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Apr 12, 2014 11:22 AM

Date.... ordering seafood?

First date. We're going to a pub, and I know he doesn't like sushi (I am not sure where he stands on fish).. would you avoid ordering grilled salmon, Ahi Tuna salad, fish tacos, etc., in order to avoid the possibility to turning him off?

I suppose I ask because I have friends that abhor fish, and I have to leave the office if I brought fish for lunch.. because it turns them off.. so now I am not sure what to do. There is a veggie burger on the menu, but I would feel odd using my hands on a date..

Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. Better to know now rather than later if its a breaker with either one of you

    1. How much do you like seafood? If things go well and the relationship becomes long term, would you be happy giving up seafood?

      Short of the date being highly allergic, I would order seafood if I was in the mood for it. If your date is familiar with the venue then I would thing the potential of seafood was considered.

      But I'm at the point where I view discovering strong incompatibilities early-on as a plus. I'd rather find out about them before I've invested much into the relationship.

      8 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        Yes, I would--then I would just stick to vegetarian/vegan food. He eats meat. I would be 'almost' 100% positive he isn't a chow-type: at all--which is also fine to me; I have no problem making meat-dishes and veg-dishes, and it's apparent that I can cook+bake.. and he can turn on a microwave and open a fridge. That's fine because he has plenty of other extraordinary hobbies/qualities to bring to the (metaphoric) table.

        I am not trying to get ahead of myself--I just don't want to be revolting.

        1. re: GraceW

          He sounds like there is potential! Since his food likes/dislikes aren't an issue for you long term then I'd work it into the conversation as Harters suggested

          1. re: GraceW

            If I were you, I wouldn't order the fish. Not because we should change ourselves for our dates and all that - but just to avoid feeling self conscious about that detail.

            I love red wine. I never order red wine on a first date because I know I'll just be concerned about it staining my lips/teeth. This doesn't mean that I don't plan on drinking red wine with someone until we're getting married or whatever, but it's just one less thing for me to worry about on a first date and hopefully relax more/be myself.

            I get the whole "if he doesn't like it, best to know now" - but I wouldn't want to wrap that up in something as minor as fish.

            1. re: cresyd

              I think most people have a category for first date "don't" foods. I just wouldn't think seafood qualifies.
              Red wine, I get. French onion soup- potential disaster. But fish that you can eat neatly? No.
              That's being a little too self conscious, even insecure, for me.

              1. re: monavano

                In general - no I don't think that seafood shouldn't qualify - but if you're going to be concerned that eating seafood or any other ingredient in regards to a specific date, I don't see the harm if it'll take away some anxiety. There are enough things to be anxious about regarding a first date, if there's something to simply not order to remove some anxiety - I'd recommend it.

                This is hardly to say this qualifies as a rule of "on a first date don't eat/drink abcdef" - but I think anything you can do on a first date to reduce anxiety is great. I think the mantra of "be yourself" and all that is great, but I also think that we're our most likable if we're relaxed. And anything to increase that likelihood I'd recommend.

                1. re: cresyd

                  My advice to the OP is just be yourself, and if you're dithering over a first date not liking you because you order fish, it's HIM or HER, not YOU!

                  Confidence is sexy.

                  1. re: monavano

                    I think that our point is essentially getting at the same point. That being confident is the best way to go on a first date.

                    Your take on being confident is that ordering what you want displays confidence. My take is that eliminating things that cause unnecessary stress/anxiety is a good thing to be confident about yourself.

                    For example, just because a pair of shoes may be "sexy", if you don't feel good in them - don't wear them. Similarly, if you suspect that ordering x dish may be overly prejudicial - then maybe it's not the hill to stand on for date 1. I love Ethiopian food. I also have an iffy stomach, that doesn't respond reliably to Ethiopian food. That may be "myself" - but it's hardly the most confident version of myself.

                    Our advice is looking for the same conclusion. You say eat what you want because it'll portray confidence. I say, if you're fretting about it - order something else so you don't let it sidetrack you being confident and yourself.

                    1. re: cresyd

                      I think both are great strategies and show a good sense of awareness!

        2. It is more years than I care to recall since I had a first date with someone. I'm sort of envious.

          I wouldnt avoid ordering something I like on the off chance that he might find it off-putting. There's all sorts of foods he might find off-putting.

          Does he know the pub? If so, while you're looking at the menu could you not casually ask what he thinks is good there. If he doesnt know the place, make the casual ask along the lines of "what are you thinking of having/"

          1. 1st date with wife was to a place with great escargot. They used about 10 cloves of garlic. Awesomeness! My date hated the smell of anything fishy or garlicky. I got the escargot, because life is short - Eat what you like. If relationship develops, they already know what you like. If relationship continues, are you willing to never eat fish while with that person?

            1. 'I would feel odd using my hands on a date.'
              Maybe a good swift kick if he gets frisky?....:)
              I think anything on the menu is fair game although sushi at a pub is not likely to be their specialty.

              15 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                There's Ahi Tuna dishes.. which if I was going to pick anything would be my first choice, but I concerned--especially since he hates sushi--that it will disgust him (since I heard him say he doesn't like sushi). ..I don't want one dish-choice to put a stop to this.

                1. re: GraceW

                  I'm single and have had a long dating life, and I wouldn't care whatever you ordered. Don't overthink this one, relax and have fun.

                  1. re: GraceW

                    I know many people who like fish but don't like sushi.

                      1. re: GraceW

                        Then it's a good thing it will be your dinner and not his. If he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to order it.

                        Generally speaking, grown ups don't care what other grown ups eat.

                        Your friends who abhor fish and require you to leave the office when you want to eat it are rude and are only borderline skirting the grown ups category (and possibly even friend category) because grown ups also don't get to dictate to other grown ups what they eat, when, or where - they only get to decide how THEY are going to respond to it.

                        1. re: amishangst

                          I agree with you to a point....grown ups should not be telling other grown ups what to do or eat. But even as I am anti food police and against shaming others for what they eat, it does border on obnoxious behavior to heat smelly leftovers in a communal space where others are expected to concentrate and are captive. I have even kept myself awake some nights because all I could smell was the dinner I made that night, and it can be downright miserable, especially for those who are sensitive to strong odors. I just think that in a world full of self absorbed and clueless people, a little consideration for your fellow office mates would go a long way. Save the fish leftovers for your own home enjoyment.

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            Oh, I don't know. I hate fish (and seafood). Hate the taste. Hate the smell. But I would never think of asking my coworkers to not bring them in for their meals. That's what they have. It's what they eat at home, what they eat at work. I can summon up some olfactory tolerance when needed.

                            I suspect some of my dishes stink to them, too. But we all sit in our wee little windowless break room along with the microwave, and we make do with good and bad smells and enjoy each other's company.

                            1. re: debbiel

                              Well, if you don't mind sitting in your break room and inhaling noxious leftover fish odors, that's very big of you, kudos.

                              I still believe it obnoxious and inconsiderate to subject other people to that behavior and wouldn't do it myself. And if I worked somewhere that had inconsiderate employees that did that at lunchtime, I'd go eat in my car.

                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                I have to agree- if someone's bringing in stinky food more days than not, that's just rude.
                                Kudos to anyone who could take it repeatedly.

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  I suppose what I am suggesting is that what is considered obnoxious and inconsiderate in this case is incredibly inconsistent. Most people do not find those particular odors unpleasant. How many should find a food "noxious" before it's considered inconsiderate to have it in a shared space? Should I stop brining cauliflower? Should one of my colleague's who seems to use cabbage in every thing she makes stop bringing cabbage?

                                  I think it's important to separate out smells we don't like from smells that are actually noxious. Why is it inconsiderate to bring fish but not inconsiderate to think someone for whom fish is a major part of their diet should not be able to make use of the common space?

                                  1. re: debbiel

                                    To answer your question as to how many should find a food noxious before it's considered inconsiderate, it would best be settled by polling the shared work space employees. If nobody minds your cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, leftover fish, burnt popcorn, etc then you would not be considered inconsiderate now would you? If nobody minds other people's smelly food, it's a moot point.

                              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                Not sure if you bothered to read the rest of the thread, but the fish in question was a tuna fish sandwich. She wasn't poaching a whole salmon in there.

                                Yes, there is general respect and consideration in non-ventilated areas that should be expected and given (pay attention and don't let your popcorn burn), but there's also an extent where people need to live their lives and where the responsibility of how to react depends on the one finding offense, not to the offender. If you're that sensitive to smells, then find another place to eat, don't dictate to others what they can and cannot eat.

                                I cannot stand the smell of bananas, to the point that they make me physically retch and I can smell it for several hours after the banana has been long gone. Three of my coworkers have a banana for breakfast every morning. I simply don't go see those co-workers first thing in the morning, or I call or email, or I just politely put up with it and hurry along my way. I don't tell them they can't eat bananas. People react to different things - you only get to govern your own responses.

                                1. re: amishangst

                                  Not sure if you bothered to read my full response, but I clearly state that I don't police other people's food choices, nor shame them for those choices, and if I worked in a space where someone reheated their fish leftovers and it left a stench, I would take my lunch elsewhere. Yes, I am sensitive to strong smells, tuna fish salad not being one of them, yet I still don't dictate to other adults what they should or should not eat. My point was that the offenders should CONSIDER their own behavior and how it affects their coworkers, which truly is not too much to ask.

                                2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  Obnoxious behavior to you… however my husband is in a very culturally diverse work place, so fish and other dishes with strong odors are heated in the microwave from about 10-3 every day in the kitchenettes on campus.

                                  It’s not ‘obnoxious’ to anyone at his work campus, it’s just a fact of life. What smells “obnoxious” to you, smells like dinner to others (probably myself included)

                              3. re: GraceW

                                I am dumbfounded that you would be more interested in catering to potential bizarre issues like this rather than be alarmed (or at least weirded out) by them.