First dates are some of the most stressful situations and getting dinner with a complete stranger often doesn’t make it any easier.
Let’s face it: The idiom “you only get one chance to make a first impression” couldn’t be any truer than when it comes to dating. That’s why it’s pretty important that you not pick a meal that makes the time you spend with this person awkward, unpleasant, or kind of gross.
I've rounded up 9 of the most common meals that you should avoid on a first date, along with some suggestions about what you might want to do instead.
The first date is way more tactical than meets the eye and I want to make sure that it’s not your last date with that person. With that said, here are 9 dishes you should probably rethink if you’re on a first date:
Don't Eat: Spaghetti
Probably the first dish on everyone’s list for this category, spaghetti just isn’t the sexiest meal to have on a first date. Instead, try bowtie pasta or a pasta dish with small bite-size pieces.
Consider Instead: Penne or Farfalle with a White Sauce
The problem with spaghetti is that it is long and sloppy. The red sauce could stain your outfit, leaving you a reminder of your mistake throughout the night. Try penne or farfalle pasta with a white sauce instead or one with an oil-based sauce.
Don't Eat: Garlic and Onions
Aside from the extremely strong smell, garlic and onions tend to linger on your breath and your clothes. We understand that you love this savory taste, but you might want to opt for something milder such as a piquant cheese or vegetable dish.
Consider Instead: Roasted Vegetables
While onions may be included among the roasted vegetables, they will be much milder than you will typically find otherwise.
Don't Eat: Finger Foods
Anything that you have to pick up and eat tends to be messy. While sushi isn’t as messy as say ribs, foods that involve your fingers and hands tend to be messy in tiny ways. Instead of finger food appetizers and dishes, try bread instead.
Consider Instead: Sushi
While in Japan it is often considered strange to eat sushi with chopsticks, in other parts of the world this is pretty much the standard. This gives you the fun and convenience of finger foods without the mess.
Don't Eat: Hot Dogs/Hamburgers
Anything involving processed meat and toppings is probably best left to a second date. Again, you’re using your hands and, two, you’re customizing your toppings and condiments. All of this just leaves more opportunity for disaster when it comes to spilling something on yourself. Instead, try a sandwich. Not only are they composed for you, but they’re a lot less messy than a hot dog or a hamburger.
Grilled chicken is a universal go-to item that can be either casual or high-end depending on the situation.
Don't Eat: Tuna
A strong smell tends to be what most diners remember when someone orders tuna. Again, we’re trying to avoid offensive odors here so fish, in general, might not be your best bet. If you have to do fish, consider salmon instead or, better yet, get chicken if fish isn’t a requirement.
Consider Instead: Salmon
Salmon is a great option and it is light. Salmon with fresh vegetables is a light and sexy meal. Also, you will still look amazing in your dress and not feel bloated.
Don't Eat: Ribs/Wings
Sloppy sauce and hands-on eating make for one messy experience when it comes to ribs and wings. Plus, they take some attention which means less time to spend with your date. Rather than chowing down on your favorite BBQ wings or ribs, try grilled BBQ chicken or something using a knife and fork instead.
Consider Instead: Small sized Steak
A small sized steak like in the picture above will always save the day. For reference, consider a 3 oz steak that is about the size of a deck of cards. Take your time and do not talk with your mouth full.
Don't Eat: Beans
The most famous of the high-fiber vegetables, we give beans their own category because they are found in so many foods that you might not be aware of. You might want to think twice about having them on a first date. Instead of beans, try rice, peas, or corn instead.
Consider Instead: Rice
Beans are excellent for you but they have many downsides that might make the first date a less-than-elegant experience; we recommend you opt for rice instead.
There’s nothing wrong with spicy foods, but we’re not trying to put on a show here. If you sweat or otherwise need huge gulps of water to help you get the spicy food down, then you might want to save this play for a later date. After all, you want to look attractive to your date and no one sweating and huffing from a meal has ever accomplished this feat. Instead of spicy foods, try something savory or ask for the spice level to be cut in half.
Spicy food is fun but it can also be unpredictable. Opt for something savory when on your first date like a steak, which also happens to pair well with red wine.
Corn kernels in your teeth and melted butter on your hands are not a vision you want to see on a first date. This one, thankfully, is simple to fix (if you simply must have corn): Get regular corn or ask for them to remove the corn from the cob for you (or do it yourself).
Risotto is both creamy and delicious as well as complex in terms of its flavor profile. We aren’t completely against corn on the first date but you need to keep in mind that kernels can get trapped between your teeth.
After a successful first date, don't forget to pat yourself on the back for putting yourself out there to find love. With every date, you are one step closer to finding Mr Right. Also, don't forget to enjoy one of my favorite boxes of chocolates here. Hubby gets them for me all of the time. 🤗