Should You Cook a Meal on the First Date? 10 Tips for Tapas

These tips for cooking on your first date will make your evening fun, interactive, and interesting. Cooking together will help you get to know each other in a whole new way!

Cooking a meal on your first date can help you figure out what’s important to you in a potential partner. Even if you’re dating after divorce, you may not be 100% sure what you’re looking for.

“The trick is knowing when to compromise and when to go for it,” writes Dr Joy Browne in Dating For Dummies.  “To do that, you have to know what’s really important to you. Once you know that, don’t settle.”

If your date isn’t supportive and interested in your fulfillment…then don’t worry about what to cook on a first date. Focus on finding a different partner! For dating tips, read The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible.

And, check out these ideas for cooking on the first dinner date…

Should You Cook a Meal on the First Date? 10 Tips for Tapas

Too much romance might be awkward on a first date, so these tips are geared towards relaxation and fun times.

These dating tips are geared towards a woman cooking for a man, to make them easier to write. They could just as easily apply to a man cooking for a first dinner date with a woman!

1. Let go of the pressure to impress your date. The best way to impress your date is to be relaxed, calm, and happy — and not worried about how you’re being perceived! Don’t make your first date more stressful than it needs to be, by cooking filet mignon, white truffle mushrooms, and organic purple cauliflower to be sautéed in a three pepper cheese sauce. Sure, your may notice the food — but it’s you he’s there to get to know.

If you’re worried about being attractive or impressive, read 10 Interesting Things to Talk About With Your Girlfriend.

2. Ask your date what his or her favorite meal is. When you’re deciding what to cook for your first date at home, do a little digging. What’s her favorite restaurant? Her favorite type of food? Any allergies? I’m not saying you should cook your date’s exact favorite meal; however, I do think it’s important to get a feel for what she likes. Plus, smart dating is all about getting to know each other better.

3. Pick something you can cook with your date. Making sushi is one of my favorite things to do with my husband. It’s interesting, complicated, and fun to eat – and we’re equally inexperienced at it, so we’re learning new things together. When you’re deciding what to cook your date for dinner, consider something that you can do together. Even if it turns out horribly, it’ll give you something to laugh about on your second date!

4. Ask your date to bring something. You can make interesting personality observations based on what dish he brings on your first date. Don’t be shy — make it fun! Ask your date to bring dessert or an appetizer. If he ignores your request and brings a case of beer, then you know what you’ll be cooking on a second date (and it better be nothing). Asking him to bring something can help you connect as dating partners, and makes your date feel needed.

5. Cook something interactive — anactivity. Slurping soup and buttering bread doesn’t give you anything to talk about. Whatever you cook on a first date should encourage you to talk about more than the usual “get to know you” stuff. If you’re rolling fajitas or dipping bits of meat or veggies in a hot chicken broth fondue, you have built-in conversation starters for the first date – and you won’t be as nervous.

first date dinner6. Avoid stir fry noodles, spaghetti, or chili dogs. I gotta say, it’s difficult to eat stir fry noodles or spaghetti and meat balls at the best of times, much less when you’re trying to impress a first date. I think chopsticks for Asian food (sushi!) is a nice challenge, though – especially if you set forks out.

7. Consider a tapas meal. Tapas are “little dishes” – Mediterranean I think – and they’d be a fantastic meal to cook for a first dinner date. Arrange an assortment of cheeses, olives, meats, apple slices, hummus, pita bread, pickles and whatever you fancy on the table or coffee table. This is a interactive way to eat dinner at home, and it’ll help improve your dating life by adding a bit of culture and spice.

8. Avoid meals that require a lot of preparation. Whether it’s your first date or your 50th, you don’t want to be spending all your time in the kitchen cooking and no time talking. If the meal does require preparation, do it in advance. Better yet, invite your date into the kitchen and give him some slicing and dicing to do.

9. Give your date a chore! Does she balk at the idea of putting on an apron, or is she right there beside you, chopping up those onions? It’s always good to know a date’s stance in the kitchen before things go too far…because you don’t want to be the only one in the relationship who knows where the garlic press is.

10. Remember that dating isn’t about the food. If your first date involves cooking dinner at home or eating in a five star gourmet restaurant is the least important part of the evening! Do you and your date have lots to talk about? Is your date fun to be with? Do you feel comfortable with him? Focus on the things that matter – which are more important than impressing a first date by cooking dinner at home.

Are you nervous about dating? Read How to Increase Self-Love and Improve Your Relationships.


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