By Paul Carrick Brunson, MBA
Professional Matchmaker & Lifestyle Coach
It’s time to declare death to the dinner date.
It’s not that it’s a bad idea, per se, it’s just a rote, done to death to the point of irrelevancy idea.
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, as in, you shouldn’t commit hours upon hours of time and hundreds of dollars to someone you barely know when there is a 50-50 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 dinning 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 new game or sport that’s new to both of you in order to level the playing field. But it’s important to do something that will get both your mouths to talking AND your minds and bodies moving. You learn more about another person by engaging in activity than you’ll ever learn over an overcooked steak and over-priced wine. Get out of the 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. You can get to know each other first before you move on to the fireworks and the fancy dinners and the big productions. Just do something small together, to get the juices flowing, then build from there. This way no one feels cheated. No one feels used. You just enjoy each other’s company and have fun, without the pressure to perform all 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.