Going Out

How to have a fine start on your dinner date

Written by Solomon Unoke

Basic dinner date code to make you and your partner comfortable in each other company, even if it is a first date

Kolade Elusanmi

A dinner date is all about having an exquisite and relaxed dining experience while bonding with your partner. But if you are worried about adhering to table manners, you can go somewhere modest where there’s minimal fuss and less display of forks. Usually, opting for a more relaxed date can help ease the nerves and rid of the pressure and awkwardness of the day.

Interestingly, we are often on our best behaviour on a date, especially a first dinner date, which is a good idea while we work out if the other person is a good fit for us.

But it is worth noting to always order a dish you are unlikely to spill, splash, drop or wear, and this is usually something that requires a knife and fork

What Are The Dos Of A Dinner Date?

1. Be Yourself

It is never a good poise to pretend as someone you are not and a dinner date is no exception. This doesn’t mean you should keep up with your normal slob in public, but it’s more about letting your personality shine through without putting on an act.

Remember that being an impersonator has a way of catching up with you, and chances are, people will see through that very quickly. So be proud of who you are and what you do. Be aware that a warm smile and a positive attitude will go much farther with most people than an impressive job title.

2. Be Punctual

Getting to a dinner date venue late is never a good impression for a personality. So give yourself ample time to prepare and get ready for the outing on time. For a man, it is best to arrive at the dinner date venue before the person. This speaks volumes of being a gentleman, under the feminine cliche “you don’t keep a woman waiting”. Being late shows a lack of respect for the other person and will start the date off on the wrong foot. No one likes to be kept waiting.

3. Be A Good Conversationalist

If you are conservative on conversation, have a list of things you enjoy talking about to get the discussion off to a good start. This can be about your hobbies, your passion, your job, your family, or any other topics that can enhance the further discussion. Also, don’t forget to ask questions to show your interest in the other person, and then give them a chance to respond. Typically, good conversations are always fun to be with, so make honing your skills a priority.

4. Put Your Phone Away

Pressing your phone is always a turn-off on dinner dates. Don’t keep checking your phone for texts or missed calls while you’re out with someone. Your complete concentration is sacrosanct to keep the evening florid with good engagements. It is best if you put your phone on silent unless there is a good reason for having the sound on.

5. Make Eye Contact

Body language is considered one of the ways people can tell whether you feel comfortable and interested. Conversation tends to be more engaging and enthralling when you face the other person and make eye contact when he or she is talking. But it is believed that if you have one foot pointed toward the door, your arms folded during the entire outing, or you keep looking over the other person’s shoulder, you’re showing your lack of interest.

6. Use Proper Table Manners

One of the biggest habits–turn-offs on a date is when someone tilts the table with his elbows, slurps her soup, or talks with food in the mouth. If you aren’t sure about what to do in a restaurant, you can read more on some dining etiquette tips and have practice in front of a mirror until good manners become second nature.

On the other hand, if you have impeccable table manners, some foods are messy no matter what you do. Unless these items are the only ones on the menu, you might want to avoid certain foods, such as spaghetti, crab, and other messy dishes, unless you are confident that you can eat them without splattering them all over yourself and your date.

7. Expect To Go Dutch

Goodbye to the days when the man is saddled with the responsibility of paying the date bills. But while some men still prefer to do that, don’t expect it. Be prepared to pay for any food you eat, drinks you take, and entertainment you enjoy on your date. If you want to pay for the other person’s share, offer to do so, but don’t argue or fight over the bill because that might put the server in an awkward position.

What Are The Don’ts Of Dinner Date?

1. Don’t Argue Over The Check

If either of you offers to pay and you’re comfortable with that, then let them. But if you offer to pay half and they won’t let you don’t argue about it too much to prove you being. Ending the dinner date on an argument will do nothing but leave a bad taste in both your mouths. Of course, if you feel like they truly are not respecting your preference to pay, that’s not cool, either and you could tell them so.

2. Don’t Be Judgmental

It is very important to stick to your standards, but it’s also sacrosanct to be open-minded. If your date shows up in an outfit you detest or has reservations for, don’t immediately throw in the towel. Judging is normal, but judging to a point where you’re not even giving your date some slack or the benefit of the doubt is an ugly move.

3. Don’t Drink Much

There are chances of you having a nice glass of wine during the date session. So enjoy it. But drinking to stupor over dinner guarantees a dinner with a prelude to ugly eventualities.

4. Don’t Order For Your Date

Unless you and your date agree that you will be ordering for the both of you (or that you’ll pick each other’s dishes as a fun game), don’t do this. It is rather rude to push your ideas about food onto another person. If you feel strongly about a certain dish on the menu, suggest it casually, but leave the final decision up to your date to avoid an awkward situation.

5. Don’t Discuss Uncomfortable Topics

There are a few topics that you should never discuss on a date: politics, religion, and money—to mention a few. Now, if you’re going out on a date with your longtime partner, your feelings on these things will have been long-built. But nothing puts a damper on an evening quite like a discussion about your finances or Nigerian politics.

Conservative Ladies’ Etiquettes

1. Don’t show too much skin on a first date. If you want to wear a short dress, raise the neckline above the start of your cleavage.

2. Allow the man to open and hold the door, and then show gratitude.

3. It is good to refresh your lipstick after a meal, but never apply a full face of makeup or comb your hair at the table.

4. If he picks up the bill, accept but offer to treat to some other time with the bills on you.

Conservative Gentlemen’s Etiquettes

1. Pick her up at home. If she still lives with her parents, this is a good opportunity to impress them by greeting them in accordance with their cultural values.

2. Open doors for her and allow her to go first.

3. Offer to pay the bill for dinner, but don’t argue if she wants to help out with the bill.

4. At the end of the date, try to walk her to her door and wait until she’s safely inside before you leave.

About the author

Solomon Unoke

Solomon is a writer science fiction, romance and website contents who's passion revolves around works of creativity and vivid imaginations.

"Walls, trees, the sands and the seas, all of nature is a witness to the stories of our lives and of thousands of lives that came before us. Whispers heard in the winds, and the chirping of the birds on the trees, are stories begging to be heard and experiences that wants to be relived. Our stories keep the planet alive."

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