First Date Etiquette Tips
• Pull out the woman’s chair and help her get seated. (In a more upscale restaurant, the host/hostess may take care of this.)
• Shortly after sitting down, excuse yourself and say you like to wash your hands before you eat.
This shows that you’re concerned with cleanliness. Use some soap so that when you make hand contact with her later on, your skin feels soft and fresh.
• Learn your server’s name and use it when addressing them. It shows that you interact with people well, and that you’re polite.
• Be open to suggestions. Your server may mention the evening’s dinner specials. Listen, discuss them briefly with your date, and if something sounds good, go for it. This shows a little bit of spontaneity.
• You should order for yourself and for your date. Ask her what she wants as you’re looking over your menus, then tell the server what both of you will be having.
• Pace your conversation during the meal. It’s annoying when you’re trying to eat and someone keeps asking you questions, so don’t do it to her.
Get into a rhythm with her; when she takes a bite, you take a bite. And don’t finish eating before she does.
Advanced Mack Maneuver: “Taste Tests”
We’ve already covered the importance of establishing body contact as things progress.
If you’re having a great conversation over dinner and the two of you are obviously connecting, this can be done while sitting across from her at the table.
Lean forward to tell her something, as if you don’t want the people sitting around you to hear. Touch her forearm or hand when you say it.
Another way to establish contact during dinner is by tasting each other’s food. Tell her how delicious yours is, and offer her a bite—but do it right.
Don’t saw off a piece and reach your fork across your table towards her mouth; that’s an awkward gesture that puts her on the spot. Instead, cut off a small piece of food, cup your hand underneath the fork, and offer it to her.
Having shared the same fork (or spoon), you’ve established a subliminal physical bond. She’ll probably then offer you a taste of hers. Take it.
Your mouths, in a sense, have touched. This technique may sound funny, but these subtle connections can make a difference.
Or, you can test the waters first. Look at her meal and remark how good it looks. If she offers to give you a bite, that’s a sign that she is feeling comfortable with you. Give her a bite of yours in return.
By all means, order dessert. This can be the most important phase of the meal. It’s also the most appealing part.