Disclaimer: You're entitled to your dating standards & yes, I'm late with sharing my opinion. Also, this post is for the around the way girls. Although I love the city girls and sprinkle sprinkle mentality, this post isn't that.
"I'm so tired, I'm really really tired chile." - Nene Leakes
Honestly this is another recycled debate and people be saying stuff to start controversy, but for the sake of younger girls, reasonable women, and making a slight effort to improve the dating scene I'm going to get into this topic.
Over the past few months, three incidents have occurred that's triggered the first date debate.
1) A woman refused to eat at The Cheesecake Factory and insinuated that she looked too good to be at that establishment.
2) The lady who ate 48 oysters (that's insane by the way) .
3) Another girl created a list of restaurants that she wouldn't eat at for the first date.
Cheesecake Situation (turned out to be a skit)
If you watched the whole video then you know he made reservations at a nicer restaurant but due to her being an hour late he took her to the Cheesecake Factory. If you've ever ate at a fine dining restaurants then you know unless it's a slow day if you miss your reservation you're considered a walk in and they'll seat you based on open availability or you'll have to sit in the bar area. Therefore it's her fault that she ended up at the Factory.
Furthermore, Cheesecake Factory is at most luxury malls. In CLT there's one at Southpark & it's one inside of the Galleria in HTX which also has Del Frisco, Oceanaire, The Westin hotel, Burberry, Prada, etc. Somebody in the comments made a valid point when they said "the sprinkle sprinkle lady would've advised her to enjoy the meal and finesse her way into a luxury shopping trip".
Personally, I've experienced being invited to a restaurant for a first date, and the location was changed at the last minute as I was driving there. I was very clear on what type of food I wanted and for him to wait till the last minute to switch it up rubbed me the wrong way. The date was cool, but I definitely blocked him afterwards. I said that to say there's a way to keep it cute and still be done with a situation right after if it doesn't meet your expectations.
Agreeing to go out for drinks and running up a $200 tab is crazy.
Eating 48 oysters as an appetizer is crazy.
Recording and posting it on Tiktok is crazy.
Everything about this situation whether it was a skit or not shows that she has no mannerism.
Fuck the date part, eating like that in general is insane.
First dates are about getting to know somebody. It's not about running up the tab to see how much he's willing to spend on you nor is it about him trying to finesse you into fucking him immediately afterwards. Dating is for people who are looking for something meaningful and long term. It's not about none of the bullshit that social media has turned it into.
With that being said some of this list was valid such as the gym, church, his house, family functions, buffets (I hate them), fast food chains, and movies aren't ideal for the first date for various reasons. However, every woman doesn't have the same dating standards. I know hookah bars and meeting up for drinks were on the list, but I love hookah and a strawberry lemon drop so that type of date is acceptable TO ME. Although this list created an uproar it's still your discretion to deem what's acceptable for the first date no matter how crazy it may seem to other people. Also if your standards for the first date doesn't align with his then that's an initial sign that y'all aren't compatible and should end things before anything starts.
As a restaurant expert let's get into the restaurants tiers (Keep in mind I've worked at the 2 of the typical chain restaurants & a chain steakhouse.)
Tier 1. Applebee's, Steak & Shake, Denny's, Chili's, etc. can be considered low vibrations. The menu prices & daily specials tells you a lot about the environment & the type of people who frequent these establishments. This tier is for committed relationships not the ideal environment for first dates. I want to enjoy my food without somebody talking on speaker phone or other shenanigans.
Tier 2. Red Lobster, Cheesecake Factory, etc. are family oriented and even Drake reference this in his song "Child's Play" and do y'all remember when Beyonce referenced Red Lobster in 2016. These restaurants are cool depending on your preference. Personally and maybe this is how other women feel too, but I don't want to go to the typical American restaurant because I eat there on a regular bases. The food is mid, but the overall environment is decent. Also if you're a millennial or older than you know these restaurants were considered top tier growing up, but social media has managed to devalue these places, and honestly the quality of food doesn't hit like it did 10-15 years ago. A first date at this tier isn't a good or bad thing, it's a neutral option with average food, good drinks, decent environment, and affordable.
Tier 3. Franchises or local black owned restaurants/lounge. This tier is the best one for first dates. Franchises mean there's more than one location but they're limited and tend to have less than 15 locations across the US. These places are good for solo dinner, date night, or girls night out. They're harder to find depending on your location but the food isn't your typical American entrees, the vibes be giving cute casual or you can put your heels on, and some of these places have a lounge area which is perfect for sitting down and having more cocktails if the date is going well. Some examples are Fahrenheit or Merchant N Trade in CLT or Joey Uptown or FRNDS in HTX.
Also black own restaurants that aren't trying to be a nightclub have cute aesthetics, great music, and the food is chef's kiss such as Phil & Derek's or Kiss in HTX or 7th district in CLT.
Lastly, this tier of restaurants is a happy medium meaning the food quality is good, you can dress casually or put your best shit on, and the menu prices aren't out of control. Another recommendation is McCormick & Schmick. They have 25 locations across the US and it's giving Oceanaire or Eddie V's with a lower price range.
Tier 4. Steakhouses. Most people would say this is top tier, and if your meaning the overall cost and the sophisticated environment then I agree, but the food can be a hit or miss. Then, most steakhouses are under the same umbrella as chain restaurants. For example, Ruth Chris, Capital Grille, & Eddie V's are apart of Darden who owns Cheddars, Olive Garden, etc. So if you're against chain restaurants, but you love chain steakhouses please tread lightly.
Also, if you insist on eating at a steakhouse please know how to act. I love my people, but after working in that environment I can honestly say you can tell the difference between people who's true to the game and who's never been anywhere nice based off their outfit of choice and demeanor during the dining experience.
Lastly, some steakhouses have specials such as dinner for two for $140 or a 3 course meal at a discounted rate on certain nights. Although bougie and budget don't belong in the same sentence he can still past the bougie vibes and be on a budget if y'all dine in on certain nights.
Dating advice for men
Men have the autonomy to pick the first date. Figure out what she likes to eat or do and make plans that fit your budget.
Don't do tester dates. It's childish and comes off like you don't see the value in her or she's financially out of your league.
Dating is an investment. So women are good investments & some are bad ones. Take the vetting process seriously and remember taking L's is apart of the game.
Stop thinking every woman is trying to use them. Thinking a woman can use you when your tripping about spending a certain amount of money on the 1st date is crazy. Also if she's paying all her bills and you see how her lifestyle is setup based off their first encounter or social media accounts then you know good and well, she's not trying to use you. City girl behavior only applies to men with a certain income. Without the fund there's no way she can pull some city girl shit, be fucking for real.
Be creative. There's so many ideas outside of restaurants and more women would be impressed during the first date if you did something she likes vs. listening to social media.
First Date suggestions
Happy hour. Some people say it's low vibrations and minimal effort but it's a great way to start a first date and gauge if y'all want to eat dinner at the restaurant or do something else afterwards. Every steakhouse has happy hour, and this is happy medium for the girls who have certain standards and for the men who are concerned about women trying to use them. This is also a great option for the 9-5 workers to meet up, have drinks, and get home at a decent time. Plus happy hour is during the restaurants down time which is the perfect time to talk without too much background noise.
Top golf. Any of these kind of places are great if you prefer an interactive date and this type of setup is one way to ensure y'all will have a good time.
Winery. You can't go wrong with wine tasting unless one party doesn't drink and most winery have a bistro or some type of eatery onsite if y'all want a full meal.
Museum. Artwork, zoos, the fair, or aquariums are great for walking and talking while enjoying visually appealing scenery.
Sip & Paint. Places like Wine & Design or Painting with a Twist have date night canvas twice a month.
Spa. Costly idea but it's a great way to relax and wind down from the week, or day's events while engaging in a conversation. Also some spas have day passes and other amenities.
Cooking class. Depending on your interest this is a great option that gives you the opportunity to talk, interact, and enjoy a meal at the end.
Brunch. This option is so slept on. If y'all loves breakfast food or any of the signature black entrees, brunch is the way to go. This idea is also cheaper than dinner and a different type of vibe.
For the record first date standards are completely different from relationship dates. Setting standards is important and sets the tone for what you'll allow moving forward. In the words of Nicki M., "Had I accepted the pickle juice, I would be drinking pickle juice right now." But once y'all are locked in stuff like the movies, low vibrational restaurants, etc. is cool.
Also, age, demographics, and income play a major role in both genders viewpoint of restaurants tiers but that's a separate topic that I'll be covering soon.
The Wrap Up
Social media has had a negative impact on the dating scene for a few years and a lot of people project their feelings or dating standards onto other people and I don't like that. Happy people whether they're single or married aren't on the internet everyday on a mission to make other people miserable. Also, everybody on social media is fake rich and relationship experts which is why the topic of money & dating is circulating every 3-5 business days.
I've arrived at a mental place where I truly don't give a fuck about what the next woman is doing when it comes to dating, hence why dating topics and the somebody's son series no longer resonates with me anymore. You're okay with dating a bum, do you sis. You want a big dick baller, I'm rooting for you sis. I'll forever be against struggle love and I'll always support women getting their things and being loved by the right man. However, getting mad at random people on the internet over their dating choices and standards is unhinged behavior. A lot of people need to get off the internet and seek professional help. Date who you want without shaming and down playing other people in the process.
Best wishes to anybody on the dating scene. Do what works for you and fuck everybody else's opinion.
"Shit don't be that deep. Everyday y'all get on the internet discussing hypotheticals. What if. What if. What if. What if you shut the fuck up, you ever thought about that. Get off the internet."
- Killa Kenz
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