How to Ensure Your Lunch Date is a Success
If you’re going on a lunch date with someone for the first time, you’re probably wondering how it differs from a typical dinner date. More specifically, what do you wear? And are there specific things to avoid saying or doing?
The Benefits of a Lunch Date
I think we can all agree that first dates come with a lot of unnecessary pretenses. We get all worked up just thinking about it. You wonder if you’ll hit it off, or if it’ll be another wasted weekend where you could have hung out with friends. There’s anxiety about what could go wrong. There’s even anxiety about what could go right. It’s just a whole…thing. And that’s why we’re big fans of lunch dates around here – particularly on a first date.
With a lunch date, there’s a lot less pressure. It instantly feels more laid back and easy-going. Expectations are much lower and the environment is much more relaxed. (You’ll probably be the only one in the restaurant on a date, which means you don’t have to worry about other couples slobbering all over each other and making you and your date feel weird.)
Another benefit of the lunch date is the fact that there’s less awkwardness after the meal ends. Unlike a traditional romantic dinner where you both have to feel each other out to see if things should continue back at one of your places, this isn’t really an expectation with a lunch date. If anything, you might go for a walk afterward. Again – it’s much more relaxed.
Tips for Lunch Date Success
While a lunch date has its benefits, it’s not a slam dunk. In other words, you still have to put forth your best effort and connect with your date in order for it to be a success. Here are a few helpful tips:
Settle on the Right Place
When choosing a lunch spot for a first date, you want it to be casual…but not too casual. In other words, we’re not doing fast food or even fast casual. The basic litmus test is that there should be a waiter. White tablecloths are not necessary, but the restaurant should have a wait staff.
It’s also smart to choose a place that’s fairly busy and open. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a quiet restaurant where all of your awkward first date conversations are on full display for everyone else to hear. Pick a spot where there’s plenty of good people watching and other fodder for conversation.
Avoid the Mid-Week Lunch
As nice as the lunch date can be, try to keep it to a weekend. The problem with mid-week lunches is that they feel rushed. You’re both on the clock and will feel the pressure of having to get back to the office. This makes it hard to get comfortable. (You’re also both mentally in work mode, which makes it more challenging to transition into “first date mode.”)
Go Chic Yet Casual
There are no strict rules on what you can and cannot wear to a lunch date. And, truth be told, so much depends on the location. (You’ll obviously dress differently if you’re going to a country club versus a casual pizza place.) However, the overarching concept in most situations is chic yet casual.
You want to look stylish, but you don’t want to look like you’re going into the office. (This is another reason why mid-week lunch dates aren’t ideal. If you’re coming from the office, you have to wear that same outfit to your lunch date. That’s usually not ideal.)
Think about what you would wear to a nice brunch with your friends and dress similar to that. Throw on a leather crossbody bag and your favorite statement jewelry for good measure and you’re ready to go!
Dinners are designed to be slower and more intentional. Lunches are typically all about efficiency. But in order to make a lunch date work, you need to slow down and give things room to breathe. One way to do this is by starting off with an appetizer. It’ll buy you more time for conversation.
The main goal of a lunch date is to enjoy yourself. Put forth the best version of yourself, but don’t try to be anyone you’re not. You want your date to see you for who you are. If they like that person, then it’s going to be a match. If not, well…there are plenty more opportunities for lunch dates with other potential partners. And now that you know all about them, you’ll totally be in your element!
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