Dating & Dining: A 3-Course Comparison

by Sabrina Cohen

You can really get to know someone over dinner. Beyond the conversation are the cues that occur around the ritual itself. Do you project consideration and compassion, or is it all about you?


Does your date’s ordering style remind you of Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally? … “I’d like the apple pie a la mode, but I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side. And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, and if not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real…

Ultra specific ordering can hint at signs of rigidity in other areas. It’s not about conforming: it’s about whether there’s any room for flexibility. It may be evidence of someone hyper-controlling.


Like it or not, servers withstand a lot of flack from the general public, versus being accorded respect for a job that requires brains, charisma, and serious hustle. The best test of character is the way one treats service staff. As a former waitress and bartender, nothing turns me off more than a guy who is condescending, dismissive or arrogant toward the staff at dinner. I’m still scarred by one who actually snapped his finger to get a waiter’s attention. Engaging the wait staff with eye contact and appreciation shows class and kindness.


On your next outing, notice your date’s ability to bounce back from disappointments, like an incorrect order, undesirable seating, or long wait. A positive response to setbacks at dinner can reflect an underlying ability to go with the flow in general. Life is full of mishaps. Being too uptight to laugh off an imperfect moment could be a sign of someone with unrealistic expectations, or worse—a bad attitude.

Keep the conversation going! Comment below on your dating & dining perspective.

Sabrina Cohen is a blogger, copywriter, and creative consultant for


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Filed under Date Etiquette, Dating Tips

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