How to Handle a Dinner Date When You Have Dietary Preferences

Mar 03, 2021


How to Handle a Dinner Date When You Have Dietary Preferences


These days it seems like everyone is on a different dietary system. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, keto, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, etc. many of us are no longer eating anything under the sun.


So with dinner being a pretty standard date option, when and how might we communicate this to our date?


You might wonder if you should tell him of your dietary preference at the time of setting up the dinner date at a restaurant.  We actually believe that, so long as he’s taking you out to dinner at a restaurant (as opposed to making it for you), you are better off to address this question to the server at the restaurant rather than your date.


What we recommend is that you let your date pick the restaurant, and then once you are there and the waiter comes by and most servers will say “Let me know if I can answer any questions.” That is the moment to say “Can you recommend a vegan [or insert dietary preference] option?” That will handle it in a very smooth way.


The reason we don’t recommend that you announce your dietary restrictions ahead of time is that many men (and even some friends really) will mistakenly think that if you announce you have XYZ dietary restriction, it’s a pain to find a restaurant to accommodate you (when this is not actually the case… I’m vegan these days and I have enjoyed many beautiful veggie plates in steakhouses!) They might mistakenly categorize you as difficult. In contrast, if he gets to see how easily you can order something in a low-key way without going to a specialty restaurant, you are demonstrating that it’s no big deal.


The exception would be if he’s making you a dinner or taking you on a picnic where he’s packing the food, it would be courteous to let him know in advance. However, we don’t recommend either of these options for a first date anyway (they are a little too private for safety purposes you want to go somewhere very public like a restaurant for the first date.) Better to use this technique at a restaurant early on, then he’ll automatically be clued in for later re your dietary restrictions.


Using this technique we’ve never seen a man flinch at dietary restrictions. Bon appetite!


-Coach Cori at the Love Academy for Women


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