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Thread: Dinner still okay for a first date?

  1. #1
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    Dinner still okay for a first date?

    Fellas, I've been out of the dating scene for a while now (almost two years) so I'm hoping for a little advice. I was previously in a long-term relationship (4+ years) to the point where we'd go out but it didn't seem like a date in the "dating" sense any longer, and the planning was mutual (or more honestly, often hers, which is a mistake I'm determined to not repeat this go-round). So it's been a long time since I've been on a first date. I've known the young woman in question for some time, but it's been in a more professional-->social/friend capacity. While we're close, we've not "hung out" much as many guys my age are wont to do before trying to initiate dating because, well I think that's sorta weird if I haven't asked her on a date...so we haven't gone out for dinner that wasn't some fast-food place.

    I feel like dinner makes the most sense before doing anything like catching an outdoors concert while having a picnic or doing the wandering through cute little shops and grabbing bites here and there thing or any other activity date (if it gets there) but I just wanted to double check. I asked her to dinner specifically so there's that. I guess I'm just wondering if I should be doing something in addition to dinner for a first date, like I often did in my previous relationship.

    Also my gut says no flowers on the first date (I like to give flowers but somehow it just seems a bit much on a first date, I've always waited until the second or third). Thoughts? Should I have something?

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    So I assume she said yes? Ordinarily, I think flowers send a really strong signal on the first date, or second or third, for that matter. In this case, since you have a friendly existing relationship, I think dinner and flowers are fine. Assuming you were clear that this was a date, you've already announced your desire to change your relationship, and if she said yes, then she's on board with at least seeing where it goes, so I think you can play it up. It might even be more fun.

    Specifically to dinner, I always avoided dinner on the first date, but I never dated someone with whom I was already friends. In a scenario with more of a stranger, a) I'd want to give both myself and the other person an easy out at any time, and b) I don't like worrying if there's food in my teeth while talking, especially if I'm trying to make an impression.

    Of course, dating is very personal. It's all about what two individuals want and like, so my opinion is just that...

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    I would do flowers, not roses though. Something spring-y and colorful

    Dinner is fine or you could go to a wine tasting where you get a cheese tray or whatever.

    (I've been married 5 years and have a newborn, I don't know what a date is right now so take my advice with a grain of salt.)

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    I'm out of the dating game, so do with this advice what you want, but I think dinner is often a death knell for first dates. It makes the whole thing a little like a job interview, it makes it harder to flirt, it places a lot of pressure on continual conversation, nothing very much interesting is happening, you're not doing much with your bodies, eating a full meal isn't conducive to feeling sexy, etc. I could see it going better with someone you're already friends with, but even then it could become an overly pressured way of trying to elevate your relationship into something that's more-than-friends.

    If you're late eaters, you could try to think of an activity to do beforehand that's short, relaxed, and fun. It especially helps here that you already know her and thus presumably have a sense of the kinds of activities she'd find fun. It'll feel more natural, give you a better opportunity to flirt, give you something to tease her and talk to her about over dinner, etc.

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    Varsity Member Xeones25's Avatar
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    Since you already know her a dinner date might be fine.
    I'm clueless on flowers, again since you already know her. Going on a first date with someone you don't know well, no way would I bring flowers.
    I avoid dinner dates as a first date like the plague now. Most of them end up with awkward silences. I go for activity dates (museum, aquarium, zoo, Dave & Busters) as a first date since that makes sure that any silence will not be awkward. Once I get to know the woman I'll add in dinner dates or movie dates.

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    Varsity Member DXLi's Avatar
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    My opinion is that you should generally avoid dinner dates until later. They're way too stuffy and cliche. Your goal on the first date, especially with an existing acquaintance, is to create chemistry (read: sexual tension) and comfort. That's what takes you out of the friend-zone. Here's what I look for in a good first date setup:

    1) It's fun.
    2) It creates opportunities for playful and physical contact. You have to break the touch barrier on the first date.
    3) It creates easy opportunities for conversation.
    4) It gives you some manner of privacy balanced with the safety of numbers.
    5) It gives you flexibility to change pace/venue/etc.
    6) It doesn't innately create discomfort.

    Let me give you an example: going to the zoo or aquarium. You'll be walking around and looking at stuff, so there're a lot of chances for playful contact. You touch her arm to point out an animal, pull her waist when a stranger is about to run into you, etc. It's very easy to come up with conversation, even if you know very little about animals. The zoo is amusing on its own, so there's less pressure on you to entertain. (This is not as true at something like an art gallery.) She feels safe with people around her, but you both still have your privacy because everyone's doing their own thing.

    Comparatively, dinner puts much more of the pressure on you and has a much higher risk of awkwardness.

    Regardless of whether or not you buy my drivel, I have one suggestion for you: don't hide your attraction. Tell her how attracted you are to her. Show her. Flirt. Check her out. Tease her. The difference between the friend zone and boyfriend zone is sexual tension.
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~Twain

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    Varsity Member MaxMan's Avatar
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    pass on dinner until later. Opt for something less "intimate" for the first date. I strongly suggest going to a mom and pop coffee house, in the afternoon. Very impromtu, dress sharply, and have a good conversation getting to know each other( use this time to get to know her outside of the professional enviorment). Then if that goes well use the exit as an opportunity to say, what an awesome time this was, what are your plans for Saturday night, then go to a nice place for dinner. Dont spend all your dineros on the first date. Use it as a time to get to know each other. Everyone likes coffee or tea and a crumpet or danish. Also use that conversation to get to know what she likes eating and then you plan dinner around her likes. Good luck
    "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"
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    Quote Originally Posted by DXLi View Post
    My opinion is that you should generally avoid dinner dates until later. They're way too stuffy and cliche. Your goal on the first date, especially with an existing acquaintance, is to create chemistry (read: sexual tension) and comfort. That's what takes you out of the friend-zone. Here's what I look for in a good first date setup:

    1) It's fun.
    2) It creates opportunities for playful and physical contact. You have to break the touch barrier on the first date.
    3) It creates easy opportunities for conversation.
    4) It gives you some manner of privacy balanced with the safety of numbers.
    5) It gives you flexibility to change pace/venue/etc.
    6) It doesn't innately create discomfort.

    Let me give you an example: going to the zoo or aquarium. You'll be walking around and looking at stuff, so there're a lot of chances for playful contact. You touch her arm to point out an animal, pull her waist when a stranger is about to run into you, etc. It's very easy to come up with conversation, even if you know very little about animals. The zoo is amusing on its own, so there's less pressure on you to entertain. (This is not as true at something like an art gallery.) She feels safe with people around her, but you both still have your privacy because everyone's doing their own thing.

    Comparatively, dinner puts much more of the pressure on you and has a much higher risk of awkwardness.

    Regardless of whether or not you buy my drivel, I have one suggestion for you: don't hide your attraction. Tell her how attracted you are to her. Show her. Flirt. Check her out. Tease her. The difference between the friend zone and boyfriend zone is sexual tension.
    This is a man with EXPERIENCE!

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    I like DXLi's suggestion about breaking the touch barrier but an issue can come up with what you are wearing. You need a very adaptable outfit depending on what she might wear. You don't want to overdress and not underdress where she wouldn't want to be seen with you.

    Also if you do go to dinner early on I would treat the food situation like how I treat interview food situations. You don't want something that will be hard to work with and you do not want something you are not used to. There will be talking so you may not even finish your food. Burgers, sauces, and leafy green items as they can splatter or get stuck in your teeth.

  10. #10
    Dappered Veteran shad0w4life's Avatar
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    All this talking of over dressing and under dressing has really got to go.

    Dress how you want to/normally dress, there's not point in hiding it.

    The last "date" I went on I wore my best jeans, sportcoat, without tie and it was all "Wow you look great", "What's that made of?"(Gave her an excuse to touch me) etc. Rather than wearing say a polo, that's also the beauty of having very soft/nice/high thread count shirts is they are nice to touch and give more of an excuse for repeated. She was not at all turned away by the fact I was more dressed up than her.

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