The New Dinner Date Night to Live By

Alright, so you finally found someone who will actually spend an evening with you. Congrats! Like many first dates though, this is going to be a dinner date. Now where do you go to make sure you aren’t just another one-and-done date? Do take your date to your favorite BBQ joint where they serve a full rack of ribs? No way. Do you take them to just any old chain restaurant? Definitely not. Do you want to share your favorite meal of breakfast for dinner? Grow up! How about the club, or a dive bar? Are you still twenty-one? Let’s take a deeper look into how to pick out your next date destination.
The food and restaurant you choose will have a major impact of the outcome of your date. If your long-time married, or if this is your first chance to make an impression, the odds will be in your favor for a great time if you choose a great spot for grub.

First off, let me tell you some things to avoid. You absolutely should stay away from chain restaurants such as Chili’s and Red Lobster. Why? Because, picking a chain restaurant shows how shallow of a person you really are. In a world so big, you are settling for something everyone has had a hundred times. How memorable is that date going to be? Not very. And while consuming ten pounds of endless shrimp might be something to tackle with your siblings, it is not something you should be going for on a date. Also, skip the BBQ and Burger joints. Often times these foods are extremely messy, and nothing is less-sexier than shoving a whole burger in your mouth with the greases dripping from the corners of your lips. Having BBQ sauce all over your nice button up shirt is only good for your dry cleaners. So, lets avoid those chain restaurants overstuffing their plates with bottomless fries.

If you want to make a good impression, take your date to a highly rated local establishment. This shows you are willing to go off the beaten path and try new things, but you also care about quality. Plus, it is always good to take your date somewhere they haven’t been to and get to try something different.

Remember, they probably don’t go on dates all the time and you don’t either. Trying new places to eat is fun.

A tip would be to look at the reviews and menu before you confirm the location of the meet up. Avoid places with terrible reviews, obviously, and pick places with good reviews, obviously. Paying particular attention to the atmosphere and quality of food. Live music is almost always a plus.
So, you found a local hotspot! They got a great local band playing easy to listen to music and you’re both hungry.

Now what food do you get? The idea here is to get sharable food. Tapas, appetizers, sushi and usually whatever you can find on happy hour. By sharing food with the other person, you are connecting with them even more. Not only are you there together on a date, talking to each other getting to know one another, you are also eating together. This is such a connecting practice that we usually only do with family members and close friends.

Plus, you can also mention how good the food is if you ever run into a drawn out awkward silence. As people, we love food. Eating it, talking about it, and taking pictures of it, it’s what we do.

Food. Check.

What you’re drinking says a lot about you. How much you drink says even more. If you are getting an alcoholic beverage, stick to one, and if you get two, it better be only because your accomplice ordered another too. Usually a beer or cocktail is acceptable, and a white wine is fine to drink too. Avoid shots, nobody needs to see what happens once you have one too many. Also avoid red wine. Nothing would be worse if you had a great night out and leaned in to finish it off with a kiss only to have the person run away at the sight of your vampire-like Merlot stained teeth.

Now that you have had your tapas and your alcohol, the time comes when the server asks if you would like to see the desert menu. Absolutely say yes! 
This will provide another opportunity for you to share a plate with the person. Also, sweeter foods make people in a better mood. Which only can mean good things for you. So go for anything with fruit or chocolate, and try to avoid anything super heavy or large as this can and will upset your stomach. Remember, try to share if you can.

Now, what if you’re on serious budget or aren’t the going out type? Or maybe you’re the super cool person who wants to be different in the eyes of the person you are on a date with. We can follow the same concept, but mix it up a little.

Another fun idea could be cooking at home. This is going to be much more intimate than going to a restaurant, however, the benefits could be great. 
For this endeavor the same tips apply from the restaurant scene. Don’t do ribs or heavy meat items. Definitely do smaller dishes or shareable dishes such as curry, paella, or like in a WebMD article about spicing up your love life, sushi! The article talks about couples’ love lives which are now falling to the wayside because of the daily grind. One thing the article mentions that will add some intimate sizzle is cooking together. From that article Build a Better Date Night, James M. Graham, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Western Washington University in Bellingham says, “I’d like them to indulge their passions in a project they can finish in a few hours — one with a unique twist. Experimenting together makes a date more satisfying, just as team-building exercises draw people closer.” Food is everyone’s passion whether they know it or not.

While this test was done for couples who had been married for many years, the same principles apply. By doing something together such as cooking, you are creating an environment which not only leads to a more relax, fun mood, you are actually creating something together, thus becoming closer. This will give both of you a sense of accomplishment as you eat freshly made-by-you pasta.

Some tips for the in-house cooking technique? Cook something that you both like. In other words, cook something that your date likes or wants to try and won’t kill you at the same time.

Another tip is to loosen up while in the kitchen. If you act like Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen it won’t matter how good your seared ahi tuna is, you will be sleeping alone and possibly eating alone too. So, open a bottle of wine, turn on some low volume tunes and don’t be afraid to have fun and it’s ok if you make a mess.

The next time you are lucky enough to go on a date, skip the expensive steak house and choose a local spot with a good atmosphere. Order shareable food so that you can connect with your date on a more personal level. If you decide to make the date a little more intimate by cooking at home, just remember that your supposed to be having fun. Don’t put too much stress into making sure everything is perfect and just create something with each other. Finish the meal off with some chocolate covered strawberries and who knows, eating food might just get you laid.

Please feel free to comment on my article below or check out the website I am currently building. Remember, everyone has their own opinions and instead of attacking them, accept them for what they are and have an open mind.

Sarah Mahoney (January 15, 2009) Build a Better Date Night,

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