For most, Valentine’s Day usually falls into one of two categories: (1) an invented holiday, created only to remind the perpetually single of their shortcomings in love; or, (2) a day set aside for couples to escape the drudgery of everyday life, forget who left the cap off the toothpaste, and just remind one another how in love they truly are. Fortunately for me I find myself in the latter category, but unlike most of the single masses I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day. While some lament over past loves or current crushes, I find myself observing the “man-made” holiday by reminiscing – not on the dates that went right – but on the dates that went wrong. Over the years I started to pick up on a common theme that seems to transcend most of my bad dating experiences, and given today’s date, I wanted to share it with you:
You can tell a lot about your date from what they order at dinner.
While many girls dissect their date by his taste in fashion or the car he drives, I have been on a number of “one date wonders” where I consciously decided to spend less time dwelling on their outward appearance and instead focused my attention on what they ordered off the menu. Does this mean that a guy who orders a filet mignon medium instead of medium-rare will doom the date from the get-go? Absolutely not. But while I understand that some may have dietary restrictions, there are many cases where one’s food behaviors parallel their own personality traits. Don’t believe me? Then read on…
FULL DISCLOSURE: The stories you are about to read are true. Only the names have been changed to protect the
Example 1 (We shall call him “Jim”)
Jim loved food but was a self-proclaimed fast food junkie; and although he would occasionally try different dishes, he didn’t exactly have a sophisticated food palate. For me, this wasn’t a deal breaker because what foodie doesn’t appreciate introducing new dishes to others? But when it came time to pick the venue I was disappointed to find out that Jim was taking me to the mediocre restaurant around the corner from his house. I am not a picky person but it speaks volumes when a person takes the time to make reservations or pick a restaurant with great ambiance. Looking back, I can think of numerous non-food related red flags with Jim; however, what really put the nails in the coffin was a statement he made early on in the date. And I quote, “When a girl eats a burger it’s a deal breaker.” Why was it a deal breaker? Well Jim went on to describe how it is incredibly unsexy for a girl to eat “man food”… Man Food? Huh? Right then and there I should have known that Jim and I had no potential whatsoever. Maybe the guys out there who follow my blog can chime in, but I would like to know what kind of guy doesn’t like the idea of taking their date to a burger place? First of all, it makes for a cheap date. Secondly, nothing is more refreshing than having an easygoing and relaxing date over a burger and fries.
Therefore, I am brought to warning sign number 1: If they can’t handle putting together a casual date or a girl that likes to eat, then they aren’t worth a foodie’s time!
Example 2 (We shall call him “Frank”)
Frank was a good looking guy, great job, and relative to the sea of engineers working at my location, seemed normal. It wasn’t until we sat down at the table that I realized he wasn’t going to make the cut. Frank, as it turns out, was every server’s worst nightmare. From the second we sat down until the moment he got the check Frank felt the need to talk down to anyone and everyone who came to our table. Waiter, bus boy, line runner; no one could hide from his snide remarks and condescending tone. I was genuinely embarrassed. But when it came time to order our meal, that’s when Frank truly shined!
Unbeknownst to Frank, chefs usually know how to make a good dish (hence, why it’s on the menu). While the restaurant was far from what one might consider “upscale” it definitely wasn’t a create-your-own pizza joint. After about 10 minutes of describing what he wanted in his dish (and what he didn’t) I finally asked him if he had restrictions due to food allergies, which he did not. As it just so happens Frank was a gym rat who obsessed all day about food. In fact, he mentioned that I should feel lucky to be out to dinner with him as he doesn’t usually like taking girls out to eat. Apparently Frank had a strict diet that consisted of drinking gallons upon gallons of milk and protein powder to achieve his muscular physique. While it’s probably safe to say most girls wouldn’t have given him a second date (foodie or not); it says a lot about a person who can’t go into a restaurant and trust the chef with their entrée and at the same time be pleasant to the wait staff. Life and relationships are about trying new things and it’s incredibly appealing when a date isn’t afraid to try new dishes.
So without further ado I give you warning sign number 2: If they can’t handle what’s on the menu, trying new dishes, or treating your server like a decent human being, your relationship won’t make it past the appetizer stage.
But for every “Jim” and “Frank” in the world, there are a few out there that will pleasantly surprise you; “Closet Foodies” as I like to call them. It’s a foodie’s dream to go out to eat and have a date who is not only interested in ordering a bottle of wine with dinner but who saves room for dessert as well. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing more romantic than ordering different dishes and sharing your meal throughout the night.
Let’s face it: if you are anything like me, food is a huge part of your life. This is why it’s so important to date someone who is enthusiastic about your foodie habits, and who enjoys and encourages (and sometimes takes advantage of) your cooking. Dating a fellow foodie opens the door to adventurous dates that can consist of everything from wine tastings to taking cooking lessons together. Whether it’s driving miles and miles just to go to your favorite restaurant or attempting to cook a new dish at home, they will certainly melt your heart faster than your favorite comfort dish!