Ah, first dates. The excitement and the hope. The terror and the tragedy! Ha, just kidding. First dates rock, don't they? Yeah, right. Let's face it, they're nerve-wracking, and if they don't go well, they can have you fleeing the scene prematurely, vowing to enter a convent. That's why it's important to keep some first date rules in place: Don't get too wrapped up in their outcome. Keep them light and breezy. And, of course, if your first date will be over some nosh, pick a restaurant that's less likely to send the date cartwheeling into a frenzy of crashed expectations, post-traumatic relationship flashbacks, and refried bean breath.
Here are five types of restaurants you want to avoid on your first date.
Cheap or fast food joints. Dating is expensive, especially for the guys, who generally tend to pick up the tab on the first date. But both guys and gals should stay away from picking a diner, a fast food joint, or otherwise cheapy downscale place on a first outing. It might save your wallet, but it won't create an atmosphere of romance. Nothing says, "This date means nothing to me," like asking your date to meet at Mickey D's.
Too expensive. Say your date wants to meet you at Le Billion Dollar Tab Au Caviar Bistro. He says it's where he always eats. A lot of women would jump at the chance to eat at a fancy schmancy place they may not otherwise ever get to eat at. But let's just say your date isn't your type (yeah, even a dude with money can have you hungrily eyeing the exit), and you want to avoid a second meeting. It's going to be a lot harder to say "No thanks," after you've digested a $500 meal. Plead a sensitive stomach and suggest somewhere more 99 percenter for the first date.
More from The Stir: 8 Things NOT to Do on a First Date (If You Want a Second)
Too messy. Tomes could be written on avoiding messy meals on the first date. Sloppy Joes, burritos, spaghetti. All can get stuck in your teeth, make your breath able to stand on its own, and make you look like a 3-year-old in dire need of a bib rather than sexy MILF. I personally find hummus and falafel to be the most messy foods on the planet, so I avoid them like crazy when I'm first getting to know a guy.
Too loud. Unless you've been to the place before, you might not be able to control this one too well, but check out the decor. Are the walls stone, the floors wood, and there's zero to absorb noise? Then voices are going to ricochet all evening, drowning out your date's fascinating words. Also, for some reason, restaurants are now big on having DJs, live music, or piped in music blaring. Maybe some couples don't actually want to hear each other's conversations, but I'd say on a first date, it's a good idea to be able to communicate without sounding like you're screaming over a canyon. You'll especially want to keep your ears peeled for those first date red flaggers like, "I'm not a relationship type guy."
Ex spots. If you're planning the date, it can be easy to fall into the habit of going where you and the ex always went. After all, you love the food, you know the prices and decor, you even know the servers. Baaaad idea. First off, the ex might show up. And second of all, you don't need all those ex memories impeding your ability to make new ones. And god forbid you blurt out, "That's what my ex used to order, too!" and then you start bawling.
Where do you like to eat on a first date?
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