What to order on a first date might be something you’ve obsessed over. We’ve all been there! Did I order the right thing? What if something green gets stuck in my teeth? Does that have garlic in it?
Over-analyzing every little detail is easy to do in dating. You want to impress the person you’re meeting. You want to charm and entertain them. You might be hoping for a second date, maybe even a good-night kiss. What you wear, where you go, and what you order are minor details—but when you’re in the moment, those decisions are some of the most important ones you’ve made in your life!
Sure, fussing over what to order on a first date isn’t going to define you. It’s not going to improve or hurt the chances of your date going well. Mozzarella sticks aren’t going to determine your life path.
There is, however, a lot of research on how our food tastes reflect our unique personalities. There are also some bites you’ll definitely want to avoid—and others that are the perfect thing to order on a first date.
So if you’re unsure of what to order on a first date, read on to find out what a few first-date menu items might be telling your date about you!
Pros: Fork-and-knife entrees are usually a pretty solid option as far as first date eats go. Ordering anything you eat with your hands (think: burgers) might get messy, but pasta is a safe bet that’ll leave your date night outfit pristine.
Cons: Anything Italian usually involves garlic—and sometimes, lots of it! That’s going to do something to your breath—I think you see where we’re going with this!
What it says about you: That you’ve gone on enough dates to know this is the correct order! A study cited in Psychology Today found that pasta was deemed the “most appropriate” first date food option.
Pros: Everyone likes pizza (well mostly everyone), which makes this a safe bet for your date. There are some high-end pizzerias out there, but for the most part this is a fun and casual order.
Cons: Any food you hold in your hands can end up in your lap—or all over your face. And that, friends, is not a cute look.
What it says about you: Pizza is the ultimate party food for a reason. This order says you know what to order on the first date to go with the flow and have a great time!
Pros: Another fork-and-knife option, so you’re mostly safe from spills (or a face covered in barbecue sauce). Already a win!
Cons: You’ll constantly be thinking that some small leafy green is stuck right between your two front teeth. If you’re seated across from someone with an amazing sense of humor, this still works! And if not, well, good luck getting to that second date!
What it says about you: You’re keeping things light (nutritionally and figuratively) and somewhat buttoned-up. You’re saving your “wild side” (and appetite for chicken wings) for date number two.
Pros: Sharing is caring—and nothing is easier to share than some nachos! Plus, you can customize your order to make sure you—and your date—are getting exactly what you want. If they have an aversion to anything spicy, put those jalapenos on the side!
Cons: Nachos can get pretty messy. If you’re ordering these on a first date, definitely keep some napkins handy!
What it says about you: You’re ready to party! You’re diving right into grubbing with your date and not looking back. But seriously, remember those napkins …
Pros: We’re not sure what percentage of first dates take place at steakhouses, but chances are that stat is really, really high. Aside from it being a classic first date, it’s also a smart option: You’re avoiding messy bites and can customize your order to your liking.
Cons: If you like your steak well-done while on a date with a foodie who has connections at a top chop house, well, there’s going to be a problem.
What it says about you: You know what to order on a first date to keep it classy! Enjoy a fabulous meal and pair it with some fabulous conversation (or a full-bodied red, it’s up to you).
Pros: Bite-sized, delicious, sophisticated. Plus it’s beautiful to look at and the ginger is going to help with digestion later on. What could go wrong?
Cons: Lots can go wrong. What if you find a roll you don’t like? What if you end up spilling soy sauce while mixing your wasabi in? What if you ask someone who doesn’t like sushi on a date to get sushi?
What it says about you: Sushi is still pretty new for a lot of people, so ordering it lets your date know you’re open to new experiences and might even be a little adventurous!
While these pros and cons are something to keep in mind when considering what to order on a first date, don’t worry too much about the psychology behind your pizza or burger order. Dating is supposed to be fun, so order what you like and enjoy your time with someone new! Like we said, mozzarella sticks aren’t going to determine your life path.