31 Jul 2012

Would You Order An Expensive Dish On A First Date

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This is a question that I routinely ask all of my single friends, male and female. The answer nearly always tells me something about human nature in general, and about that particular human in front of me.

The answer is important, but also what happens before the answer comes out – the questions that are asked, the body language that comes into play, the time it takes to reach a conclusive response. And it’s such a silly question really, because the answer should be – well, it all depends.

Are we splitting the bill?
Some people get to this question right off the bat – it’s the first thing they want to know, and rightly so. After all, if the other person is paying, the importance and weight of the conundrum shift to a different plain.

If we are sharing the cost of the meal, then other factors come into play. Mostly like, can I afford to order the expensive dish that I really want, and what if my date matches my order – can we both afford it? Which usually leads to the next inquiry…

Is he or she rich?
Does it seem as though my ordering the Kobi beef Tenderloin fillet will cause this person to have to max his or her credit card and get a second job to pay it off, or is it apparent that it will not matter in the slightest because money is not an issue? The problem is that you may not know the answer to this sub-question well enough to answer the main question.

Some of us can tell how another is sitting financially from the clothes, the cars, the hair, the jewelry, etc. Others have difficulty knowing what these signals mean and how to interpret them. If he or she offers to pay, and you don’t feel that life problems will be the result, then go ahead.

How good is the restaurant?
But it also is important to have a feel for the place you’re in. We’ve all had the experience of having high expectations about a selection in the pricey section of the menu, only to be vastly disappointed. If you’ve ever had diner’s remorse and wished that you’d had the salad, you know what I mean.

If the eating establishment is clearly highly rated and deservedly so, then it almost seems like you have no choice but to order the expensive food – after all, you want to know if it’s really all that good. And if you’re not paying anyway, and your date is an oilman, you need to know these things.

How hungry am I?
When someone asks me this in regard to the leading question, I know that they are a food lover, someone who actually enjoys eating. You want to know that if you order something expensive, you are going to enjoy it because you are truly hungry.

What you want to avoid is asking for a doggy bag for a ritzy dish – you really have to eat it all, even if you’re not hungry. So it’s better to be hungry if you’re planning on getting the wallet-shrinker special.

Do I like the person?
Actually, this is the most important thing to know in order to decide whether to order the expensive dish. If you want to continue to date the person and you see a possible future for the 2 of you, you’ll be very careful.

You don’t want to give the wrong impression either way – that you’re a gold-digger, or that you’re a miser. You just want to have a great meal and a great date, and you don’t want to do anything that will compromise or jeopardize your future together. Honesty really is the best policy, so do what you think is the right thing.


Grace Pamer is a full time romance and relationship writer. She writes romance and marriage proposal tip columns for various publications including YourTango.com and GalTime.com. As seen on FoxNews.com, Cosmopolitan.com, DivineCaroline.com and CanadianLiving.com to name but a few.

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One Response to “Would You Order An Expensive Dish On A First Date”

  1. Reply Rosemary says:

    It’s been a long time since I dated! My policy was to order neither the most expensive nor the least expensive item on the menu. My hope was that my date picked a restaurant that was both appropriate to his budget and intended to make a good impression on me. In return, I would respect his wallet and make my own good impression by being neither too greedy nor too cheap.

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