dating advice

Casual Drinks Are the Best First Dates

It was four months ago when I overheard Emily having a conversation with a girlfriend.

One their mutual friends was asked out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. The friend was unsure if she wanted to accept the invitation from this guy she barely knew. Her interest in the man was not high – I imagine he wasn’t quite Don Draper-like.

In the end, the friend decided to go out with him because “at least I’ll get a free dinner.”


Around the same time, a friend of mine was scouring the world of Tinder, as single men are apt to do these days.

He had begun exchanging texts with a certain girl. I believe they even had a few phone calls.

Feeling like enough chemistry and rapport was built, my friend asked this girl out to dinner, for Valentine’s Day.

“You do realize that prices are marked up three times for Valentine’s, right?” I said. I don’t remember how he responded, but he wasn’t havin’ any of it. In his mind, this dinner would take their embryonic relationship to the next level. He may even get laid.

They never went out again after that date.

Both men took a fundamental misstep, and it’s not going out on Valentine’s Day, though I could go on and on about my loathing for this “holiday” that really exists to generate additional profits for restaurants and flower shops.

They took a girl to dinner on a first date.

Do we really know a woman that well at the first date? No.

Are we really into this woman that much? Desperate? Maybe. Horny? Probably. But we shouldn’t be that into her. It’s too early for something crazy like feelings to exist.

We’re trying to impress her – I get that – but she’s trying to impress you as well. This isn’t a job interview, yet far too many men go into first dates with a mentality akin to applying for a job: the job of boyfriend/lover/friend with benefits.

But I really like food. Uh-huh, that’s the real reason why it’s a dinner date, isn’t it? And guys go to clubs just so they can hear the music and dance, right?


Here’s the solution: for a first date, go for casual drinks.

This is the more economical alternative. I’ve seen other bloggers ponder the question of who should pay for the first date, but something tells me that society isn’t quite ready to go completely Dutch just yet.

The atmosphere is more relaxed at a bar than it is at a restaurant, hence the term casual drinks. Restaurants are quieter, making those pauses in between conversation unbearable at times during a first date. There’s also factors like food in the teeth, bad breath, and stomach issues that come into play over dinner that one can avoid if it’s simply drinks at a bar.

A first date is an introduction. It’s a Game 1, so why do men treat it like the 4th quarter of Game 7? Both guy and girl are probably a little bit nervous, so what better way to break the ice than going to a cool bar and having a drink? Just relax and have a good time.

She doesn’t drink at all? Well then, that’s it folks – Eject.

– Chris.