As a single girl and professional cook who’s gone on her fair-share of dinner dates, I’m here to tell you that most girls have a first-date ordering strategy. Since the point of a first date is to make a good impression, if she’s interested, she’ll do anything she can to do just that. If you think that makes her shallow, think again. For her, it’s all about doing whatever she can to feel comfortable in an otherwise awkward situation. Careful fellas, this information can only be applied to first dates. After that, there are no rules.
If she asks for a salad
For some reason, unbeknownst to me, there is a lot of stigma around girls who order salads for dinner. A girl orders a salad on a first date for four reasons: 1) she is a sloppy mess when she eats, and she knows she can handle a salad with a smidge of grace, 2) she’s too nervous to either order what she really wants or to attempt to eat a big meal, 3) she’s broke and the salad is the cheapest thing on the menu, or 4) she thinks you’re going to offer to pay, and the salad is the cheapest thing on the menu. Either way, congrats, she’s probably INTERESTED.
If she orders a burger or a steak
Every issue of every “Cosmo”-like magazine has an article that tells girls that guys think it’s awesome when their date orders red meat for dinner. Either she’s read this, and believes it, or she just likes burgers. Either way, it’s a win! She’s INTERESTED. However, if she eats the entire burger, and all the fries, and steals some of your fries too, she’s probably NOT INTERESTED. I say this not at all to diminish the awesome-ness of a girl who can really eat (I actually am this girl). I say this only because if she is interested, she’ll probably be feeling a little bit nervous and excited on the first date. We in the girl-world call this “butterflies,” and it’s hard to eat with goddamn butterflies.
“I’ll have the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, please.”
If she orders anything that’s made with a lot of garlic, or better yet, raw onions, she’s definitely NOT INTERESTED. If you’re not sure, you’ll be able to smell it when it comes to the table. Even with a breath-mint, she knows you won’t want to kiss her after dinner, and that was the point of ordering that dish in the first place. Sorry, bro. However, if you hear the words “no onions, please,” smile and relax. She’s into you.
If she specialty orders
Some key words to know if your date is ordering to accommodate a new fad-diet are: “gluten-free,” “dairy-free,” “sugar-free,” “steamed,” “sauce on the side,” and of course, “I’m on a diet.” The further she veers from the original dish, the more likely it is that she’s high maintenance, uptight, or insecure. However, if she orders diary or gluten-fee, and actually has an allergy or sensitivity (it’s okay to ask her), there’s a very good chance she doesn’t want to have to go home early because she feels sick. She’s INTERESTED, and dude, don’t be so insensitive!
If she requests the vegetarian/vegan option
If she’s a vegetarian (doesn’t eat meat) or a vegan (doesn’t eat or use anything animal-derived) for ethical purposes, and tries to make you feel bad for your order, she’s definitely NOT INTERESTED. And good, too! Someone who makes you feel uncomfortable for being yourself isn’t worth your time, if you ask me. If, however, she doesn’t care that you ordered a medium-rare steak, you shouldn’t care either. If she’s kind-hearted to care enough about animals to not eat them, and sweet enough to watch you do it without judgment, she’s a keeper for sure.
If she takes an order of the uni sushi/foie gras/offal/nasty bits
If she’s an adventurous eater, and you’re not, I honestly have no idea if she’s interested… but I can tell you she’s AWESOME! So do yourself a favor and get involved. If she knows you’re an adventurous eater, whether she is or not, she’s undoubtedly INTERESTED.
What happens on the rest of the date is totally up to you! Her option of you can change in an instant, so be nice, ask her questions, offer to pay, and whatever you do, don’t order a salad.