First dates can be nerve-racking. You’ve got to mind your Ps and Qs and be interesting. And if it’s a dinner date? Even more stressful. There’s nowhere else to look but at each other (unless you’re at the bar counter, which really isn’t such a bad thing), and you both have to keep finding something to talk about until all the dishes have been served (or until one of you somehow drops the ball).

While there are many lists about all the dos and don’ts on a first dinner date, here are three of each you should absolutely bear in mind if you want to keep it classy.


  • Keep an open mind. You’ll only let yourself down if you have expectations, so just be ready to embrace the weird (which there plenty of) and wonderful (also plenty of).
  • Be easy about your meal of choice. This is really more about him than the food, so look up the menu online beforehand if you have to and pay more attention to the conversation.
  • Give him a compliment. It could be about his dressing, the restaurant he picked or his sense of humour – whatever it is, just stroke that ego a lil.


  • Forget basic etiquette. Chew with your mouth closed, refrain from scraping cutlery… nothing too unheard of, right? Besides, the whole point of eating together is to seduce their imagination, so act accordingly.
  • Talk about about stuff you shouldn’t. There’s nothing endearing about pushing those kinda boundaries. Medical condition? Exes? How much you hate your job? No. Tell him instead about the stuff you’re passionate about. People always dig that.
  • Refuse dessert. Or a drink somewhere else. It usually means he’s interested, and you’ve got to send some signals if you are too.

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Tinder recently partnered with Deliveroo to poll users in several countries about their top dating turn-offs during dates. Here are some of Singapore’s results:

  • 59% of Singaporeans have no problem with their dining companion double-dipping.
  • 35% of Singaporeans are OK with hearing their dining companion chew their food.

“Each week, there are more than 1.5 million Tinder dates around the world – and that means a lot of shared meals. We thought it would be fun to find poll our users to get some guidelines for dinner date success,” said David Wyler, VP of Partnerships at Tinder.

Rachael Anderson, Deliveroo spokesperson, comments: “At Deliveroo we know how much people love food and that big date night is no exception! Just be careful you don’t let your passion for pasta eclipse your table manners, or you may find yourself ordering for one next time…”

Now go forth and dinner date.

Image: luckybusiness/