Thoughts on Dinner Dates


by Loris Zuchetti

When going on a date with someone for the first time, it is always a good idea to start light and casual. You want to get to know each other, have fun and be safe. Amidst all the possible public places, the first thing that often comes to mind is to meet for dinner at a restaurant. Safe? Check. Have fun and get to know each other? Not so much. Why?

First, dinner puts a lot of pressure on your conversational skills, since there is no major external source of entertainment. Why make it more difficult for yourself? Also, dinner is a clichéd date. You’ve both been on several dinner dates with other people. If you’re a man, right away you are conveying that you are “conventional,” and “just another guy.” It won’t kill you, but it definitely doesn’t help you.

Thirdly, at dinner you’re often sitting across a table from each other. That table is both a physical and an emotional barrier. I’m not suggesting you should physically escalate in public. I’m saying that proximity is key to set a romantic frame with the other person. Give Cupid some room to shoot his arrows.

Lastly, not all first dates are with Mr. or Mrs. Right. I’m sure you’ve been on an awkward first date before, haven’t you? You were probably thinking of a lame excuse to bail – “My cat is not feeling well” and the like. If you’re sitting at a dinner table, it is harder and pretty awkward to get up and leave than if you’re just having a drink at a bar.

But if dinner dates are so detrimental to your love life, where else should you go? Allow me to suggest some alternatives.

1. Go somewhere you can have a laugh. In my opinion, comedy shows are an excellent choice. Laughter is aphrodisiac, contagious and rejuvenating.

2. Try something cultural. I would also recommend live music shows, museums, galleries, and the beach whenever possible. These, rather than mere locations, are actual activities that you’re doing together and allow you both to quickly assess if there’s chemistry and potential for a relationship.

3. Go for a friendly drink. If you’re not the outdoorsy or the adventurous type, I’d suggest happy hour. Sit next to each other at a counter, where verbal communication is easy, the context is light and casual, and yes, the bill is generally cheaper than a full dinner.

You can’t go wrong with a well thought out date along the lines of the above. If you’re unsure about how you feel, save the high pressure dinner dates for later down the road, when you know your partner better and you both have something to celebrate.

About the author: Loris is the Country Manager for Zoosk Italy. He enjoys working out and going to live shows. 

Photo via Flickr. Creative Commons License, Attribution ShareAlike.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Dinner Dates

  1. I would have to agree with this-keeping things light always seems to be the best thing for a first date-people dont feel the pressure. There are 100 million adults (45 percent of adults in the US) that are single which makes the dating pool quite deep. Even more only 5 percent of those adults are actually a compatible partner but assurance of a second date usually follows an easy going first. So get out there and do something fun-maybe you will be in that five percent and even if you are not, you might just make a good friend.

  2. You are so awesome! I don’t think I have read through something like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with some unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!

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