What We Should Eat on a Date





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Restaurants have traditionally enjoyed a crucial and privileged place in the history of dating, providing us with enough privacy to get to know one another and enough public scrutiny to help us feel safe as we do so.

The food and drink has largely been an excuse.

But what we decide to eat and drink together on a date isn't merely incidental to the real task of mutual understanding.

It too is rich in psychological clues, communicating messages about who we are and what we might be like over a lifetime.

How we order can in a minor key belong to the task of winning someone else over to our cause.

Let's think of a number of ways of ordering food and drink that suggest intriguing and complex things about our identities: What we might order: a large mixed salad, accompanied by a plate of fries on the side.

We could eat the fries with our fingers and occasionally dip them in the vinaigrette.

What we'd be communicating: That we're pretty sensible, in many ways, with a keen eye for restraint and a decent amount of self-control.

But, at the same time, that we aren't afraid of our own more impish desires.

We'd be hinting that we were a sound blend of the mischievous and the prudent; that we had enough self-mastery and obedience to have earned the right for occasional moments of unorthodox indulgence.