Decode Your Date’s Dinner: Hidden Meanings From Their Orderby Ysolt Usigan on October 12, 2011
Be honest: you start sizing up your date the moment you say hello – sometimes, even before you get there. Who can blame you? That’s what dating is: trying to figure someone out in an effort to decide whether or not you should continue, well, dating.
Your date’s thinking the same thing about you, by the way.
And one of the factors up for consideration? What you order when out to eat. Your menu choices on dates one, two, three and four are also up for analysis.
“These choices reveal a date’s level of self-esteem and comfort with themselves, offer hints about their background and culture, give insights on how adventurous they are (or not), and show them to be easy to please or picky in temperament, among other things,” says psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman.
Fret not, as we have found experts – in both psychology and hospitality alike – who can help you decode your date’s dinner selection. Let’s get to it. If he or she orders…
Meat and Potatoes
When your date goes for the steak and mashed potatoes, you might think, fabulous, he’s got to be a “nice guy” (or at least that’s what I’ve always thought) because nice guys eat good old home cooking. But think again.
“This choice may point to a conservative leaning. They don’t like to try different or exotic tastes,” says Coleman. “This may also be cultural — they come from a meat-and-potatoes background and for them, this is ‘comfort food’ — satisfying and a way to feed comfort their feelings.” If you’re looking for a conservative significant other, you’re in luck.
Steak with Ketchup
Also pay attention to how they order their meat. For instance, a date who gets steak well-done is likely from a small town, says Cary Farley, author of “Mr. Date Night.” If he or she dips it in ketchup, you can be certain that is a fact. “There is nothing wrong with being from a small town – it’s just an observation and a fun conversation piece. Medium-rare or medium with wine is more sexy. “Succulent meal and a succulent date,” Farley adds.
Watch out if your date has an ordering style similar to Meg Ryan’s character in “When Harry Met Sally”). She or he will want that thing on the menu with this, that and the other, plus something on the side, and not too much of this, but an extra helping of that.
Coleman says ordering this way could indicate a tendency to being a high-maintenance personality. She or he may be concerned have other food issues, too.
The Fanciest Thing on the Menu
“If your date orders the most expensive item on the menu or at the bar — watch out,” says Karen Sherman, psychologist, author and cast member of “The Living Consciously” TV show. “This is a person with expensive taste and isn’t really concerned about your budget or feelings.”
In the opinion of Justin Hadaway, mixology star and lead bartender at Atlanta’s Cibo e Beve, wine is simple: “For either sex, this indicates normalcy and relaxation.”
Dr. Fran Walfish, doctor and author, says your date may have a lot of class, elegance, and expensive taste. “Check out the price per glass. Does he or she order the cheapest or most expensive wine listed?” she asks. “This may correlate to generosity. People who are stingy with their money are stingy with their feelings.”
Hadaway believes beer is usually a “guy thing.” For both genders, ordering beer indicates that things are not getting crazy. “This is usually a drink before getting to the table,” he explains. “Women who drink beer tend to be more laid back, too.”
“This may mean your date is a down-to-earth person,” Walfish explains. “It also may mean he or she gets rowdy if/when they drink too many beers.
A Non-Alcoholic Beverage
If your date orders a soda, iced tea or other non-alcoholic beverage, this could mean one big question mark. He or she is hard to read, according to Hadaway. “The reason being, the person ordering is not giving you a lot to go on. This is somewhat a ‘shut out’ move,” he says.
Nothing At All
If your date orders nothing at all, you should be freaked out. “Ordering nothing at all, regardless of the excuse, means you’d better make a serious change before the date ends abruptly — he or she has a serious lack of interest in you,” says Seth Rabinowitz, a consultant at Silicon Associates where part of his job is to analyze human interaction.
So, what do you think? Our sources made some sweeping calls. Do they fit with your experience, or not so much?