First dates can be stressful. Even a date with someone you have spent time with while chumming with friends and, maybe, even knowing some of his or hers interests may be stressful as a first date is a first date. A date with someone you met online, maybe in a chat room or a dating service, can, also, be stressful. Even if you have “talked” for some time, not having met or having heard each others voices mostly makes you strangers. Someone you have met briefly is really a stranger, too. But do your “homework” to prepare for your first date and you, hopefully, can eliminate a lot of stress and have a really great time.
Going out to eat on a first date is nice thing to do and a good way for you and your date to get to know each other. Shouldn’t getting to know each other be a main priority on a first date? Read the tips below to help pick that perfect or nearly perfect first date restaurant as the thought you put into it will likely be noticed. Maybe you will put some happy smiles on your date’s face. How very nice!
Picking a first date restaurant is not a time to go exploring. It can be frustrating, if you don’t find what you think you want and the hunt can cause more stress, which doesn’t help in making that first date smooth. You may find a restaurant that looks perfect and the menu seems great, but it is still an unknown and not the best idea for a first date.
Using a restaurant guide, especially online, can really be helpful. There are, also, fine printed guides. Whether it comes from a printed book or an online guide, make sure all the information you read is relatively recent. Things often change quickly and could make your first date nearly be a disaster. Many guides have good descriptions of the food, the atmosphere, the cleanliness, the service, and more. Often there are professional restaurant reviews. The guides that, also, have customer reviews, are the best as whether some one enjoys or doesn’t enjoy a dining experience, the reviews given are usually very truthful, sometimes brutal. That helps you in making a choice. Often there are photos to give more of an idea of the looks of restaurants and many have menus to view. Most guides, reflect a price range of each restaurant. If you really felt you had to explore and think you found the “perfect” restaurant, maybe it will be in a restaurant guide to help endorse or discard your idea.
Many people opt for a restaurant they are familiar with, but carefully picking someplace new, with the help of a restaurant guide, can be fun as you and your date experience new food together for the first time. It can, also, impress since, if you are subtle in what you say, it will show you cared enough to take the time to find the restaurant.
Another reason to use a guide in choosing a restaurant, rather going to a place your friends and family frequent, is when they see you, they may hover around “checking out” your date. They might even “pull up” a chair, without being asked, which happens. The chance for you and your date to get to know each other may be lost and your date might feel uncomfortable with unfamiliar conversation. There may not be a second chance!!
It’s good to ask your date ahead of time about food dislikes and any dietary restrictions, so you don’t choose a place that has nearly nothing your date will eat. A restaurant with a good variety helps in pleasing both of your palates. You, may, also, learn that your date absolutely loves a particular kind of food, so that may help in your choice and again show you care.
Also, consider the expense of the restaurant. You don’t want to choose something more than you can really afford as it might make you feel uncomfortable and your date may notice. If a man asks for a date and picks a fancy, expensive restaurant your date may feel like you are trying to “buy” her. Your date may be one that likes, or at least sometimes likes to pay for half of the meal and cannot due to the expensive restautant you picked out. So leave fancy restaurants alone on a first date. They are not as relaxing as a more casual place and if you either one of you is not relaxed, (or as relaxed as possible for a first date!) it could make for an awkward experience. Fancy restaurant dining usually takes quite a bit of time and your date may not want to commit to a lengthy first date. What if the meeting turns out ugly? It is hard to leave in the middle of a lengthy dinner. A place more casual makes it easier for either one of you to leave, if wanted, more quickly. A casual restaurant, if the atmosphere is enjoyable, is nice to linger in a while if you find you really relate.
A charming cafe is usually is a good choice. If you are familiar with one or two that meet some important criteria that is good. Just once again if you pick a restautant with which you are familiar, don’t pick a place your friends and/or family “hang out.”
Think about the noise level. You do not want a restaurant that is so quiet; it feels nearly like a morgue. But a place that is too loud, especially from music is not good either. When trying to get to know each other, you don’t want to scream over crowds or music?
Don’t forget the lighting. Not so dark that you can barely see each other or check if the food, especially meat, is cooked to both your satisfaction. But not too bright either as you don’t want to feel like you’re on display and, horrors, what if you’re having a bad skin day!! Just nicely dim lighting is best.
Eating outdoors, if pleasant, is very nice. Often there are flowers and maybe fountains or sculptures. Something to talk about and it can be quite romantic. But don’t do anything too romantic on a first date as your date may feel pressured and uncomfortable.
When picking the restaurant if you decide to choose a familiar place, think about the wait staff. Was the service poor? Was the staff neglectful? Did your waiter have an attitude? Did any of the wait staff spends so much unnecessary time at your table that the two of you can barely visit. Even good food does not make up for bad service. If looking at restaurant guides in choosing a restaurant, pay attention to anything you find about the employees.
If going to a busy restaurant, make a reservation so there isn’t that awkward standing in line. Again, it shows thoughtfulness.
A type of restaurant that can be great fun (if you first checked out your date’s food preferences) is a Japanese restaurant with the food cooked at your table. Watching the food chopped, cooked, and “used’ as entertainment gives a lot to talk about while eating. There are usually other people at the table to enjoy laughing with and clapping for the cook. If either of you want to leave after dinner, a Japanese restaurant is easy to leave without feeling uncomfortable. If you both want to stay awhile most Japanese restaurants have a quiet area, perhaps a bar, to visit and maybe enjoy an after dinner drink.
If thinking of choosing a restaurant from a guide book, if it makes you feel more comfortable, to visit ahead of time go ahead. Sit in the bar, if the dining room can be seen from there. Watch how the wait staff takes care of customers and their interaction. Do not take a first date to a place where the employees call nearly everyone “you guys.” Not impressive at all. So listen up when watching. Look at people’s faces when eating to get an idea if they like their food. Check out the lighting and noise level. Look at the prices as even menus are online or in a book, the prices are not always shown.
If interested, you may want to note the wine selection if you feel that you and/or your date might like some wine. Make sure it doesn’t come from a “box.” You don’t want to look cheap when trying to impress that first date. The wine does not need to be overly expensive, and there should be some that is not, but a bit of a nice selection is good.
Another thing to consider is what you decide to eat. Some foods are really best avoided on a first date. What you eat might make the difference as to whether you get that second date. No spaghetti. Not very impressive to have a long string of spaghetti hanging from your mouth when talking. The sauce can easily splatter ending up on your clothes.
Don’t eat ribs either. Messy hands, messy mouth, and maybe messy on your clothes. Corn on the cob is not a good idea as again messy mouth from the butter if you don’t wipe off well. Very distracting for your dinner partner if you talk or smile with kernels of corn stuck in your teeth. No lobster either, too expensive for a first date and again messy. When trying to crack a lobster open, the juices tend to splatter about the table and maybe on your clothes or, how awful, if close enough, juices might land on our date.
Another food to avoid is spicy food. Your knowledge of spicy foods and hot foods, maybe from another country, may, in the beginning, impress your date, but do you really want the watery eyes and runny nose that often comes with it. Garlic bread and other garlicky foods are a good idea to avoid, too. You and your date may want to sit a little closer after dinner and do you really want to have garlic breath? And what if you get to have that kiss goodnight? No matter what you eat or drink, always pop some good breath mints in your pocket or bag before meeting your date.
Taking the care to prepare for a first date, with dinner, by putting some real thought into a restaurant choice, maybe by looking at restaurant guides and remembering what not to order should help in eliminating a lot of first date stress or from being embarrassed. You want to impress your date with your thoughtfulness and knowledge. Especially if you want that second date. Enjoy!