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/ 6 Ways To Make Dinner Dates Work

Alternatives to shoving Italian food in your face, four feet away from each other.


Taking a girl out to dinner is one of the more contentious topics among dating experts. Those of you who follow our site closely know that even TVJ and I disagree about dinner dates. I like them, TVJ is not a fan. However, whether you like or dislike dinner dates, there are some simple steps you can take to make dinner dates better.

1. Sit next to her

One of the biggest negatives of a dinner date is the traditional seating arrangement of facing your date. Facing your date makes it more difficult to physically touch her, and as we have emphasized time and time again on Josh Sway, touch (or kino in ‘seduction nerd’ speak) is crucial to building and testing for potential attraction. However, the seating arrangement does not have to be a an issue because many restaurants have plenty of seating options where you can sit side by side, or at a L shape with one another. When I take a woman out to dinner, I almost always sit in this arrangement. Often times I go one step further and follow the next tip.

2. Sit at the bar

Want to solve the ‘next to her’ problem and benefit from other perks while on dinner? Try sitting at the bar. I discovered bar seating for dinner when an ex-girlfriend of mine always wanted to sit at the bar. At first I thought it was less comfortable than being at a table, but the benefits far outweigh the comfort issue. Sitting next to her is a given at the bar, and it’s also easier to appear more social with the people around you and the bartenders. Sitting at the bar also gives more of a casual vibe which can take some of the pressure off a "fancy dinner date". Another added benefit is that it is much easier to share food which is a subtle way to up the intimacy level on the date. That brings up tip number 3.

3. Share food

Eating is fun, and trying more dishes is even more fun. For this reason a good tactic on a dinner date is to order shareable food. Not every girl is comfortable sharing her food, so I don’t recommend just stabbing her halibut with your fork without saying a word, but always offer your date a bite of what you ordered, or even propose sharing a bunch of dishes from the get go. Sharing food is a quick and simple way to build and/or gauge her comfort level. Note that this technique can obviously also be applied with drinks and at a drinks date.

4. Don’t stuff your face

Eating is fun, for some people, like myself, too fun. It’s very easy to stuff your face at a good dinner spot. This is totally fine when out with the boys, but resist the urge to do so on a date. Remember, a good date doesn’t start and stop at the same venue (unless that venue is your place) so the last thing you want is to be in a comatose state after dinner. She could be attracted to you and want to do more that night, but if you are too exhausted from trying to be the next Joey Chesnut it’s unlikely you’ll be in the mood to take things to the next level then and there. A corollary to this tip is not to eat really messy food. I love burgers + ketchup and I dip just about every bite of a burger in ketchup. However, I rarely order a burger on a date because watching me devour a burger with burger juice and ketchup oozing all over the place is the last thing that’s going to attract my date.

5. Know the menu

Naturally, if you know your date has dietary restrictions, pick an appropriate venue. But you can go further than that. Pick a place you know and have a clue about the menu. The most common questions you will be asked on a dinner date is: "Have you been here? What’s good?" When you get asked this question, what do you think is a more attractive answer: "Umm..uh…I don’t know?" or "The scallops are excellent and so is the tuna tartare which is surprising for this kind of restaurant but it’s actually quite good."

6. Frame the date properly in the first place

One reason men don’t like dinner dates and aren’t successful on dinner dates is because they fail to alleviate the pressure right off the bat. One way you can easily alleviate any pressure and obligation surrounding a dinner date is to frame it in a more relaxed manner. Here is how I propose a dinner date in most circumstances: "Why don’t we meet at XYZ for a drink and a bite to eat?" When you frame a dinner date as just a casual get together for drinks and a bite, the pressure is off.

You don’t have to do dinner dates if you don’t want to

This article is for those who want to add dinner to their dating arsenal. I’ve found dinner dates to be a useful tool to have, but that doesn’t mean you need to go on them. Dinner dates are not for everyone. But if you want to try adding dinner to your dating arsenal, try to implement these 6 tips.





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