When I went on a first date years ago, I ordered a pulled pork sandwich. I was hungry. It sounded good. It ended up being a huge portion and an equally large mess. I could tell by the smirk on my date’s face that he was surprised by my order. From the moment the barbecue sauce splashed on my face, we knew it was okay to be ourselves. We dated for six years.
After that ended, I started going on a lot of first dates. I’ve used that experience as a reminder to always be myself. People are on their best behavior, usually saying and doing what they think will impress someone, but I want the first date to be a true sense of who they are. I do whatever I can to make him feel comfortable even if that means large amounts of pulled pork.
I don’t want to be on a stuffy date. I’m going to tell random stories even if they make me look goofy because, well, I am a bit goofy. Hopefully that helps them do the same. Another thing that helps is picking the right place. If we go to an expensive restaurant it doesn’t have the same feel as laid back place. When The Piggery opened a few years ago, I knew it would be a great first date spot for three reasons:
1) The Name: Nothing says chill out like a placed called The Piggery. There’s no chance I’m ordering a girlie salad at the place that has an appetizer actually named “Blind Date”, which is of course wrapped in bacon.
They have quirky names for their drinks too, with my favorite being the John Squealy. C’mon. That’s kinda funny. If he thinks it’s completely stupid, there’s a good chance we aren’t going to make it past one drink, which brings me to No. 2.
2) The Layers: The Piggery is great to meet for a drink after work. Early weekday dates are clutch when I’m unsure about someone. If there’s no connection after a drink or two, it’s easy to part ways. If things are going well, we can stay for dinner, and you know how that goes by now. If he thinks that’s cute, we move on to No. 3.
3) The Competition: The Piggery on Wednesdays is Trivia Night. I love games. It doesn’t really matter what game it is, I want to win it. I’ve been known to challenge strangers to several games of Ms Pacman when I’m at the Village Tap. I need to find someone who thinks that’s okay.
Pub trivia nights also provide great topics of conversation. For example, does he know all of the answers to the Reality TV category because he secretly loves those shows? Does he know sports? Can he pull out some historical facts? While the trivia questions aren’t about him, I find out a lot of answers through the process, which can be what leads to a second date.
Do you have a favorite spot that helps you get to know someone beyond what they intended you to see on a first date? Do you get sloppy?