Dating advice: eating and drinking
The majority of the tips and advice we share via the mysinglefriend.com blog concern the online bit of online dating; writing a great response, choosing good photos, writing witty emails and the like. Recently, however, we received an email from an MSFer asking the following: 'Can you give some advice on what to do on the actual date? I get really nervous and could do with some guidance'. So far we've covered what to wear, first date venues and what to say and now we're moving on to eating and drinking.
It's very likely that you'll be consuming some sort of beverage on your date, and most likely something to eat too, even if you aren't going for the classic dinner date. A first date is a sensitive time when even the smallest detail can be make or break, so you might want to have a little think about the food and drink that you choose to avoid offending your dates potentially delicate sensibilities.
We took a poll amongst our MSFers asking what food they would avoid on a first date. 39% said garlic and other potential pongs are a real no-no and we can't help but agree. A lot of meals will have an element of garlic, but steer clear of garlic bread, garlic soup and anything else that will leave you with an overpowering and unkissable whiff like raw onions, coffee and curry. If you inadvertently eat a whack of garlic, try chewing on your parsley sprig as this (allegedly) freshens your breath.
Guaranteed to be much less romantic when you aren't a cartoon dog.
17% said they'd avoid anything that might end up all down their lovely new dress/shirt/sweater/poncho/overalls. Spaghetti is a real killer for this - you can watch your dates interest in you drain away as you flick tomato sauce all over the table cloth, slurp up loose ends like a bottom feeding fish and generally regress to toddler-style messy eating. If you're confident with your fork and your spoon then by all means go for it, otherwise do yourself a favour by choosing something that is rather neater to eat. Other foods that fall into this category include soup and anything swimming in sauce. It's also worth avoiding anything that requires a lot of maintenance; if you spend hours painstakingly pulling tiny bones from your fish (or worse, your teeth) your attention for the hotty sitting in front of you will be compromised. Try not to do a Queen Mother and choke on one of those tiny bones either; the aftermath of the Heimlich Maneuver is not very sexy.
Only 12% of the people we asked said they would avoid anything that might get stuck in their teeth, which we found slightly surprising as surely there's nothing more distracting than having a conversation with someone with a big bit of leafy green wedged betwixt their gnashers. It's not only embarrassing for you, but for your date as well because, quite apart from finding you potentially less attractive (although there's a chance they might find it endearing), they have the thorny question of whether to mention it to you or not to wrestle with. Having said all this though, it's very tricky to avoid eating things which may become stuck in your teeth because all that leaves on the menu is, basically, a glass of water and maybe a raisin. So, unless you're on an insane Beyonce-about-to-go-on-tour style diet, the best thing is to discretely pop to the bathroom after you've eaten and check those teeth.
Drinking is perhaps a little easier as we should all have had enough practice at transferring liquid from receptacle to mouth without it going wrong; being of a similar texture in every case, it's a little more predictable than food, rarely smells bad and is not viscous enough to get stuck in your teeth unless you end the night in a dodgy pub drinking Monkey Brains (don't ask). The only problem you might have with drink is if you overindulge, which is something that we don't recommend, mostly for your own safety, but also because excessive drunkenness on a first date is not a good look on anyone, except Oliver Reed.
If you have any thoughts on first dates, eating and drinking or anything else you'd like to tell us about, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear from you.
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