Showing a sense of adventure on a first date should be reserved for the activities, not the food. When your date reflects on your time together, flashbacks of food-scarfing, a remnant-riddled smile and unappealing menu selections serve as huge turnoffs. Moreover, they can greatly decrease your probability of getting a second date.
Nobody likes to see their date boring into their mouth with a toothpick or wants to spend time with someone desperately in need of a mint. It’s just not sexy or alluring. If you want to maintain an air of class or if you are simply hoping for a kiss, check out our list of fallible foods that should be avoided on a first date.
Food and Lodging Leafy Greens
To avoid embarrassment when flashing those pearly whites, avoid clingy, leafy greens such as spinach, seaweed and mint. A tasty Mojito may relieve some of that first-date stress while serving as a built-in breath freshener, but don’t forget that the mint tends to make its way up the straw. (Forget drinking a Mojito without a straw—it’s just not possible.) Let’s face it: a layer of crushed mint plastered to your teeth is less than attractive, no matter how great your breath smells.
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is famously messy, and while it’s a barbeque staple, this cylindrical side should be avoided when you are trying to make a good impression. Like those leafy greens, corn kernels are guaranteed to get lodged in your teeth, and you can’t help but end up with butter and corn smashed all over your face. (Ladies, you may or may not know this, but corn on the cob tends to smear lipstick.)
While corn on the cob is something to be avoided for the aforementioned reasons, it’s even worse when you indulge in elote – the Mexican-style cob that’s slathered in mayo, rolled in cheese and covered with chili powder. A mere taste will result in a face fiesta from nose to chin.
Poppy, strawberry and sesame seeds find lodging in every tooth cranny. Hard to miss and even harder to remove, these culprits will have your date staring at your freckled teeth with embarrassment.
Handle With Care
Although delicious, crustaceans are notoriously difficult to eat, sending juices and sharp shell pieces flying around your date, a la Tasmanian Devil of the Sea. From shrimp in the shell to crab legs and lobster, the sight of cracking, ripping and gouging these alien-looking aliments with a plastic bib and butter-covered face is likely to be a turnoff (especially if your date is a vegetarian).
Ribs turn you into a sauce-covered carnivore that’s just plain messy. Think about it: there’s a reason why they pass out bibs and moist towelettes to diners. Inevitably, you are stuck with the barbeque condiment plastered around your mouth, making you look like a menacing clown. The discarded pile of bones seems is reminiscent of a cemetery—the farthest from romance you can get. With a wadded ball of stained napkins in your lap, it’s hard to come off as suave as you lick your fingers and smile with meat pendants dangling from your face.
A double whammy—the musical fruit also finds a way to cover your shiny tooth, creating little bean jackets. Unless you like looking like a jack-o’-lantern, you should pass on these gas-inducing legumes.
Ripe cheeses have a way of lingering on the palate, resulting in a rancid mixture of sour milk and dirty laundry. Reach for some fruit to push that unpleasant smell away, or just avoid it altogether.
Garlic and Onions
Most of us know to steer clear of this duo, but it’s hard to do when sometimes it’s hidden as a flavor-enhancing ingredient. Raw onions are worse than cooked, with a lingering punch that is much harder to get rid of. On the same note, garlic keeps vampires and good-night kisses at bay.
Vegetarians might not flip out over their dates enjoying a hamburger or a chicken finger, as most veggies acknowledge their menu restrictions as a personal decision. However, you may want forgo the veal parmesan or lamb chops, as those choices may be tailspin territory. Ordering any meal that serves up cute baby animals is almost sure to guarantee the evil eye.
Choosing the Right Spot
Sometimes the theory is to impress your date with a hip new spot or exotic fare, but a better approach is to stick with a familiar food stop. Certain types of food might spell disaster for those with sensitive stomachs or restricted diets. Play it safe and go for a restaurant that offers plenty of menu options so your date can choose something that suits everyone’s fancy.
Additionally, using eating utensils is a good idea on your first date. Eating with your hands might be sexy, but save it for when you are little more familiar with each other. Your impeccable table manners alone may not dictate whether or not you get a second date, but acting refined is sure to tip the scales in your favor.