If you’ve been mature dating and secured a dinner date, it’s time for you to wine, dine and shine in front of your date. Dinner dates are a fantastic place to get to know your date better, one-on-one, with few distractions. Follow these do’s and don’t’s to make sure your date runs smoothly:
dO…make a good First impression
Dress to impress. It’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed, so make sure your clothes match your date location. Also take that extra bit of care to smell nice – it won’t go unnoticed. It’s also no longer – was it ever really? – fashionable to be late, so don’t leaving your date twiddling their thumbs with a hundred negative thoughts running through their head.
Sharing dishes can be a fabulous way to cosy up to your date, but stick to some ground rules. Don’t forget to take their preferences into account (no prawn crackers if they’re allergic to shellfish), take care not to hog the best bits (they might also want some guacamole on the nachos!) and if it’s finger food, try not to make an outrageous mess – it might be a turn-off at this stage of a relationship.
Don’t…drown in drink
Many people on the mature dating scene enjoy a drink or two, especially if you’re both trying to quell first date nerves! Just make sure that you and your date are both comfortable with having a few beverages, and that you’re not going to end up significantly more tipsy than your date. You don’t want to make a fool of yourself, so know your limits and pace yourself with your date.
do…Put your phone away
When it comes to phone calls and messages, answer them at your peril. Interrupting your date to speak to a friend or reply to a message is not just rude, but also implies you’re not very interested in your dining partner. We all know about how the youth of today are attached to their devices, but lots of us on the mature dating scene are equally as guilty! Even having your phone vibrating on the table will dampen the mood, so avoid all temptation and distractions by turning your phone off and keeping it hidden.
do…find out; Carnivore or herbivore?
If you’re picking the restaurant, make sure you know your date’s tastes before choosing. You’ll only end up with egg on your face if you don’t do your homework and take a vegetarian to an Argentine steakhouse, or a chilli-phobe for a curry. Try to pick an original restaurant too – you’ll impress your date by steering clear of the chains and going for a quirky eatery full of character.
do…mind Table manners
You dining companion will probably forgive elbows on the table, but is less likely to forget seeing the chewed-up contents of your crab cake starter when you speak with your mouth full! Start from the outside when it comes to cutlery, don’t slurp your soup and cover your mouth if using a toothpick.
don’t…go too outlandish, for now
Those of us mature dating usually have an experienced palate, but if the last time you cracked a lobster claw or used a chopstick was decades ago, probably avoid embarrassing situations by choosing dishes that are easy to eat! The last thing you want is to hurl a snail at your date, or have a piece of dim-sum meet a white shirt.
Also, if you’re hoping for a goodnight kiss, it’s best to avoid smelly foods such as garlic or onions. If you’re worried about your breath, round off the meal with a cup of fresh mint tea.
If your date is paying, choosing the most expensive dish on the menu might make you seem a little grabby. Conversely, don’t look like a skinflint by ordering the cheapest dish or forgoing dessert if you’re the one settling the bill. Having said that, try to mirror your date; if they decide to opt out of a starter, it might be a good idea not to have one either, as having one person eat while the other watches could be awkward – particularly on a first date.
don’t…try Toilet HUMOuR
Bar truly exceptional individuals, any talk of bodily functions and fluids is a huge no-no in any romantic scenario, and especially one where eating’s involved! You’re both mature dating, not the inexperienced and awkward teens on a first date, so although burping might be a sign of a good meal in some countries, it’s definitely not recommended.
If you need the loo, by all means excuse yourself, but don’t ruin your date’s appetite by mentioning how badly you need to go. Similarly, if your date’s been in the toilet a while, do not mention it when they return to the table, unless they genuinely look a bit peaky and you want to check they’re okay.
do…Be kind on the side
You might be the epitome of charm and courtesy to your date, but if you’re rude to the waiter or a fellow diner, it will significantly lower you in your companion’s view of you. If you do have a genuine complaint, do it politely and calmly, and try not to draw too much attention to yourself.