You like him, he likes you so you decide to go out for a bite to eat. Now the problems start. Poor eating and etiquette habits turn off more people than almost anything else except personal hygiene. So here’s the skinny on some of the most common dining dilemmas that couples encounter and how to work around them.
Dining Dilemma 1: Where to go to eat?
This of course has to do with who is doing the inviting, where you met the person and other considerations like if there are certain foods the other person can’t eat. The best way to handle this dilemma is to offer several choices to the invitee. Whoever is inviting always pays the bill so get that straight right up front. The only exception is if you are casual friends and the invitation is something like, “Should we grab a bite to eat together?” But even that can be taken as an invitation to a date so don’t invite someone unless you intend to pay. So, you’ve invited this person. Now offer a choice of three restaurants that are in your price range and that you like. This way you’ll learn about the other person too. They may say one place right off the bat or they may say they don’t care as long as it’s not a certain type of food and then you go from there with the choice you think is most appropriate. Don’t try to hard to please since you want to eat something you like and have a good time too.
Dining Dilemmas 2: What to order?
Etiquette rules state that you always have your guest order first. That’s where the confusion comes in. If you order something really expensive are you showing how special you are or that you are expecting to be treated like royalty? If you order a diet coke and a lemon wedge will your date think you think he or she can’t afford the meal or that you have an eating disorder? Here’s how to handle the, what to order dilemma. Ask the host what they would recommend. This then puts the ball in the host (host being genderless here) court. The host of the meal should then offer about three selections in the appropriate price range to help the invitee out. If you are the one who did the inviting give a selection from the different meat or pasta dishes and always inquire if there is anything on the menu that the other person can’t eat so you can defer to them. Final note: Even if you give several selection choices don’t be offended if your guest picks something totally different. The offer is more to help them determine price range than food.
Dining Dilemma 3: To drink or not to drink?
Pay attention to how your date is behaving and if they are feeling comfortable. Never order a drink before you ask your date if they would care for one and a real good technique to use is not to use the expression “Would you like a drink?” it’s better to ask them, “Would you like a beverage?” In America the word “drink” seems to imply an alcoholic beverage and sometimes it makes someone order one that normally wouldn’t. One other thing you can do is ask them if they like wine or if they have a special drink they enjoy and if they say, “I love California wines the best” you know they are a drinker and if they say, “I never drink.” You know they aren’t. A lot of dining dilemmas and etiquette faux pas could be prevented if people would ask more questions up front. Combining the nervousness of dating when you’re trying to be polite and impressive with alcohol is not the smartest idea. Be careful not to drink very much and ruin what you’ve started because of sloppy behavior or getting out of control. You asked the other person out because you liked them and they said yes because they like you as well, do you really need alcohol in this situation?