You’ve heard of “Neflix and chill” — where you watch a video with your date, then have sex. Well, I have found “Dinner and dalliance” more fulfilling. I enjoy conversation, better getting to know the guy I’m dating, before creating horizontal happiness. It creates more of a connection (or not!) than passively watching a movie.
If he balks about going out for dinner, then you need to ask why. Perhaps he doesn’t want to be seen in public with you because he’s concerned he’ll run into an ex, or another woman he’s also dating, or he assumes he’ll be paying and he’s cheap or can’t afford it. He may not tell you any of this, of course, but you need to ask what his concerns are. I’m amazed at what men have admitted to me when I simply asked.
You can also see if he just decides a restaurant without asking what you’d enjoy. If you go to a restaurant with table service, you get to watch how he treats the servers — often a sign of how he treats people in general.
Dinner could also mean take out or delivery, or fixing a meal together at one of your homes. You can learn a lot about someone by sharing a task like cooking. You can see if he is controlling, taking issue with how you do something simple like prepare a salad. If in his kitchen, you can observe how neat and clean he keeps it — I once dated a guy who didn’t clean up after his dogs’ meals so everywhere I stepped in the kitchen crunched as I stepped on kibble.
Warning: If you are not prepared for the “dalliance” part of this equation, don’t invite him to your home. I’ve learned (with very few exceptions) that many men interpret being invited to a woman’s home as inviting them into your bed. So unless you are explicit with “I’d love to have you for dinner, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for us to have sex,” know that for many they are tied together. Going to his home often means the same, so be explicit when you accept the invitation, as well. At least it is easier to leave his home before the evening gets steamy.