The Phoenix Genesis Gentleman: You Scored A Dinner Date – Now What
It’s a simple rule of living: you gotta eat sometime. Over the centuries men have found the dinner date is also an excellent way to get to know a woman. Taking a new lady friend out to eat may not be new or imaginative but it sure is fun. Trust us, this is one time when you do not want to argue with tradition.
Best of all, you can show your guest the finer qualities of your personality. Think of it as a chance to prove yourself. She must like something about you or she would not be dining with you. Now’s your chance to prove she has good taste in men. Conduct yourself well and you are likely to see her again – and again.
Unfortunately, just having a delicious meal with a lovely lady is only half the equation. You see, there are these things called manners and character. Do not be fooled: your date will judge everything you do and say during the meal. If she does not like what she sees you will not get another chance. The old saying about never getting a second chance to make a first impression? That’s right; it applies here too.
Since you now know the stakes, you need to learn the rules of acting like a gentleman on a dinner date. Luckily for you, we have one here. Read these, learn them and resist the urge to freestyle. Remember, your date is watching.
On a dinner date:
Open the door for your date and pull out her chair for her.
Chivalry is not dead, not for her. Show her your mastery of common courtesy. She will notice.
- Always compliment your date’s appearance.She took a lot of time to prepare. Know why? So you’d notice just how lovely she looks. Don’t take it – or her – for granted. It’s OK if you’re shy. Are her eyes pretty? Say so. Do her dimples rock your world? She’d love to know. Any honest praise will be your friend here.
- Place your napkin on your lap.I know, we just entered the anal-retentive part of this list but just do it. It shows you were raised to be a gentleman. Possible exception: if you borrowed your dad’s best tie tucking the napkin in your shirt collar will be acceptable.
Break off a chunk of bread to butter it instead of buttering one huge slice.
You do not want to remind her of a pig being fed at the trough. You take normal bites like she does. Oh, she will not be impressed with your ability to open beer bottles with your teeth either.
- Come prepared with interesting conversation topics to discuss. This is a tricky one. How well do you know her? Have you already had fun talks with her? Do more of that. If not, think twice about bringing up, say, your Call of Duty skills or the Patriots’ chances of winning another Super Bowl. School is always a good topic. So are movies or tv. Show some creativity and it will be rewarded.
- Say thank you to the server each time he or she brings you an item. Nothing says “nice guy” like this pro move. Best of all, it gets the server on your side; you do not want to be on his bad side.
Pre-bus the table to make the server’s job easier.
Not sure what this means? If you are seated at a table before all the dishes are cleared away, start clearing them yourself (yes, bus your date’s place first – you’re a gentleman now, remember?). Now you proved that you are a take-charge kind of guy and not helpless.
- Pay for the whole bill, and make it obvious you are going to do so to avoid an awkward conversation.Yes, I’m aware that this is a subject of great debate. Why should a guy have to pay all the time? This is one of those times when you just have to accept that you cannot always challenge tradition. Besides, you asked her out, right? If things go well and keep going well, the day will come when you split the check. This is not that day, got it?
Leave a generous tip.
A tip speaks volumes about your character. It says that you appreciate good service and you are not cheap or greedy. In connection with that paying the whole bill thing (see above), you will make her feel like she’s with a stand-up guy she can count on.
Wear a ball cap during the dinner.
This one may seem a bit picky. You spent all that time putting together a killer collection of caps from every major video game release of the past five years. Maybe your allegiance to the Yankees is so great you never want to be without your lucky cap. She does not care. That point is so important-repeat after me: SHE. DOES. NOT. CARE. Capisce? You shouldn’t be wearing one at all, but if you are, take it off when you enter the restaurant. Don’t make me say this again.
Chew with your mouth open.
Remember how funny it was when you were a kid and your parents were not at the dinner table? Your brother and you chewed up your food, then opened your mouths so you could show off your goop. Your date will not remember that. Trust me, she will not want to hear about it either.
- Make the server’s job difficult with anal orders and requests. A fast-food chain used to have a jingle which included the line “special orders don’t upset us.” They were lying. Think your date will be impressed with your requests? Not a chance. Keep it simple; overcomplicate your order and she will not be impressed. On a related note:
Order from the adult menu.
You may never outgrow Happy Meals. That aspect of your personality is best saved for the future. You’ve saved enough to take her to a nice restaurant. Right, the kind that requires reservations. Don’t order pizza. Or chicken nuggets. Or anything that sounds like it should have a “Mc” in front of it. She won’t so you shouldn’t.
Obviously check out other women.
You’re smart enough to know this already. Your date will not be impressed. Neither will the woman/women you check out. Or their dates.
Do anything with your cell phone.
I get it. We live in a wired world. No borders and all that. Think of your date as a two-hour break with that world. She wants to get to know you. Be smart and turn your cell phone off before the date. Don’t turn it on until the date ends. And please, no Facebook updates or live-tweeting your date. She will not be impressed.
So that’s the list. Got them all? Keep them straight and you’re looking at a successful date with her. Forget them and you’re pulling a Macaulay Culkin (home alone) this weekend.
– Louis Burklow (aka, Hollywood Country Boy), Senior Staff Writer, Phoenix Genesis
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