Dating: Table Manners Matter
One of the nicest things about dating Englishmen is their table manners. Even the “lowliest” of Britons have some measure of class when dining – something many American men are utterly clueless about. I’m not asking you to fake a posh disposition – but I do expect you to behave like a man and not a wild animal!
Generally speaking, most Americans eat very differently from Europeans. The English hold the fork in the left hand and simultaneously use their right hand to cut their food. This looks very, very nice in comparison to the American style of setting the knife down and then switching the fork over to the other hand so you can eat. However, even the richest, most posh Americans tend to eat this way, so I won’t hold that against you. But you will certainly get brownie points if you learn the English way – it just looks better. This aside, there are a few other items you should try to remember when you're out on a date.
- It’s a cheeseburger, not a cud.
In other words, don’t chew like a cow. Your mouth should be closed, and we shouldn’t be able to hear any distinct slurping noises. Try to keep things from popping out as you eat, as well.
- Slow down, Speed Racer.
It’s not a race. I dated someone who used to chew his food so quickly I could hear his teeth clanking together. It was ridiculous and it always made me feel like I had to hurry up and finish, because he was always in quick-mode. Please don’t do this.
- Don’t pick your food apart to the point it becomes a distraction.
So they stuck a few pickles on your burger, and you happen to hate pickles. So fine, take them off – subtly. But if they sent you a sesame seed bun and you hate sesame seeds, please don’t sit there and pick them all off. Just send the thing back and ask for a different bun.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full.
This one should be obvious, but there are men who do this. If you have something utterly important to say, at least cover your mouth with a napkin while you do it.
- Don’t spit anything out onto your plate.
Yeah, I know, obvious. Well, I’ve been on dates where men have spit things out into their napkins and then plopped it onto their plates. To be sure, I’ve dated some classy men! Make sure you’re classier!
- Use your napkin – and keep it on your lap.
Wipe your mouth periodically, whether you think you need it or not. I cannot tell you how difficult it is to pretend you don’t see sauce on someone’s face – and it’s just as unpleasant having to embarrass someone about it! It’s much easier if you just do this one on your own. Also, don’t wipe your mouth and then crumple it up and chuck it on the table. Keep it folded across your lap.
These are just the basics, and some of you will think them commonplace. Unfortunately, there are men (and women) out there who don’t realize how disgusting some of this can be. If you’re on your first date, do yourself a favor and don’t ignore this list, because she will not ignore your bad m