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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.

                            2. I've suggest being yourself and ordering whatever strikes your fancy. He only gets a vote if it's a shared item :)

                              That said, I don't think a dislike of sushi means a dislike of fish. Sushi is often a raw fish/texture thing.

                              1. Get what you like, he may like you more for that!

                                1. I guess it depends on how you know he doesn't like sushi. Did he tell you or did someone else tell you something about him? If the former I would probably just say something like "I know you don't like sushi but would it bother you if I order fish?" If the latter I wouldn't say anything and just order fish.

                                  I don't eat meat but do eat fish and there often is only one veggie item on a menu so not ordering fish because my date didn't like it wouldn't work for me!

                                  1. As a non fish lover, I think there is a massive difference between fish in a restaurant and fish reheated in a microwave at lunch (I usually try a bite of the former, because I'd really prefer to enjoy fish!). Order what you like, and have fun :).

                                    1. If you are so concerned then while looking over the menu you could ask something like "have you tried the (whatever fish) here? " and judge his reaction- if he then volunteers how much he hates all fish, the smell of fish, and anyone who eats fish near him then yeah, go with another dish.....

                                      There are a lot of people who don't like (or won't even try) sushi since its raw fish yet they will eat any other cooked fish.

                                      And please don't bring and heat fish for lunch at the office, it does create an unholy lingering stink for some reason. (I sit near the office kitchen myself....)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                        No worries: I never heat fish. It was tuna--although I figured out fast people detested the smell--and never brought it in again.

                                      2. Oh good grief.

                                        It's a first date.

                                        Order what you like to eat.

                                        If he/she has a problem with it, consider it a huge bullet dodged!

                                        p.s. your table manners (or lack there of), or poor treatment of the waitstaff, are more likely to "turn off" a date than any food choice.

                                        1. I agree with most of the posts here. I just had to add that I can't even imagine worrying about this, let alone posting the question, but that's the kind of girl I am, I guess.

                                          1. I've been happily married for quite a while but I would have felt strange I think if I knew a date of mine was that worried about what I thought about her menu choices. On the flip side, I very much like people who get excited about food and order things that clearly make them happy. Enjoy!

                                            1. Oh dear, by all means order what you like..... If it's meant to be and to go anywhere, he will get over his fish squeamishness, if he has it, and it won't matter, and he'll respect you for being confident enough in yourself to order what you like.....

                                              Funny story. My husband & I got together in a sort of strange fashion, as in I was already engaged & he had a girlfriend when we met and fell madly in love. Long story short, when I traveled 3000 miles to spend two weeks with him over holiday break so I could be sure I could move out and live with him, I decided, since I love to cook, to make him a great dinner in his little one bedroom bachelor pad. He loves southern & Cajun food so I decided to make my mom's shrimp & sausage jambalaya recipe. He offered to help, and like any head chef ordering a sous, I told him to peel and devein a pound of raw shrimp. He didn't blink. And of course ate up the whole batch of jambalaya. It wasn't until I moved in with him four months later that I learned HE ABHORRED SHRIMP! And to this day, rarely eats shrimp, except when I make scampi! Seventeen years happily married now! So if it's meant to be, HE'LL GET OVER IT FOR YOU! Good luck!

                                              1. Of course not, I order what I feel like eating. You're so called friends have no right to make you leave the office because you ate fish.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                  Fish, broccoli, salmon patties and the like are persona non grata in most offices. As much as I like them I would never dream of bringing them to work and sticking it in the microwave.

                                                  1. re: rasputina

                                                    Well, they literally don't. The OP is making the decision to do so.

                                                  2. I had to check the date this was posted to see if it was from April 1st.

                                                    This sounds like something you read in one of those stupid How To Get a Man books.

                                                    Seriously? Be yourself. Order whatever you want.

                                                    1. Agreed with most. Sushi and cooked fish are completely different things to many people. I know many people who don't like sushi ("eeeewwww, raw fish!) but like cooked fish. Also, fish--or popcorn for that matter--in an enclosed area like an office is totally different than in restaurant.

                                                      1. A person who doesn't like seafood, esp. fish, isn't worthy of a second date.

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          >>>A person who doesn't like seafood, esp. fish, isn't worthy of a second date.<<<

                                                          That is probably one of the most narrow-minded views I have ever heard on this board.

                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                            My wife didn't eat any fish when we met. Bad fish memories from her mom's cooking.

                                                            We became good friends and I cooked for her and introduced her to non cat food fish

                                                            I started her on poached fish and we've worked up from there. Now many years later fish is what she would prefer to eat over other proteins.

                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                              I take Ipse's comments as tongue in cheek...

                                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                                              I dated someone who didn't like broccoli (a "staple" menu item for me), for far too long. When we broke up, my daughter commented, "he didn't like broccoli; I don't know why you stayed with him this long." ;P
                                                              So I probably wouldn't date someone who didn't like seafood, either.

                                                              1. re: KarenDW

                                                                George W. Bush can't stand broccoli, but Laura was willing to forgive certain faults....

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  That still doesn't explain how Laura resolved the broccoli issue.

                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                    I thought it was G.H.W. who hated broccoli?

                                                              2. I think you got great replies from everyone to order what you want. Curious if the date was last night and how it played out? I was thinking the whole time that I read this thread that it sounds like you are pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish) and it's quite possible that the date in question, if he selected the venue, did so because he knew it had a veggie burger and several fish options. If that's the case, then I would take that as a compliment that he was thinking about you being comfortable with the venue! Do report back!

                                                                1. "Hi there. About our date at the pub. Do you like sea food?'
                                                                  If, at this point, you don't feel comfortable enough to ask a simple question about what some one likes or doesn't like to eat I'm wondering why have a date. It's not like you are asking the person's view on capital punishment. Just saying.
                                                                  Also what's wrong with saying, when the menu arrives "So what are you going to order?"
                                                                  If you are worried about being "revolting" for ordering fish you've got way bigger things to think about than a 'first date'.

                                                                  1. Have YOU been to this pub before? If so, maybe say something like "the salmon/tuna/fish tacos here are really good"??

                                                                    1. Thanks for all of the suggestions. I was planning to ask what he was ordering, if he would mind, etc.. etc., etc.., --however, I was almost positive that I would just stick to fish, regardless. (I am who I am: take or leave it.) I just wanted to toss out this post because of the childish/rude comments I have gotten from others about being a pescatarian over the years.

                                                                      And I did order fish--as planned. It all went well. Thanks to all!

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                        Yay! Glad to hear it and thanks for reporting back.

                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                          Awesome Grace!

                                                                          Never ever compromise who you are for some guy.
                                                                          Remember, their are a lot of fishes in the ocean and you'll find your catch.

                                                                        2. If you don't know the establishment well give the seafood a miss,44 years in the fish trade.

                                                                          1. <I know he doesn't like sushi>

                                                                            It is one thing that a person dislikes certain food, and it is another thing that this person dislikes other people eating certain food. I think you should order whatever you like and find out.

                                                                            I won't want to eat live baby octopus, but if you want to eat it in front of me, I am perfectly fine.

                                                                            1. Its very thoughtful of you. Fish dosnt usually smell fishy unless its like a clam,mussel..kinda dish. Or a fish cooked with skin and fat on which they normally don't do at a restaurant. And there are so many other smells he probably couldn't anyway.

                                                                              I agree with most posters here feel him out when reading the menu.

                                                                              I try not to order meat when eating with my vegetarian friends. They don't believe in it and just common courtesy. Maybe something that has diced chicken would be fine but nothing that comes on a bone.

                                                                              I think its nice you thought of this. I think the only meal I would have to walk away from if someone ordered it near me would be liver. That has to be the worst smell ever. No amount of garlic and herbs is going to hide that one.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: daislander

                                                                                Liver, when cooked correctly (i.e. not to death) has little to no smell whatsoever.

                                                                                And I couldn't possibly imagine not ordering meat (bone or not) just because I happen to share a table with my vegetarian friends. I eat what I want to eat, they eat what they want to eat.

                                                                                1. re: daislander

                                                                                  You're very kind to avoid meat when eating with vegetarians.
                                                                                  I would not think to change up my order.

                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                    Order whatever you like. In the past, most folks have told me they much rather hang out with someone who enjoys food, than someone who orders salad and no to bread and dessert.

                                                                                    I think the company and conversation are more important. And I would not focus on other's meals if I do not intend to share theirs.

                                                                                  2. re: daislander

                                                                                    You sound very considerate of your veg friends, but wouldn't it be nice if they were just as considerate of you and did not make anything of you ordering what you like to eat?

                                                                                    I've gone out with vegan friends and ordered a medium rare steak and they didn't melt into a puddle or anything, nor make me feel guilty for enjoying what I like to eat. Consideration is a two way street.

                                                                                  3. I would order exactly what I wanted to eat.

                                                                                    If someone was so turned off by a dining companion who ordered seafood (seriously, WTF?!) or who ate a burger with her hands (again, WTF?), I can't imagine what other host of Oh Hell No qualities they possess.

                                                                                    1. you must be a young whippersnapper. ;-)

                                                                                      we mature women <ahem> know that you have to be yourself and not worry about someone who might be "turned off" by your choice of food. better to nip it in the bud anyhow. why would you always want to be tip-toeing around his preferences, suppressing your own? in fact, use it as a test! ha!

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Right on!
                                                                                        If your date judges you based upon your food choices, right off the bat to boot, then it's their loss.
                                                                                        Moving on!

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          But then no one really behaves as usual in his/her first date anyway. It is not like we pick our nose or scream at the TV or napping on the dining table on our first dates.

                                                                                          The original poster may have overacted a bit, but it is not uncommon that people ask for suggestions for their first dates. What is appropriate, what is not appropriate....etc.

                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            The OP might have been caught up in the excitement and "what ifs" of it all.
                                                                                            I remember what that was like!

                                                                                        2. Yes, first dates are a distant memory here, too. However, I think if you like something, you should order it. If you start making choices based on someone else's preferences, they'll expect you to continue doing so. Be yourself from the beginning, and the path to culinary compatibility will be a smooth (or divergent) one.

                                                                                          1. Order what you normally would.

                                                                                            1. I'm so glad you asked this question.

                                                                                              I think getting dating advice from strangers on a food discussion board is such a great idea.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: ChillyDog

                                                                                                  ChillyDog, at least she is not asking for legal or food safety advice. I have seen plenty of those inquiries on the board. My guess is that GraceW just has first date nervousness. Most of us have had that at one time or another.