Order Up

Almost as classic as a ’67 Ford Mustang or an ’80s-era Molly Ringwald movie, the dinner date has remained a staple of American courting culture. According to Zoosk.com, dinner is the most commonly-cited “best first date idea” for women in their 20s.

With many restaurant options in Provo (see “Dating Ideas” on page 42), it’s no wonder the popularity of the dinner date persists among college students. Choosing a great restaurant isn’t the only way to impress your date, however. Your manners when ordering and during the meal will contribute to the success of your evening. Be considerate of both your date’s wallet and stomach, and you’ll likely find yourself having a lovely time.

To ensure your dining experience goes well, follow the tips below.

  1. Choose a restaurant with a variety of dishes. If you’re choosing a specific type of food, like pizza or Greek, check beforehand to make sure it’s something your date will enjoy.
  2. If you’re paying, hint at your target price range. Your date doesn’t want to exceed your budget either. As you look over the menu, try saying something like, “The shrimp tacos look delicious. It will be hard to decide between the tacos and chicken fajitas.” Now, your date can see the price of those dishes and adjust their order accordingly.
  3. If you’re not paying, try to match the price of your dish with the price of your date’s. While it’s true they agreed to take you out, hardly anyone in college is made of money. It’s uncouth to order the most expensive item on the menu, even if your date has offered for you to “get whatever you like.”
  4. Don’t criticize what your date ordered. Your date may have dietary restrictions, but might not want to be upfront about them. What they ordered may be the only dish they can have, so don’t make them feel bad about it
  5. Expect your date to eat as little or as much as they like. Maybe their stomach isn’t feeling well but they still wanted to see you, or maybe they haven’t eaten all day. The meal doesn’t cost any less if your date finishes it. Let them eat as they please, and you do the same.

   -Haley Mosher

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