My very first date after getting divorced was so bad, it was perfect.
We had arranged to rendezvous in a lovely little seafood BYOB favorite of mine. I chose the restaurant carefully: softly lit, upscale but not stuffy, intimate but not too intimate, mellow sexy background jazz you almost couldn’t hear, and the food was reliably fabulous.
Considering he may pay for dinner, I offered to bring the wine, an enchanting smooth Merlot that is intended for long, slow meals. I had high hopes for this guy…
…high hopes because what I knew about him sounded like all things I wanted: a successful doctor, solid roots in the community, little baggage, a warm confident smile, a witty sense of humor, and a photo that turned out to match his crazy good looks.
Everything was perfect…until it was time to order dinner.
When I think back, we had sent the waiter away several times because my date had not even looked at the menu as we were so engrossed in conversation, or so I thought.
After the waiter’s third attempt to politely interrupt and take our order, my date took a fast glance at the menu, shrugged, and told me to simply order for him or order any entrée, he really didn’t care too much about what he ate…
My heart skipped a beat, or two, and I instantly knew: this would simply NEVER work out.
If this guy didn’t care about food, he had the wrong girl sitting across from him.
You see, I LOVE to eat, and while I believe some opposites might attract, food is non-negotiable.
My early years began in a French-American family where our breakfast discussion focused on what we would eat or make for lunch, and over lunch, we enthusiastically planned our magnificent dinners…our lives happily revolved around meals, and great food and stories about food and travel plans about where to go to eat more great food.
Loving food is an integral part of who I am – personally and professionally - yet it didn’t occur to me to put this in my list of “requirements.” I am forever grateful to this otherwise fine gentleman for this not so gentle reminder, as it set some standards for my future date-seeking strategies.
Here’s my collective take-away after 5 years of first dates in assorted fabulous restaurants, (before meeting Mr. Foodie):
- Focus on WHO you are, not WHO you want to meet.
- BE who you are, in the present, not what you want to be. This means be upfront about exactly where you are in life. It’s real and much more interesting than what you want in the future.
- It’s OK to talk about who you are, don’t limit your time when it’s “your turn.” If it excites you, it’s exciting.
- It’s OK, in fact it’s thrilling and sexy when you get enthusiastic about your passions.
- Do not squeeze yourself into anyone else’s prescription of what they want. It’s a set up for failure, and it’s not honest.
- Excuse yourself from the table toward the end of the meal if you’re into this date, and if his eyes follow you to the ladies’ room, that’s a good indication the feeling is mutual.
- When you get to the ladies’ room, remove the lettuce from in between your front teeth before returning for dessert…and deciding if there’ll be a Date #2.
Eat Date Love,
Brigitte Weil, Chef + Founder, I Hate Celery Sticks
For more information on Brigitte, click here.
This is Brigitte Weil's debut piece on Heartalytics!
As I'm sure you've noticed, Heartalytics is a patch-work quilt. We've published articles written by matchmakers, travel professionals, therapists, spiritual guides, marriage counselors, and even tech engineers (all relating to dating, love and romance themes, of course).
I believe that it's the diverse mixture of voices that makes Heartalytics special -- so I'm thrilled to welcome Brigitte to the team. Her background as a nutrition and fitness professional fits nicely into our savvy mélange.
Upon reading Brigitte's first piece, I found it fitting that her story employed themes we've previously examined on the blog. For example, she goes into the date excited because this gent has all of her "list" musts -- but then is surprised to discover that her deep love of the culinary arts trumps all other pros. Several authors have denounced use of "the list" over the blog's life span: Delist Your Love Life and Should You Pursue a Person...or a Relationship? are two of my personal favorites.
Brigitte's story is also reminiscent of My Soulmate is Nothing Like Me, in which we examine the differences between interests and essential life elements. For Brigitte -- the love, appreciation and discovery of food, is an essential life element. It's vital that we all identify these real deal-breakers and deal-makers through the dating process.
Looking forward to more from Brigitte!
Valerie Presley Ackler