On Dining Compatibility: It's a Thing

A friend tagged me on Instagram immediately when she saw this photo. I spent weeks tracking down this ring. If there's one thing I'm really good at, it's figuring out the best way to go after something that catches my eye, no matter how obscure, rare, or far away.

One thing about me? I like to eat. Very easily, the way to my heart is through my stomach. In my OkCupid profile, I make sure to highlight a few things that are important to me, interesting and delicious foods being very high on the list.

I get it, it's hard for anyone to send the first message. What clever thing are you going to say, that will intrigue the other person to immediately fall in love with you? Or at the very least, interest them enough to write you back, and continue writing you back until you meet them in real life?

A large number of guys message me either to bond over eating experiences in Atlanta (this is awesome, unless they have terrible taste, which then it turns into an argument) or to suggest that I expose them to new culinary experiences.

I thought the latter would be something I'd be really into. Being an ambassador to my city, where I just get to meet new people and eat all the things I like? I got really excited at the prospect!

Oh boy.

So one guy uses this very icebreaker. He's cute, seems like a really cheery person, and very quickly passes the psychopath test. Deeming him nonthreatening and potentially super fun, I agree to meet him offline.

The impression I get from him is that he is putting himself out there to try something new (yay, dating!), and that he reached out to me specifically because he wants to try something new (yay, eating!). So I suggest a spot where we can grab a drink, that has small plates to give us the option of staying longer and ordering more food if it is going well, and is hip but the atmosphere casual enough to kill any anxiety about meeting a stranger.

We sit and he looks at the menus. Cocktail sheet, drink book, food list, sushi sheet you fill out yourself with a golf pencil. Deer in headlights look on face. I realize immediately the venue choice was too aspirational. There is no turning back now.

I persevere and order my usual drink. I cajole our server into choosing a cocktail for the gentleman.

Drinks arrive. He takes one sip, asks me if I'd like to try it. It's perfect, so good I almost regret not getting the same. I'm pretty sure that's the only sip he takes the entire meal.

I order the three simplest things on the menu, still feeling confident. The dishes arrive, he tries everything. By taking one bite, and then putting the food down and not touching it again.

This is when I start to panic. Not only is his appetite, well, nonexistent, so is the conversation. I launch into my most charming, talkative self, while eating the remainder of the food as quickly and in as ladylike a manner as possible. It is difficult, but I do not waver.

The check finally arrives, and I dive for it. 

Quick aside: I don't really believe that guys always have to pay for the first date meal or activity. I'm happy to share or treat, and people should just let me if I want to. And sometimes, it's nice to be treated every once in a while, right? My treat.

In this case, I wasn't just trying to be nice. It was almost as if I had conned this stranger into a weird restaurant experience, and there was no way I was going to let him pay a portion of the bill considering I had ordered (and eaten!) everything on the table. 

When we part for the night, I get the feeling he thinks it went really well. I don't know how to explain that I carried the entire conversation, and that I probably couldn't date someone that couldn't eat with me, as I eat out regularly.

He continues to text me for a few days, until I finally try to let him down easy.

Thanks for hanging out! I meant to tell you that I am not looking for anything serious right now and I’m currently dating a few other people... So I can’t promise you anything.

No worries, I’m dating other people too, but you are fun to hang out with so hit me up any time.

Considering he told me the opposite over the dinner he didn't eat, I did not hit him up.

It wasn't a total loss. I did take myself out to a fantastic dinner.

Posted on January 8, 2014 and filed under Dating, Fashion.