PLEASE!!! Can We Ban The Dinner 1st Date?

PLEASE!!! Can We Ban The Dinner 1st Date?

I nominate we declare death to the dinner first date. It’s not that it’s a bad idea. It’s just done to death. Two people sit down, eat food and have a conversation, but what do you really learn about someone from a dinner date that you couldn’t get out of a conversation over coffee in two-thirds less time and for only a fraction of the cost?

First dates should be kept simple — you shouldn’t commit hours upon hours of time and hundreds of dollars to someone you barely know when there is a greater than 50% chance you’re going to want to bail before they bring out the salads. Also, if your goal is to actually get to know someone and learn something about their character, you need to step away from the dining table and engage in some mutual activity. And by activity, I don’t mean sitting in silence for two hours in the safety of an air-conditioned movie theater.

You need to engage. Take a walk together. Go for a bike ride. Play Scrabble or some other two-person board game. Solve a puzzle together. Try out a game or sport that’s new to both of you in order to level the playing field. It’s important to do something that will get both your mouths talking and your minds and bodies moving.

We learn more about people by engaging in activity with them than we’ll ever learn over an overcooked filet mignon and over-priced merlot. Get out of your comfort zone and get into some real conversation starters that jolt both the mind and body. You don’t need a big dinner production to make a lasting first impression. And you don’t need to spend tons of money on a date or in preparation for a date.

Get to know each other before you move on to the fireworks and the fancy dinners and big productions. Just do something small together to get the juices flowing, then build from there. This way, no one feels cheated and no one feels used. You just enjoy each other’s company and have fun, without the pressure to perform that comes with a dinner date. Dating doesn’t have to be a make-or-break situation. It’s about getting to know each other. Thinking outside of the dinner date box can be rewarding — if you’re willing to change your notion of what a first date is.

What do you think? Should the first dinner date be banned or do you see value in it?

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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165 Comments on "PLEASE!!! Can We Ban The Dinner 1st Date?"

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Amina
Guest

Well stated! I’m all for meeting up at a coffee house. It’s less “committal”. It makes it easier to share that you’re not interested (when you’re really not interested) without feeling bad because the guy just spent a lot on everything. Who said the first date had to be dinner anyway? That’s so old school!

Alexandra
Guest

It sounds like the price of dinner is the problem, not the actual dinner? If so no one said spend beyond your means just to impress someone.

Tanisha J. Rayson
Guest

True…don’t do things you can’t continue to do!

CaliGirlED
Guest

PLEASE do not take me on a first date to a restaurant that will break you and and also one to which we will never see again because you can’t afford it! I’d much rather chill within your means and progress as we go!

Gigi
Guest

It’s the dinner as the first date for me. It can quickly turn in to an interview. It is a little more relaxing to take the focus off the conversation and put it on the activity as you naturally learn about each other. Activity dates are my favorite.

Angelique
Guest

Love the idea of doing something active and/or creative.

Tanisha J. Rayson
Guest

I say ban it….keep it mellow

Wendi
Guest

We’ve always been told that dinner is a good opportunity to talk and get to know more about a person, instead of going to the cinema, which is very true. I definitely hear what you’re saying, but coffee is over so quickly, and with dinner at least you can order another course to prolong the date. But a walk after coffee is also nice… It’s a hard one…

Odie
Guest

That is a very great point.

Dave
Guest

What if you don’t even connect? And everything becomes awkward even before the entrees arrive?

Wendi
Guest

I think for me I like to establish a connection worth pursuing by chatting on the phone for a while first. I don’t think I’d go on a date with someone where the date is the first time we’re having a proper conversation.

keishabrown
Guest

i love how men are always saying to not be so quick to judge people – seems as though everyone wants instant connections without the financial risk. you can go to dinner and start with drinks you know. there are other alternatives! think people!

KT
Guest

you bring up an interesting point about financial risk. thinking more outside the box, how do you feel about women sharing in some of the financial risk of dating?

disclaimer: I’m just asking. I’m not trying to start a battle of the sexes.

keishabrown
Guest
i think like women asking men out, men paying for the 1st date is one of those traditions thats hard to break (esp cuz face it – it’s to our financial advantage). and since men do the asking, some women feel it’s solely the man’s job to pay. not all women behave this way. it’s difficult, because many men these days complain about not letting a ‘man be a man’, but then in the same breath wonder why women won’t take more of a role in certain things. gender roles and traditions are all messed up in this day and… Read more »
cookoo4cocos
Guest

Whoever asks the other out should pay. Why should a woman pay if the man asks her out? I do agree that women should offer to pay parts of a date, like the snack idea. Otherwise the woman looks like she’s just looking to get entertainment for free and is not actually interested in the guy.

V. Morgan
Guest

Something involving sports being active

Odie
Guest

I agree, dinner dates are, for lack of a better phrase, played out. The idea of dinner date for some reason screams “you owe me” from a lot of men. On the other hand we have some women who simply agree to dinner dates for a free meal. Coffee is a great idea to me, it almost forces conversation. If you don’t have interest in getting to know the person you probably won’t agree for the meet up at all.

keishabrown
Guest
think it has to depend on the people. some cultures – food IS a social occasion!! to universally ban it, means that the fellas are going to have to be a little bit more creative in their thinking process, means the times of dates will change (i’m not meeting for coffee – which i dont drink – after work when it’s dinner time!! a girl needs to eat!), and 1st date will have to be more of a collaborative process (ladies no sitting back and waiting/hoping/expecting the man to come up with all the ideas). so in essence – is… Read more »
KT
Guest

Very well stated, miss.

Katina
Guest

Interesting. I don’t see anything wrong with dinner but I also see how doing something different can be a lot of fun too. I agree with coffee if you’re not sure about the person. But I love the idea of taking in a fun activity together.

Kandace Morrow
Guest

I have been doing that for the past few years and if ypu do not click gives each person a quick and cheap exit. I tell guys dinner takes to long let’s meet for coffee first.

Michelle
Guest

Great read! I personally would love to have a well thought out first date. I don’t feel that guys put any thought into taking a woman out, or maybe that’s just been my experience. I always reflect on the movie Hitch and how Will Smith had a plan! How cool would it be for your first date to include jet skiing!! I have gotten to the point that I dread dating. It’s like a necessary evil. Wanting to be in a meaningful relationship requires you to get to know another person, so you have to date.

Dave
Guest

Movies are what gives girls unrealistic expectations. I’ll advice you not to expect anyone to do what Hitch did. If you do, you will be continuously disappointed

keishabrown
Guest

i think you missed the point (unless i did) – if you want to not do dinner – fine, but come up with something! a girl wants a dude with a plan. that plan can be a weekend festival or an evening ice cream – but if you take the ‘lazy/go-to’ out as an option, you have to replace it with more than just a walk or coffee.

Jeannette Wicks
Guest

I get your point. I dated this one Guy who first got to know my likes and dislikes why…because he paid attention to the things I said. Then he’d come up with great date ideas. I always told him that I loved the dates that he planned and I could tell that he appreciated that.

Angie
Guest

True; nothing worse than asking “what are we doing”, and hearing, “whatever you want to do”, as a response!

Miss Rob
Guest

and my response this is always, “lemme call you back. click.” lol

4620
Guest

Yes…Yes…Yes ! I share your sentiment… after I ended my last relationship, I was dreading the idea of dating again…especially the “first date experience”

with someone who lacks imagination.

CaliGirlED
Guest

I still like the idea of the dinner date, but am always open to different ideas. However like I said below, don’t take me somewhere your pockets can’t handle trying to impress me. I agree the movie theater is not a good 1st date idea, unless followed up by more time together to talk. A kind of ice breaker, start of talking about the movie and then on to other topics.

Se7en_of_Nine
Guest
My guy and I didn’t actually have our 1st date for 4 months…we talked endlessly on the phone and texts. I think you should gauge yourself on the timing, if you are having great conversations with a person and the feelings seem mutual then a date, but if you are not engaged in getting to know this person, like you know you aren’t feeling them from the initial phone conversation, don’t waste either of your time. Women are notorious for a “free meal”…LOL…learn how to cook or date yourself, but don’t use men for “free food,” that screams desperate. And… Read more »
douglas
Guest
The coffee makes sense if you are minimizing downside but only blind dates should be subject to the risk avoidance strategy. If you know this person from work, church, social group, or even the HOA then you know more than enough to judge interest. the meal setting provides more time to interact but less pressure. If you meet for coffee then you better start talking fast. As for activity dating, I like it. I recommend it to my friends with one major caveat. Activity dates are great if you already do that activity. Otherwise the first date which should be… Read more »
Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Well said!

easye
Guest

I absolutely AGREE! Coffee, coversation and an activity! Music to my ears.

Traphena Robertson
Guest

banned!!!! the best date I ever had as I stated to you on twitter is that we went to the japanese garden, sat in the cabana, and just talked and we’re still together 16 months later. I hate stuffy dinners and not being yourself and no one is trying to impress anyone else!

30thoughts
Guest

Lately, I’ve been telling my potential dates to plan an activity! No more dinners. I agree 1000%

KT
Guest

I agree with this with every fiber of my being. I definitely will not be taking any women to dinner for the first few dates. Women say they want creativity. That’s what they’re gonna get.

Jeannette Wicks
Guest

I don’t mind going out for dinner but it can become mundane, especially on the first or second date. I enjoy lunch or a cup of Coffee (but tea for me). My favorite is activity dates. I love taking cooking classes, rock climbing, or going to Dave & Busters Arcade or trying something new. I think that many choose dinner dates at first, because they are simple.

WomenAreGamechangers
Guest

Dave & Busters is a great idea. It’s fun and you can see how he interacts in a fun environment.

Lissa
Guest

I wouldn’t kill it completely, but yes, sometimes dinner is just too long to be with a stranger. Then you are committed to sitting there until you are done (unless you are rude). I’ve met over coffee and it’s great! You can pick a short time activity early in the day, and if things work out, you can always go out to dinner afterwards or another time.

Sharon
Guest

I agree. Too many first dates lead to expectations on both parties. Keep it simple.

InternetDrama
Guest

I would agree except that from my experience the first date sets the tone for expectations and the type of relationship you will have. If a man doesn’t put in effort whether it is a dinner, a picnic, or a walk then he will assume that you don’t need him to go the extra mile. Not to be contrite but men and women are creatures of habits. I think that whatever the first date is, it should be special and thought out so that both parties know that effort is important.

April
Guest

Boardgames are an excellent idea for a first date! You can learn a lot about a person based on how they react while losing (or even winning).

Ashley
Guest
Agreed! Would you believe a recent first “date” for me was over a guys house with a 6 pack of beer! It was not intentional in fact we didn’t even plan on seeing each other that night. He had walked to the grocery store and became stranded when a down pour of rain hit our area, I was his “hero” and picked him up from the grocery store. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and stay until the rain passed. We didn’t finish the 6 pack and I didn’t stay long. But the spontaneity of our first… Read more »
Bec
Guest

Dinner for some is a hobbie or activity that 2 people who enjoy food and new restaurants can engage in. It doesn’t have to be fancy or a big production. A favorite little gem, hole in the wall is a perfect, unique and informative way of learning about someone in itself. I love dinner dates yet am also an active, intelectual. If dinner goes well we can take a walk afterwards.

J4UNOW
Guest

Couldn’t agree more…it would remove the pressure that has always been a part of the 11the 1st date

Tracy
Guest

Great idea. Nothing worse than sitting there feeling like you are the recipient of a job interview!

Michelle Lynn Thompson
Guest
Michelle Lynn Thompson

I totally agree with this idea. And would rather do some fun activity together than sitting around in a movie theater any day!

Antoinette Guevara
Guest

What do you suggest? Beautiful Night for a Walk on the Beach and Rolling in the Sand? hehehe toni : )

Laura Fortson Williams
Guest
Laura Fortson Williams

First date fun-Go to the gym and work out.

Amber D Clarke
Guest

Coffee is a perfect first date IMHO.

Timel Jovan Ragland
Guest

Yes my first date with my fiance was tennis!

LaTashae Berry
Guest

Coffee shops are nice.

Le ToyaLiving Lifetothe Fullest
Guest
Le ToyaLiving Lifetothe Fullest

Wow, And this is why I never do house dates.

Ginger Ginny Gibbs
Guest

This is 100 percent the truth

Angela MsBlondie Miller
Guest
Angela MsBlondie Miller

Yes sir!!!

Vickie Belser
Guest

Lets Walk!!!

Stacy Sutherland
Guest

don’t fall for lazy daters

Renita Lake
Guest

My most recent first date was brunch with all his friends. He cooked and I helped.

Kristina Mack
Guest

I totally agree to ban first dates

Carlton Jordan
Guest

beach first dates are cool…but whats wrong with dinner/desert

Johanne Johnson
Guest

oh so true

Jessica Lewandowski
Guest

The “hang out” date…big flags!

Marielle Legair
Guest

This reminded me of our chat earlier today 😉 Simone

Corrin Swepson
Guest

Yes and no
I just would want to meet in a mutual place the 1st date

Denise Sheppard
Guest

I believe a dinner date does NOT have to be expensive and can last hours if the conversation is great.

Nina Archange
Guest

Esther Courageous Archange

Shana Knows Best
Guest

Yes

Tassy Madiyna
Guest

These days, I don’t really consider dinner a first date but rather a preliminary. Once I get a good feeling about someone over a quick dinner (or lunch) I would feel more comfortable going out with them and doing something fun and a bit embarrassing. 🙂

James TG Fourever Austin
Guest
James TG Fourever Austin

I don’t agree not everything u have to do on dates has to be expensive

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