If you’re like me, you know the anxiety of being asked where you want to go on a dinner date. Since I cannot and will not make these decisions for the life of me, I am always left with the constant back and forth of “I’m not picky, whatever you like!” and “Well, what do you want to eat?”
So, we let the other person pick, but of course inevitably end up judging them based on what they choose.
So, if you ever end up being stuck with someone like me (God bless if you can put up with it), this list is exactly what you need. Whether first date, important anniversary or whatever other important milestone you may have, we’ve got you covered, Spooners.
The First Date: Frozen Yogurt
Let’s face it- just the sound of going to a restaurant on a first date sounds horrifying. Yes, the person asking probably thinks it’s a cute, old-fashioned gesture to ask you to dinner, but this is 2015. We are smart enough to know that dinner can mean awkward conversation and fake laughs for 2 hours with absolutely no way out.
The modern-day alternative? Fro-Yo! Most frozen yogurt joints have a young and lively atmosphere which will make for a fun first date that won’t end up costing you an arm and a leg. The best part? You can make the decision of how much time you want to spend with your date rather than having the restaurant decide that for you.
Bonus: If you know there’s no connection from the beginning you won’t be stuck there for hours and you got free fro-yo… Now that sounds like a win-win to me.
Introduction to Friends: Hibachi
You’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks, and you want to introduce your significant other to your friends. Although the easy choice seems like pizza at your place, if you actually want to go somewhere make sure it is a low-key atmosphere so it doesn’t seem too intimidating…
After all, meeting the friends is basically meeting the family right?
At this stage, I say nothing could be better than hibachi. Sharing plates, fun conversation with the cooks, and an entertaining fire show will sure to be a hit with everyone is guaranteed to be a great time (unless they don’t like who you’re dating. In that case, you’re on your own buddy).
The First “I’m Sorry” Dinner: Fancy AF
At some point, you guys are going to fight – you might even break up for, like, a whole few hours. This is the time to break out all the stops. In most situations, I say stay away from anything too fancy too early, however, this is an exception.
Over the top service and incredible food is exactly what you need to show your date that you are truly sorry (mostly because you never want to pay this much for dinner ever again). Yeah, we know French Laundry books up a couple years in advance, but you can pull some strings, right?
Valentine’s Day Dinner: Home Cooked Meal
Many people may disagree with me on this, but honestly, I think after dating each other for a while, nothing beats a home cooked meal at your place for Valentine’s Day.
It shows that you truly care enough to put effort into making the day something special by going out of the box and actually cooking everything (no, you cannot make burgers or defrost pizza). Try something easy yet super impressive to really win your date over.
Tip: You can never go wrong with rose pedals on the table, or chocolate – lots of chocolate.
Meet The Parents: Brunch
Ahh, you’ve made it to the most stressful and possibly most terrifying point in the relationship. So far, you’ve passed all the tests with flying colors, but meeting the parents is basically like the final exam, right?
For this, I say a nice brunch is the best thing you can do. That way, you get it out of the way early enough in the day that you’re not stressing until nighttime, and it’s casual enough to still be lighthearted. And no honey, Starbucks doesn’t count as brunch.
Proposal: Please Don’t
Now, I have to say, I know we see proposals over dinner in movies all the time where the ring is hidden in the loaf of bread or under a napkin, but really, just stay away from this. I have no problem with people who have done this, but let’s plan going forward.
Personally, I think it’s best if you go to a nice dinner and then take her somewhere afterwards and really make it personal and special instead of making it the business of everyone else in a random restaurant. However, if you just can’t wait, make sure no one chokes on the ring in the bread.
Of course, there are other things in a relationship that we hope won’t happen, but let’s face it- we need to plan for it.
The “I’ve Been Cheating On You”: Small Restaurant
This place needs to be unassuming enough that your date won’t suspect something’s up, but small enough that it would feel weird to stand up and start yelling in the middle of everyone (but it’ll probably happen anyway).
Actually, it should probably not be in your town just so that you’re not known as the “town cheater.”
The Break Up: McDonald’s
You’re done with this person- why spend any more money on them? Plus, when you gently break it to them at least the tables are bolted down and there’s kids around (and security cameras) so no glass or chair throwing can be done.
But, on the other hand…
The Anniversary: Downtown
Congratulations, you beat the odds! You didn’t get broken up with and you’ve actually been together for quite some time – you go Glen Coco.
Whether one month or 25 years, I think the best anniversary dinners are at a nice little spot downtown with a great view. That way, you two are able to walk around town and explore other things with each other after dinner (here’s hoping to this, rather than the former).
Unfortunately, I just know food – for actual relationship advice y’all are on your own. Enjoy, Spooners!