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10 Good Reasons Dinner Dates Suck as the First Date (And What to do Instead)

Dinner? Oh my... Dinner? Oh my...

Besides a lot of questions on relationships, I am also getting quite a few questions on dates. Seems like most guys handle all the stuff in between the two pretty good?

Nonetheless, today I want to talk about the subject of dinner dates.

A dinner date is the most common type of date in the world today – and that’s both its positive and negative side.

What I mean by that is that the dinner date is very predictable. You kind of know what you get, and the only real difference in one is whether you get a kiss at the end of the night or not.

What you do know though, is that it’s going to drain your wallet pretty quick, especially if you go on lots of dates.

You also know that it can get really awkward, and that the restaurant environment by itself is rather boring. It’s just you and her.

We already have a small list of negative things about dinner dates, but let’s make it official:

Dinner dates suck because

  • It’s the first part of the traditional courtship ritual. The boy is chasing the girl. This is baaad. Usually involves a lot of waiting too. And I hate waiting.
  • You’re buying her attention. You’re buying her stuff to eat, just to get her to listen to what you have to say. Is it just me, or aren’t that kind of weird?
  • It’s boring. Not only for her, it’s also boring for you.
  • It’s not a natural way to get to know someone. Do you usually eat dinner with somebody you don’t know? I don’t.
  • They’re hard to escape. You’re tied to a chair for a few hours. And what to do other than run when she catches you looking at her cleveage? It’s hard to just focus on the food when you sit down for that long.
  • Awkward silence. Do I need to say more? You are nervous and feel a pressure to say something if she doesn’t. The nervousness also translates into your other movements… This makes it very possible to do stupid stuff like dropping your fork while you’re eating. Not good!
  • Dinner dates are predictable. 9 times out 10, the same thing happens. This also makes it very hard for you to stick out of the crowd, you’re probably just one boring date out of hundreds.
  • Did I say before that you’re in fact feeding her?
  • The environment also makes it hard for you to escalate things. It’s kind of strange to kiss her over the table, or to stroke her hair, or to in any way touch her. This usually makes dinner dates very “cold”. You’re just two talking heads.
  • Because they’re not fun. And having fun is (for me anyway!) the most important aspect of a date.

Still not convinced?

Well, then you need to read the above points again.

coffee date

What to do instead:

Have her come pick you up at your place. Invite her in for five minutes, and then go out to one of the local coffee shops.

Talk and just have a good time. If things go good, you can invite her back. If things go “ok”, say you’ll do something else another time. If things go really bad, just leave.

It’s really simple!

I have used this exact same model with tremendous success for the last few years myself.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes!

Talk to you soon,

Images by seoulman66 and javaturtle.

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52 thoughts on “10 Good Reasons Dinner Dates Suck as the First Date (And What to do Instead)

  1. hanna

    You’re exactly half right Alex. Dinner dates CAN be boring if it’s with someone you’re not that into. If you are into each other, you will find lots to talk about, books (if you read), music, movies, hobbies, work, anything! BTW, if you go to dinner AFTER a movie, you can talk about the movie ;) I think a coffee shop date could be fun too, don’t get me wrong. It’s very informal, and if you’re not hitting it off with the date, you can easily knock it off as a hangin’ out thing and then leave pretty soon. But that’s just the problem right there. Many women (including myself) want to feel special. If you have a hangup about “feeding me” then I’m gonna feel like you’re cheap. And if you’re this cheap on a first date, then whoa! There’s no hope down the road, I would be thinking pretty soon, you’ll just want to “chill” on your sofa, and not go anywhere so as to not spend money. Albeit, this may not be the case but perception is reality my friend.
    And first dates are usually at least a little awkward at some point, and if you’re into the person, of course you’re going to be a little nervous, no matter if you go to dinner, watch a movie, get coffee, have a drink, take a walk on the beach, or go to the moon. Gotta get to know the person some how!
    And one idea you have REALLY bothers me. Having a girl come pick you up?? Is this even a date? Why am I going to HIM? Does he not have a car? No money for the bus/cab/train?? Seriously, this is what a girl will be thinking. Some say chivalry is dead, but most girls like some of those old fashioned ways–not all of them, but opening the door for her to walk through, saying she looks nice, and for Christ sake “feeding” the girl.
    I truly hope you don’t take offense to the tone of my response, but I’m sure I’m not the only female that feels this way. Some of your ideas are good as far as making a first date more create, but having the girl pick you up, splitting and/or not paying for her drink/coffee/dinner whatever just says you’re cheap, aren’t interested, only want sex (which may work out if that’s all she wants…) Sometimes it’s better to invest a little time and yes even money into something you want.
    As someone else said, what if you find you really like her? You may have just ruined your chances with the low-key, cheap approach.

    1. Nathan R.

      Hanna, I’m absolutely in agreement with you and as a guy i know that if i did things this way, id have to be the worst date in each person i’ve met’s life.