I don’t know if you were aware of this, but the totality of your time here on Earth is spent interacting with other humans in ways designed to pluck at your deepest insecurities. Nowhere is this more true than in dating. All of a sudden, when the prospect of mutual coed nudity becomes even a distant possibility, it becomes even more unnerving. What do you wear? What body parts do you shave? What do I order on the first date?
Wait, what’s that? Oh, hell yeah baby. The dead plants and animals you put in your mouth that will one day pass out your backside are (or can be, at least) the subject of scrutiny. Now, I believe that somewhere on this internet site, I’m on the record as saying that dinner is a bad idea for a first date, and I stand by that—happy hour, a few drinks, and decide on the rest from there. I’ll also go on record, right now, and say that any guy who actually says anything about what you eat on a first (or any) date is an asshole not worth your time.
But: People do still do dinner as a first date, and when you go to dinner, the person across the table from you is going to have some kind of opinion on what’s set in front of you. Not, like, a STRONG opinion, but an opinion all the same. Do with this information what you will, but here’s what a guy might be thinking based on what you order on your first date.
This probably comes as no surprise, but ordering a salad on a first date is cliché and try-hard. Now, if you’re clearly a very skinny person, or just in California where salad is all you’re legally allowed to eat, that’s one thing. But otherwise salads are a little messy, difficult to eat while holding a conversation, and all you’re conveying is that you’re someone who’s incapable of being your real self when it’s most beneficial. You’ll get kale stuck in your teeth, and I won’t tell you about it.
Oops, still try-hard, just in the other direction. Since everything you read tells you to not eat anything messy on a first date, the girl who orders wings is deliberately ordering something messy to show that she’s a cool girl who’s not like other girls. Yawn. I like sticking it to The Man (and wings) as much as anything, but your performative wing-eating is annoying. Plus wings aren’t even a real meal.
3. Just Booze
I will GLADLY eat while you just sit there drinking, but I’ll also stop feigning concern for your numerous childhood issues the moment I tie a knot in the condom and drop it in your bathroom trash.
I mean, pasta’s alright if we’re actually at an Italian restaurant I guess. But otherwise, like, what kind of adult orders chicken Alfredo at a restaurant? This isn’t your college dining hall. If you’re choosing pasta over everything else on the menu, I’ve either taken you to a shitty restaurant or you’re boring as hell. One of those things is way more likely than the other.
5. Some Expensive Shit
Look, even if you’re not pulling some “girl’s gotta eat” shit, ordering the most expensive thing on the menu makes you a sucker—it’s almost never worth it. That’s especially true of a first date, when no non-idiot is going to take you to the most expensive place in town. Ordering the porterhouse at an otherwise laid-back place isn’t clever or betchy, it’s tacky. And not just because I’m paying for it (but it doesn’t hurt!).
6. A Burger
A burger’s a pretty good choice, because it’s hard to find fault with them. I guess the only thing I would worry about is if it’s a place that serves those giant half pound pub-style burgers. I personally avoid them because if I want to keep drinking afterward or do anything physical (talking about fucking), I don’t want all that cow weighing me down. If you go for it anyway, all I’m thinking is that sometime soon, you’re gonna spend a lot of time on the toilet.
Honestly, I got nothing. They’re not overly messy or heavy, and don’t say anything other than that you like things that are good. There you have it: Tacos are the perfect first date food. And if you only go out with people who are cool with eating tacos for dinner, well, that’s a pretty good way to go through life.