I’d Prefer Pizza And Beer Over A Fancy Dinner Date Anytime—Here’s Why

Fancy dinners and formalities make me itch. I can’t think of anything worse than dressing up just to go eat a meal. I’ve had better conversations, laughed more, and enjoyed a date wholeheartedly over a slice of pizza and a beer than I ever did over steak and a cosmopolitan. Why do women think that upscale dining is the only acceptable type of first date? Dating is already terrible.

  1. There’s too much adult pressure. I can’t be the only one who thinks this. For some reason, on a fancy date, I become acutely aware of my posture, how I hold a fork, and even talk in a hushed tone, for goodness’ sake. Naturally, my posture is fine and I don’t hold my fork like a club or talk about penises at the dinner table. Why am I the way that I am?
  2. This isn’t the real him. Calling bull right now on him being a slacks and button down, hair combed, and a clean-shaven man who utilizes a steak knife while drinking single malt scotch, even semi-regularly. Fancy dates are the male version of makeup. What’s more likely is that he’s a wrinkled t-shirt, grown out messy mop, burrito chomping man who drinks milk straight from the gallon. It’s better to see the latter side of him first.
  3. Dates like these set a standard that he won’t continually meet. We’re all queens, so don’t think I’m knocking the tax off our value because I’m not. I’m just a realist. These kind of dates aren’t standard so honestly, I don’t even want to bother with it. I went out with a guy a couple of times who took me to ridiculously nice places. I was still totally uncomfortable but it became expected. Lo and behold, that crap stopped. Then it was home cooking (and no, not in the cute “Aww, we cooked together!” way) and sweatpants. I’m cool with cooking and sweatpants—just don’t get me used to the good life and then take it all away.
  4. It’s not my version of normal so I’m not going to act normal. I’m not socially inept. I can navigate a higher-class situation but it’s not my version of a good time. A pizza and beer type of date is my home-base because that’s my normal. I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not while chomping on a slice. Situations like that tend to bring out the kid in all of us, which is the best version of ourselves. For example: Once I air drummed “All the Small Things” by Blink 182 because I got so caught up in my surroundings. Look, I know why I’m single, okay?
  5. The meal lasts way too long at an upscale joint. There’s no escaping awkward silences. God forbid the conversation dies while waiting on your food. At a place where the food is served relatively quickly, you’re only there a long time if you actually want to be. The first time I took my own advice and adopted the “pizza and beer” mentality, I suggested ditching dinner for a brewery. One beer in and I learned more about him than is probably considered normal. We were there past closing time. For the first time, I wasn’t trapped in a mundane conversation about how my food tastes.
  6. Figuring out if your outfit is venue appropriate is stressful. There are different levels of fancy, so if he won’t tell me where we’re going, I switch into panic mode. How I’d dress for a Johnny’s Pizza is NOT how I’d dress for a Per Se. With my approach to dating, there’s minimal worry. One time I went straight from work to a date (ironically, a legitimate pizza and beer date) and I felt completely fine showing up as-is. I already know I didn’t look like roadkill, nor did I worry about feeling like I was wearing a monkey suit.
  7. It ups the expectations. The expectation for sex is usually there at the end of a date. I know, this probably isn’t true for 90 percent of eligible dating men. But in my mind, the pricier the date, the higher his expectation is for something in return. You bought me steak and merlot, Mark, not an express pass to my vagina. Next.
  8. I always feel bad thinking about the money he’s spending. Some girls aren’t bothered by this and that’s okay. I’m 23 and the men my age aren’t flush with cash. My logic is that if I wouldn’t want to/can shell out $120 for a meal, why should I expect that of anyone else my age? Even knowing that he makes good money, someone else paying bugs me.
  9. I have dietary restrictions so dining out is already a nightmare. Try taking a gluten-free, lactose intolerant, pescetarian IBS girl out someplace with a limited menu. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to date me either. If we can’t agree on scaling back the restaurant, I usually just suggest doing something active. I get to avoid a restaurant that may kill me and I get the chill date I wanted.
  10. A relaxed mindset makes for an incredible date. I have girlfriends who went on five-star dates and left not knowing a lick about the guy they were with. I went on a date to a food truck event and discovered more about him than I would’ve in another setting. He showed up in a hat and Chucks and I wore a Rolling Stones t-shirt. I succeeded with paying for my own tacos and he fought me on paying for beers. At the end, I almost had an allergic reaction from insisting on touching dogs. We were ourselves. WE had a five-star date as far as I’m concerned. After that date, I’ll never do a ‘standard’ date ever again.
Lost my mind & left the corporate world to roll around the contiguous US doing 3 things: 1) Help eCommerce brands grow through on-site marketing. 2) Seek life-changing vegan dishes. 3) Attempt to get a grip on this disaster called 'my early twenties'.