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“THE FIRST DATE MENU AND THE (MIS)ASSUMPTION(S)”

At first, you may think this is another typical first date story. A guy takes a girl out on a date. They have a pleasant talk until it is time to order something to eat.
The guy orders the main course. You know, carbs, protein (alias meat), and veggies. He even plans to have an ice cream for dessert.
When the girl only orders chicken salad and water, he wonders aloud, “Nothing else?” When she just nods and smiles, he asks again, “You sure?”
“Yeah.” The girl nods again. After that, he spends the rest of the first date, silently and awkwardly wondering and assuming about the girl. One of the worst famous assumptions is:
“Is she one of those who laments about being on a diet and then orders only salad?”
Then the girl excuses herself to the ladies’ room after that, carrying her purse. Is she running away? Nope. Although it takes a while, she finally returns to the table.
Still, he can’t help but wondering if he’s really that boring. He even tries with something typically lame as: “Are you on a diet or something? You don’t need to.”
He may intend that as a compliment, but…hey, it’s still a first date. The girl just gives him a look and then says nothing.
After that, things get cold. They make some more small talk before going their separate ways.
No second date? Nope. Sadly, he’s already assumed that she’s a picky-eater and too concerned with her own looks, while she thinks he’s got a ‘know-it-all’ attitude.
What he doesn’t know is that…she’s diabetic. She has to really watch what she eats – much more carefully than most people do.
When she went to the ladies’ room that night, it wasn’t for a touch-up or that she found him boring.
She needed her insulin shot.
You might be wondering, “Why didn’t she just tell him right there and then that night?” Well, would you consider that a topic on a first date? Even if you do, that doesn’t mean that other people think the same way too.
It takes a lot to consider when revealing your medical condition(s) to anyone. First date is definitely not the moment for that. Sure, it is the time to start getting to know each other. General stuff like work, hobbies, and favourite things might do the trick.
Another reason is to avoid judgment and pity. This doesn’t mean they want to trick you into believing that they’re 100% healthy. It’s up to them when they are ready to tell you.
If they really want to be serious with you, there’ll be time for that. Still, how ready are you for their most brutal honesty? If they can live with that, can you accept them as they are?
My point is, people still tend to judge one another based on what they eat. They even take this phrase to heart:
“You are what you eat.”
Perhaps it’s true…to an extent. Is it always accurate? What if there’s a person who eats a lot but still manages to stay slim? What if someone who eats only a morsel and works out diligently, but they still gain weight?
What if a chubby girl like me is seen eating less than she normally does? Some people would probably tease her with: “Oooh, finally starting to diet, eh?”, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with it. Maybe she just doesn’t feel like eating much, that’s all.
And seriously, people – who are you to tell others what to eat or not, and how much should they eat? It’s a whole lot different story if you happen to be professional nutritionists.
I admit that getting away from negative stereotyping is challenging. But if you really wanted to get to know that person, would you look past their first menu order and wait patiently for them to open up? Would you hold back your judgment for once…or still find that a problem?

R.

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