First Dates Mean Dinner

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Enjoy coffee or drinks at a first meeting—sure. The first time you meet someone in person doesn’t really count as a date.

But a first date, when you’ve decided to woo someone, should happen over dinner.

When I decided to date with purpose a while back, I made the mistake of thinking that all first dates should take place at lunchtime or over a warm beverage in the late afternoon. Of course, these times work well for we morning people, and they do enable one of the pair to scoot quickly if things go awfully.

Yet lunches and coffees can confuse people too easily. Midday meals and coffee shops lack the appropriate ambiance, making an encounter feel more like a business meeting than a date. Also, lunches and coffees seem rushed, perfunctory, and far too casual.

Coffee kills romance.

First dates require two people to cultivate a certain mood. Taking someone to a nice dinner makes it clearly a date; two people past a certain age rarely venture out for an evening meal without the time having additional meaning beyond simply catching up with a pal. Dinner makes an encounter special. It creates atmosphere. And focus.

And lest you think you can set a mood by suggesting an activity or event, remember that the sole purpose of a first date is conversation. Save playing pool, going bowling, seeing a movie, and attempting ice skating for dates two or three. If you get to dates two and three. Because you can’t know if you want a second date without conversation.

What did you do on your favorite first date?