The 10 Most Awkward Things To Order On A Date

When you’ve just started someone, there’s almost no menu item that doesn’t come with some potential for embarrassment. Foreign dishes can be horribly mispronounced, greasy food can make your stomach growl, and anything with tomato sauce is just a red stain waiting to happen. But some things are pretty much always a bad idea. Below are 10 items to avoid until you’re fully secure in your .

1. Burritos


Maybe one person has ever looked cute downing a burrito the size of a small child, and that person was probably himself a small child (whose charm was based only in how ridiculous he looked doing so). For everyone else, the fact that it requires opening your mouth as wide as is humanly possible makes burrito consumption something to be saved for close friends or the privacy of your own home.

2. Nachos


Everyone knows the best nacho on the pile is the one most saturated in melted cheese and condiments. But extracting this crown jewel is a dirty business. It’s likely to have six or seven lesser chips clinging to it on all sides, and when you finally grab it, half the nacho plate is dangling from your hand.

3. Red Wine


The most overlooked of the Awkward Date Foods, red wine is taken for granted as a standard addition to any romantic dinner. But if your teeth have any plaque on them, as most people’s do, a couple glasses can leave you looking like a particularly tidy vampire who’s recently fed.

4. Lobster


If you’re not totally comfortable with all the tools and apparatuses that come with lobster (which, let’s be honest, who is?) ordering one is an easy way to feel painfully unrefined. The effort required of this giant insect masquerading as a fancy entrée makes it a poor choice for an early date.

5. Ribs

Even the name “ribs” is a little too literal…a little too carnivorous to be something you’d want to associate with yourself during the early stages of a budding romance. Then of course there’s the fact that you’re left with a beard of BBQ sauce slathered across your face (or in your actual beard). Yum.

6. Wings


All the problems of ribs apply here, only with the added issue that if you’re considering ordering these in the first place, you’re probably at a sport’s bar, where you’ve probably had a few beers, leaving your motor skills nice and slow. The chances of you getting all those neon orange wings to your mouth without dropping at least one on your lap are near zero.

7. Anything Spicier Than You’re Used To


Sometimes you get overexcited when the waiter asks you how many stars. You want to show your date that your palette is mature and cultured. That you can handle the hottest hot sauce of Central America, or the spice of all Szechuan spices. But when several bites leave you making tortured faces and blinking back tears, any plans to look adventurous are foiled.

8. Spaghetti


This one goes without saying. That said, it’s really unfair that Disney has given us such unrealistic expectations about the romantic possibilities of spaghetti. If two animated dogs can lock lips via a serendipitously shared noodle, why can’t you? But then, do dogs even have lips? Wouldn’t the noodle break before you reached that point? Is anything real?

9. Noodle Soup


Basically, take all the difficulties of spaghetti, add a soundtrack of high-volume slurping, and finish off with intensely aromatic steam that will cling to you long after you’ve left the restaurant. Nothing like a signature scent of garlic, onion, and fish sauce to set the mood later on. Unless your eating skills are at an advanced level, proceed with caution.

10. Shared Plates


It begins amiably enough—you decide that you both want the cheese fries, or the cocktail shrimp, so you order a bunch of small plates to share. But as you whittle down the supply, the whole experience becomes a sort of tense chess game with all sorts of unanswered questions. What if there’s an odd number of shrimp left? How long do you have to wait before it’s polite to pounce on the remaining bites? Is it weird that you feel competitive—almost resentful—about how quickly your date is snatching up all the best things? Best to play it safe and each get your own dishes to greedily hover over in peace.

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