Blended (2014) trailer (Screengrab)Restaurant dates. They can be a little confronting, can’t they?

Not only do you have to sit across the table starting at each other for approximately two hours, but you also have to be dressed appropriately for the venue, be familiar with the art of cutlery use and table etiquette, choose effectively from the wine list, decipher the latest trendy food descriptions and be constantly funny and witty. All whilst looking effortlessly stunning and making sure you’re not getting any food between your teeth or in your hair for that matter. Sometimes your hair gets so long you end up getting it in your food, right ladies?

So many things to think about!

But if you’ve been on as many dates as I have, you begin to master all of this. You have a standard outfit choice for each type of restaurant, you’ve had a lot of practice using cutlery, you have good table manners, you start becoming a regular at some of the restaurants wherein you know the wine lists like the back of your hand, you may even google the new trendy food on your phone when he goes to the bathroom. He comes back and you just sound so clever when you tell him what ‘Quenelle’ means. You still don’t really know what it means, but as least you sound like you do. As for looking effortlessly stunning, you do your best. You reapply your red lipstick multiple times throughout the evening, you put your hair back and check your teeth when going to the bathroom – carrying floss in your clutch is a must! If you plan on a goodnight kiss mints won’t hurt either.

I’ve addressed some potential difficulties of restaurant dates, but what about some of the good things? Well, apart from restaurant dates generally being enjoyable and food and wine being absolutely awesome, I believe you can tell a lot about a person on a restaurant date. Not just by their conversation and how they have dressed, but most importantly by how they behave.

How are his manners?

I don’t know about you, but I want to date someone with good manners and appropriate courtesy.   The person I date needs to be someone I can take to an office function or to dinner at my Nanna’s equally, without being embarrassed.

Just look for these things:

  • Does your date demonstrate table etiquette or is he eating his food with his hands like a caveman?
  • Is his napkin on his lap, or does he simply think it’s part of the tablecloth?
  • Does he excuse himself from the table?
  • Is he talking to you the whole night or is he checking his phone and texting in his lap, oblivious to the fact that you can actually see what he is doing?


Is he an asshole?

There is only so much you can determine about someone’s personality in a couple of hours. However, one of the ways to see what type of person they are is by observing the way they speak to the wait staff.

If he does any of the following, he is probably an asshole:

  • Clicks his fingers, whistles or claps to get the wait staff’s attention
  • Yells at the wait staff
  • Neglects to thank the wait staff (even if it is just for a water top-up)
  • Is rude when making a complaint (the wait staff didn’t cook the food)
  • Looks condescendingly at the wait staff

These behaviours will tell you immediately that he is simply an asshole, so steer clear.


Do you have common interests?

Apart from the inevitable discussing what you both enjoy doing, your passions and dreams, you can tell a lot about a person from how they relate to the venue they are in.

For example: If you are in your absolute favourite restaurant, it is five star and he is looking extremely uncomfortable, then fine dining probably isn’t for him. This does not have to be a deal-breaker of course, but if you enjoy frequent dining at these types of venues, then he probably isn’t the guy you should be dating.

Nor is he probably the guy you should be dating if he chose the restaurant and you’ve ended up at MacDonald’s.


Does he really want to be here?

Whether I’m at a restaurant with a girlfriend, my mother or on a date, if I’m enjoying someone’s company, I like the dinner to last as long as possible. So if a guy wants to order the meal within 5 minutes of sitting down, I’m instantly turned off and a little disappointed. “Is he in that much of a hurry to get out here?” Is what I will generally think.

If a guy is enjoying your company and is generally happy to be with you, he will also be happy to relax with a few drinks and nibbles prior to the main and will want to make the dinner last as long as possible.

If he seems to be in a hurry to order he’s possibly not interested. Or he’s just nervous or really hungry. Either way, how quickly he wants to order the main, may give you some sort of indication.


So Ladies, next time you go on a first date to a restaurant, look for these little things and take note. You may already notice these things and don’t think they matter, you may think they do, or you may notice some of these things for the very first time ever and won’t believe you never took note of them before!

So don’t shy away from restaurants as your first date – Give it a go ladies and let me know xx

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