Never Order This on a Dinner Date, Experts Warn
Experts reveal the one thing you should never do during a dinner date.
It's no secret: Dinner dates can be stressful—especially in the digital age. Whether it's a first date or a romantic special occasion with your longtime beau, choosing the right outfit to wear or the best place to meet can be a challenge. No matter what, it's important to make sure you're treating your plus one, whoever they may be, with the utmost respect. After all, etiquette is everything, right? Read on to see the one thing you shouldn't do on a dinner date.
Don't order for your date.
While ordering for your date may have been seen as chivalrous in the past, it should no longer be the go-to move, whether you're on a first date or dining with a long-term partner (unless you've both established this as your thing). "In modern etiquette, I advise to let your date order for themselves," says Myka Meier, Beaumont Etiquette founder and etiquette expert.
However, there are exceptions to this rule when you're in the getting to know each other stage, too. "Before the server arrives you may ask your date if they'd like you to order for them or if they'd like to order," Meier says. What's most important is that you and your date respect one another and are both comfortable, so definitely pop that question if you're thinking about ordering for the table.
Don't order the most expensive thing on the menu.
Ordering for someone is not the only faux pas in this department. In the modern dating world, any preconceptions you have about who's paying should also be tossed out the window. If this is your first time going out with someone, or even third or fourth, you are probably not totally aware of your date's financial situation. Thus, Meier says that "ordering the most expensive thing on the menu" is one of the rudest behaviors someone can have on a dinner date. And even if you know your dining partner is going to foot the bill, ordering the filet mignon right off the bat may come across a little tactless.
When it comes to going out with someone new (and perhaps even someone not so new), it's best to assume you're going Dutch and splitting the bill. But even if you're planning on covering the tab, it's still probably best to steer clear of the fancy steak since they won't know dinner is on you until you get the check.
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Put your phone away.
These days, you may need to look at the menu on your phone to figure out that not-so-expensive thing you're going to order, but that should be the only time you take it out, unless there is an emergency. It's important that your relationship with your phone doesn't overtake the one with the other person, whether it's a potential budding one or a partnership you're so comfortable in it feels normal to reach for your cell when you're together. In that case, remember, date nights are a time to reconnect with each other and de-connect from the outside world.
And according to Meier, being on your phone during a dinner date in the early stages is just plain rude. A 2017 study of 5,000 people from Match supports her comments: 75 percent of people are irked by someone answering a phone on a date sans explanation, and 66 percent are turned off by texting in the midst of a date.
Whatever you do, don't be late without letting your date know.
But there is a time you must pick up your phone: if you're going to be late. Sometimes you can't help if you're running behind schedule—maybe the subway or bus is delayed, or you're caught in traffic, or you just didn't manage your time properly—it happens. But when it does, it's important to let your date know ahead of time. According to Meier, one of the "most offensive things" a person could do on a dinner date is "to show up late without letting the person know well in advance that they were running late." Usually, that just means a quick text message or phone call to the other person.
Relationship and etiquette expert April Masani tells Elite Daily if someone is chronically late if can be a red flag. "When someone is late often, they're probably going to be selfish in other ways within the relationship," she says. Of course, there are circumstances where it may be impossible, but if it's within your control, always give a heads up.