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Seating Preference?

Seating Preference?

I did a couple of searches but didn't find this topic.

How do you and your spouse, partner, friend sit at a restaurant when there are just 2 diners?
My husband and I were out last night (having a very nice meal at a local Indian place) when a couple was seated behind us. They sat next to each other with their backs to us. Not across the table as we and I think every other couple in the place were doing.
So, the rest of the night they were half turned in their seats to speak to each other and I kind of felt like I was intruding based on the proximity of the table. When food was served they did turn into the table more to eat.

I can't quite see the advantage to this, I think I would have a kink in my neck by the end of the night.
Am I missing something?

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  1. at a square four top, my wife and I sit 90 degrees from each other. at a rectangular four top, we sit across the table from each other.

    3 Replies
    1. re: PotatoHouse

      This is how my wife and I sit as well. The only time we sit together on a banquette or a booth is if there is some kind of entertainment or speaker and we both can face the stage/podium

      1. re: bagelman01

        which makes sense to me...but side by side in this case was only to look out at a rainy parking lot.

        1. re: grumpyspatient

          We vary it up. Husband likes banquettes, I like chairs, so often across; but depending on size of table, view, whether we're planning something together that requires looking at papers... we often sit side-by-side.

          We don't worry about anyone "intruding" (we chose to sit that way) so no worries on that end.

          We also enjoy watching rain. :)

    2. I don't get it either, but there are things one can do side-by-side under the table that they can't sitting opposite or at a 90 degree angle, so maybe that was the reason.

      Other people are weird. They're also interesting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Isolda

        thats true..I think thats why it piqued my interest.

      2. We will seek seating, that places us across from each other. That seems to allow for ease of entry/exit, ease of dining, and ease of wine glass placement.

        Also, with two artificial hips, my wife has some issues with banquet seating, so she will always be place in the chair, if there is banquet seating, and it also allows me to see the servers, and the sommelier approaching our table.

        We are more concerned with table-space, than seating.


          1. Must be a throwback to the times when cars had bench seats in front, and girls on dates sat in the middle of the seat, squished up against their young man. Other kids thought you were being a snob if you *didnt* do that.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jmcarthur8

              Guess that almost all of my autos had "bucket seats." [Grin]


            2. Maybe one was simply hard of hearing in one ear.

              In movies, sitting across from a person can symbolize confrontation, whereas next to each other symbolizes being `on the same side,' so maybe they were sending a message.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MagicMarkR

                Ah yes!

                We often see that I am seated with my "good ear" toward the guest, as my wife has suffered many decades talking into my "bad ear." Good point.

                When it is just the two of us, I want to be able to put that good ear toward the wife, but also be in such a position, where I can hear the server, or sommelier.

                I also like to see them coming to the table.


              2. We let the table dictate the seating. At a standard 2-top, you can't help but sit across from one another as they are usually rectangular in shape and sitting at a 90 degree angle to one another would be awkward. If we are seated at a 4-top (which is usually square), we sit at a 90 degree angle to one another.

                1. We usually try to sit at a 4-top where we sit adjacent to each other. 4-top seating provides more table area which is nice, and allows us to be close together so that we can talk softly and still be heard. If this is not possible, we sit across from each other at a 2-top. The only time we dine side-by-side is when we are eating at the bar (a very common choice where we live in southern CA).

                    1. I have noticed some couples do this as well and I've always found it awkward, but I guess if they enjoy it that way then who am I to argue but it just seemed like it wasn't the most comfortable arrangement.

                      1. My Husband and I much prefer to sit next to each other. We like to be close. That being said if it's just us we usually sit at the bar if possible where this is not unusual.

                        1. We try for a banquette or request a 4 top as husband is very deaf in one ear.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ElsieB

                            Sounds familiar. For years, I have been telling my lovely wife, that she must have been speaking into my "bad ear," when she made a request...

                            When hosting, she seats herself next to the good ear, and lets me struggle with the lovely lady to my right. She want to know that she has my attention, when needed.


                          2. My husband and I do this frequently (sit next to each other) - mostly when we are at a place with a large booth. If it's a 4-top, with two at each side, then we'll sit across from each other. If it's a 4-top with a chair at each side, we'll sit 90 degrees.

                            With a booth, there is something enduring about being next to each other... and enough room to scoot away from each other, when the food comes!

                            We've also been known to sit on the same side of the booth until the food comes... then it's move over to the other side, I need ROOM!

                            1. It is also possible that one or the other is deaf in one ear.........I wouldn't worry too much about it

                              1. Not a worry or a problem, just curious. I didn't get a hearing issue vibe at all, there did not seem to be any problem with ordering or conversing with the wait staff.

                                I do like to sit next to my DC in a booth but thats a different situation.
                                thanks for the responses......GP