I never liked having dinner on the first date. If it turns out that he is someone you realize you don’t want as a companion, your time together is less. I also did not like feeling beholden to someone for a meal they bought me.
After my second marriage went up in flames I started dating again. I tried a couple online dating sites and set up my parameters. I did not want a long distance relationship and set up my interests to only 5 miles from home.
In a big city like Chicago there is no lack of people to meet. I accepted a few dates, I avoided dinner dates in favor of just coffee after I found that dinner dates just put too much pressure on both of us.
One date was a nice man who took me Kayaking at the Lagoon in Lincoln Park. He was a member at the Boat Club there and had access to the facilities and any form of boat, canoe or kayak. So cool. We took our Kayaks to the lagoon that runs along Lake Shore Drive and he helped me get into mine. All went well. Then he went to get into his. Well, he miss-stepped and missed his kayak and went right into the water. He sheepishly pulled himself out and got into his and we paddled around awhile.
It was wonderful being out there, watching the cars zip by, the lake just beyond, but I could see that he was freezing in his wet clothes. So we got out, returned the kayaks and left the park.
I had him stop by my apartment where I went and found his a dry T-shirt to wear. Then we went to a local restaurant and had a meal. During dinner I realized that although he was nice enough that I didn’t want to continue seeing him.
He figured this out when the check came and I put out my share and when we got to my apartment I asked him for my shirt back. It was a cherished run shirt that I just did not want to let go.
Then there was a date with a man who I did not want to go out with as he was from New York but was in town for business. We met at a restaurant way out in the suburbs where he as staying. A nice place, not the finest, but pricier than I would choose on my own. Well, while dining he went on about what a good meal I was getting out of him and how lucky I was, well, I was no longer interested in him or his “meal”. As soon as the meal was over, I was out of there and did not look back. He was “lucky” to have someone to eat with.
I had enough with eating with strange men by then and restricted first dates to coffee or drinks.
However a breakfast date was usually a good alternative. I mean, meeting someone early in the day and seeing how well they handled themselves at that time of day. What they ate for breakfast and how they ate it was very telling about them. If they were big coffee or tea drinkers. If they ate neatly or needed 10 napkins. Even a date with a new guy that was not so special was not so bad over a simple plate of eggs and bacon in no more than an hour.