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Just The Tips: Etiquette Anxiety!

First date? Meeting her parents? Don't worry—college experts Angie and Cass have your back.


Welcome back. This week, you asked about dating etiquette, and we've got the answers you need!

1. Does it matter what I order on the first date?


Cass: I think that depends on who is paying. If your date is paying for you, maybe don't pick out the most expensive thing there is. Be considerate that someone else is treating you to a meal and don't pick something that you wouldn't be willing to pay for yourself.

However, when it comes to the type of food, honestly, you should be able to order whatever you want. Granted, if your date has allergies, maybe keep that in consideration so you don't accidentally kill them. Also, if you know you have anxiety around eating in front of others, don't go for something messy like pasta with tomato sauce, because that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Just eat what you want and enjoy the date!

Angie: I've always had people advise me not to order a salad on the first date, probably because it's hard to look attractive while shoving a huge piece of lettuce in your mouth. So if you're worried about looks, try to avoid salads with big pieces (or cut your salad up before you start eating), pasta with sauces that could stain your cute date night outfit, and drippy sandwiches. And like Cass said, if you're not paying, don't order the most expensive thing. If you are paying, spend away.

What I wouldn't worry about are things like calorie counts or how healthy the food looks. No matter how dreamy your date is, they don't have any right to comment on or judge your meal choice. If they do, that's a big red flag!

2. I'm meeting her parents soon! What should I do?


C: Panic.

Seriously, you should be worried; meeting someone's parents is a defining moment in a relationship and you CAN'T mess it up. This is the moment where you are either asked about as "That nice young person she's still seeing" or "Is that loser still around?" My best advice is to ask your girlfriend the likes and dislikes of her parents. For example, if her parents don't like cursing, don't go dropping f-bombs right off the bat.

I also suggest if you're going to their house to bring them something small like flowers, especially if you're really worried your personality won't make that good of an impression. Be yourself and try to be likable, but definitely have your girlfriend give you a rundown of her parents' likes and dislikes before you're thrown into the lion's den. This way, you at least know what you're getting yourself into so you know what might put you in an awkward situation or what will make you golden.

A: First impressions are SUPER important when it comes to parents. Learn the rules of her house, bring a small gift, dress to the occasion (tip: gym shorts are never the right choice), and ask about her parents' personal interests. It will save your butt if there's ever an awkward silence or you feel like you need a little extra boost to really impress them. If her mom loves golf, learn a couple of the names of the top athletes. If her dad is obsessed with superheroes, maybe you can strike up a conversation about some of the most recent movies. You get the idea—do your research!

Showing her parents that you're polite, friendly, respectable, and genuinely interested in their opinion will help you leave with an invitation to come back soon.

Do you have a burning question about your relationship? Are you looking for advice for yourself or a friend? We're always taking questions—follow this link to tell us what you want to hear about next!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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