncontroversial as you can. That is the best recipe for a successful first date.