There are all sorts of rules about what to do and not do on a date so as to convince the person across from you that you aren’t a total gargoyle. Turn off your phone! Ask questions! Don’t get hammered! And those rules often also extend to what you should or shouldn’t eat. The idea is that if you eat something messy or food that gets stuck in your teeth or makes you belch or open your mouth too wide, you’ll gross the other person out since you’re both pretending to be aristocrats at the dinner table this one night. Could we all just get over ourselves?
Even though a recent Tinder survey found that 62 percent of respondents are perfectly into eating a hearty meal on a first date, dating experts still pitch the date entrée as a veritable culinary psychological profile of your strengths and shortcomings, routinely suggesting hit lists of the worst things to consume in front of someone you want to like you. If you eat a salad, you’re an uptight dieter. If you eat somewhere too casual, you’re cheap. If you drink anything carbonated, you’ll be gassy.
It’s absurd, because while dating is obviously about presenting the goods in the best possible light, it’s also about finding out who someone really is, and whether there is true compatibility based on actual preferences and habits. Any date worth their salt wouldn’t judge you for eating a whole lobster — a big no-no because it’s messy and involves wearing a bib. But lobster is delicious, bibs are hilarious and the messiness might actually lower some inhibition and make the night, god forbid, actually fun. If you start dating, within a week you’ll just be lying next to each other watching Netflix while you’re both wholly coated in Cheeto dust. Why we bullshitting?
Besides, if you actually listened to these suggestions and avoided all these foods, there would be nothing left to eat but smoothies. This is why you only have met for drinks in the first place. Here’s an incomplete list of what to avoid:
A Big Mac.
Seafood or shellfish.
Anything on the dollar menu.
Foods containing corn.
Anything with red sauce.
A full lobster.
Gigantic sandwiches and subs.