Match.com has an arsenal of tips and advice on dating and relationships. Some of them are easier said than done; others are plain old cliches and New Age-y; and still others just don’t make sense in the real world. But once in a while, you’ll stumble upon a gem that’s actually helpful amidst all the insanity.
One such advice piece is by author and former bartender Laura Schaefer, who compiled bits of dating wisdom from restaurant insiders. Why should we believe them? Well, these people have seen countless of strangers on dates, both successful ones and otherwise. The truly discerning ones—those who are able to observe and assess if a date is going well or about to get ugly—can be considered experts on the subject. Here are some of the things they have to say:
You’re better off meeting at a bar on a first date. Gregg Rottler of dinnersfromhell.com explains that at a restaurant, “diners are isolated [while seated at] their tables, making introductions challenging.” Being stuck on your seat throughout the whole encounter creates more awkwardness and makes it difficult to spot body-language cues. At a bar, the environment is more relaxed and you’re free to move around and get physical.
Don’t drink too much, advises Tonya Foster, co-author of “Waiting on Humanity,” because your hotness level decreases with every glass you drink. A bit of liquid courage is fine but never cross the line.
You should also treat your server well. This isn’t a self-serving tip from thebitchywaiter.com’s Darron Cardosa. He says this is favorable to you because he believes that daters, especially women, “pay close attention to how their date treats other people.” And the only other person in your date bubble is your waiter or waitress.
My friend, who’s in the restaurant industry as well, agrees with this list. And he has a couple of additions. He says, “I always sense boredom from someone whose date is blabbering nonstop. I think that it’s a bad date if one person is dominating the conversation, as if it’s only their opinions that matter. Unless your goal is to be a doormat, stay away from those types.”
Finally, “you’re at a restaurant. Eat. Pushing your food around says things about you that may not be true. Either you’re giving off a high-maintenance vibe by being a picky eater or your date is gonna think that you’re an obsessive calorie watcher. Most guys don’t like that.”