First Date – Right or Wrong?

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    Im hearing so many different opinions and I would like to bring this question to the coffee room.

    Should I be taking a girl out to dinner or for drinks in a hotel lounge on a first date?


    You should be reading the Shidduch column/forum in this week’s Yated Ne’eman. This is the exact topic which was discussed in this week’s issue.


    Lounge for first two or three dates.

    the plumber

    It depends on a couple of things.

    1) are you serious about this shudduch?

    2) whos paying?


    @theplumber – I dont know the girl yet. How can I be serious? And boy always pays


    @lior – that is way too much for me. I would only go to a lounge once


    I always liked going out to eat. I’m a stickler for table manners.

    Also it depends on how much money you have and want to spend. And on how much she may be expecting (hard to know).

    Another approach might be to go out for dessert, somewhere in between.


    So go once to the lounge.

    Problem solved.


    Drinks at Starbucks/lounge for 1st date. If you like her, then food for 2nd date.


    And if either he or she are makpid on Cholov Yisroel?


    I think it depends how you feel. Some people no matter what will go with a lounge. There are few reasons for this.

    1) Just cost efficient.

    2) People feel comfortable with such an environment.

    3) It’s the thing to do

    Some people feel uncomfortable just sitting at a lounge with a total stranger (and that really what a first date is). They feel at least if you have a meal in front of you, it can take away any discomfort or awkwardness one may feel on a first date.

    Just for the record: I choose the latter although it definitely costs a lot more. Good Luck!


    It depends a lot on the type of girl and her expectations. She might feel more relaxed in a lounge or she might be hungry after a day’s work, especially if she works late. Why don’t you discuss it on your first date?


    My first date with my wife was dinner at Shmulke Bernsteins, then a walk at South Street Seaport. Hey, I was from OOT and I was hungry!


    Dinner for a first date is not nessacary, most people just go for drinks at a lounge or park… I

    If you do decide to do dinner, make sure to let your date know because she may not be expecting it and will eat beforehand.

    the plumber


    Meaning are your parents paying or you?

    And come on, sometimes you know beforehand


    What does one do at a lounge? please do not answer lounge.




    Fine, Goq. I won’t say it.


    Lounges IMO are not appropriate places to go for a date. I said it before, and nothing has changed my opinion.if a boy has limited funds, spring for some pizza and go to the park, weather permitting, or just go out for some dessert somewhere. I don’t care how classy the lounges might be, they are still hotel lounges. Awkward for a tzniusdig girl to sit in such a place and try not to shows how uncomfortable she is. I know there are people who disagree. That’s OK. I disagree with THEM!


    It’s much more awkward for a tzniusdik girl to sit in a pizza shop alone with a non-relative male while scores of people from the surrounding neighborhood come in an out of the fast food joint and see her with him.


    One day I would like to take oomis on a date (my wife will join). We’ll go to all the popular lounges in Manhattan on a Thursday night and scope out all the dates, and then if she still has this opinion I’ll respect it.


    @theplumber – this all comes out of my pocket personally.

    @everyone else who says dinner or some place to eat – i dont think girls would feel more comfortable eating in front of a guy she just met ten minutes ago.


    This was your question:

    “Should I be taking a girl out to dinner or for drinks in a hotel lounge on a first date?”


    This was your answer:

    “everyone else who says dinner or some place to eat – i dont think girls would feel more comfortable eating in front of a guy she just met ten minutes ago.”


    Why did you ask?


    Many girls do no want to eat while first meeting that’s the facts – of course there are exceptions and anyone who dates out of a small playbook is often going to lose. Excluding the exception of the rule, there is also a certain relaxiveness necessary to eat in an enjoyable way- you can find this out by going on an awkward shidduch date to test. Even a person that you want to date again – still might NOT be a great companion to break bread just yet.

    The first date is to break the ice.

    Three keys that I have randomly assembled –

    Don’t go too far.

    First dates should last for as little time as possible. The time of the date should be for talking – not analyzing maps. Of course going two blocks from her house is a bad idea. But go to the next community over, a nice coffee house, a tznius hotel lobby/loung, a park, ice cream. Whatever. The main thing is not to interfere with the analysis of can we shmooze and get along. If you talk for 6 1/2 hours – great. But even if she is your beshert – a 5 hour voyage might be counterproductive as she probably has school or work the next day and you have to wake up for shacharis.

    Don’t stand out.

    Does the car have to be fancy? No. A jalopey? No. Simple. Make sure there is nothing major that stands out negatively, but you don’t have to impress. Save awesome date ideas and the steaks for later.

    Start & end strong.

    A date is like game in a way. Unless you are having a sit-in and are a chassid (all for it!), you are playing a few rounds before you “win.” Then you have to play for rest of your life. Not everything said nor done will be perfect. Have a solid start. Smile, come up with a few lines to start that are solid [ see 2 – don’t impress – but have a few “I am nice and normal” comments ready to go]. End strong – even if the date is not working out -end it like a mentsch. Don’t rush back to your car, don’t drive away until she is inside.


    and if you do go out to eat – make sure it’s not messy BUT don’t eat a sandwich with a fork (guilty – see no. 2 again).



    Lior, it is only awkward to sit in a pizza shop with ONE’S DATE if you bring your daughter up to think that way. I can assure you no one I know felt that way. Only caveat was that some preferred to go out of their neighborhood, so people they know, wouldn’t gawk at them. People feel the way you teach them to feel. I don’t think it’s productive to teach a girl that eating a slice of pizza with her date is less txniusdig than sitting in a hotel.


    I don’t think you need to spend the money on dinner on a first date. One lounge date is OK, but try to be creative for future dates and forget the lounge unless you both love to talk.


    A pizza shop is a very informal place for a first date.

    There are beautiful, quiet hotel lounges that are perfect for a first date.

    How about a museum or aquarium.


    Go to a hotel lobby or a lounge near some sightseeing areas. This way if either of you get bored sitting to long (which happened in my case) you can always take a walk and see something.

    My first date ever, (with my husband) started in the Grand Hyatt Hotel lobby and ended up in Grand Central Station.


    why doesnt everyone just do sit-ins heimish style?

    alternitavely, everyone can meet in college like our parents did…

    dont tell the rebbes I said this…

    actually, they dont know who I am. Do you?


    “Lounges IMO are not appropriate places to go for a date. “

    Correct. In addition to the fact that hotel lounges are places where a lot of, er, uh, precursors to non-tzniut behavior occur, there is the issue that if the lounge is at all crowded, you are taking space from hotel patrons who are paying customers. This is a form of theft!

    There are plenty of public parks and even indoor public spaces that aren’t privately owned and intended for paying customers.


    In my day we called the girl and arranged the first date and part of the conversation included what we would like to do, where we would like to go etc. is that taboo now? does the shadchan arrange the first date now?


    I have mentioned the inappropriate things one might see in a lounge, and was told by (I think) Pops, that I know little about hotel lounges today. I still believe there is pritzus to be found in such places. I hadn’t eee even thought about the theft aspect, by taking up seating meant for paying customers of the hotel.

    Personally, I mentioned pizza, because it is inexpensive and still provides a place where one can have a conversation, while not feeling the guy wouldn’t even spring for something of a light meal.

    from Long Island

    Okay, this is based on the experience of my daughters. They truly enjoyed going to a Dunkin Donuts for coffee on their first dates. (If it was evening) You sit and schmooze for an hour or two and then the date is over. Perfect for a first date – FYI DO NOT go somewhere in her neighborhood, running into someone she knows when on a date is awkward !!! (obviously a kosher DD) no eating, coffee or tea or snapple and a donut if hungry.

    ALWAYS tell a young lady where you plan to go, so she knows what to eat beforehand.

    If it was a day (Sunday) date, a park or a zoo is wonderful. Walk & talk, buy a drink, what you see around you helps conversation. The date can be as long or as short as need be – if you are connecting. Sometimes, if they were enjoying each others’ company, they would get a light bite to eat, but most “good” girls are very careful about expecting a yeshiva guy to spend big bucks.

    Often, a third or fourth date was a picnic prepared by her so she could reciprocate the expenses. At that point you would be comfortable discussing who brings what.

    A first date is often awkward, and that can be the perfect opening conversation gambit, it always puts the couple at ease.

    Good luck, relax and try to enjoy – each date, whether successful or not, is a learning experience.

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