Who decides on date night?

I generally have a problem where my dates and I play the “I don’t really know, you make a suggestion.” game.

But this is because neither of us usually actually cares where we’re eating.

New dates are easy; there’s a half-dozen places in Baltimore I really like to go for dates (small, independent cafes and a couple of very good but inexpensive restaurants). It’s when I’m in D.C. or Dundalk or Gaithersburg for a date that it gets annoying, really…

“I’m going to Ristorante Giarda. You want to come?”

I choose because if I didn’t we would never do anything.

In my group of friends, we are all very indecisive. It generally comes down to listing 3 places I don’t want to go, and then the fourth place where I really want to go. By then my friends are just like “Whatever” and we go to where I want to get food.

Addendum; my friends will disagree with my first 3 out of spite because they don’t want to admit that I pick the best places to eat.

Now try bundling all the above with the vegetarian plug-in. It’s like playing roulette but you have to land on green. One day I swear I’m going to take her out to a good restaurant and give the waiter an order:

“I’ll have the paté starter, the chicken main, and my rabbit will have lettuce and a carrot.”

Also, ElGuapo has the right attitude I think.

I got a bad case of giarda one time when I went camping. It was pretty unpleasant.

We’re both paralyzed by choice so I try not to leave things open-ended anymore. Seems to work. Kinda like what ElG said, but I’ll usually try and present a few options.

Eat a quick meal at home and go out and do something else and don’t worry about a restaurant. Date night is about getting away from the kids and doing something together. It doesn’t have to be a meal.

I used to make the decisions, up until we had kids.

Now where we go is determined by where we CAN go with the munchkins. Some place where we won’t totally ruin everyone else’s meal…

We decided long ago just to take turns. Whoever didn’t choose the restaurant last time chooses this time. I’m not that picky, I bet wherever we eat I can find something on the menu I like.

It’s pretty mixed as to who decides for me.

At the risk of TMI, I knew my wife was a keeper though when sometime later in the first year of our relationship she came up with the following compromise about how to pick what movie to see (guy flick vs. chick flick). If I go to see a chick flick with her, I get laid. If she goes to see a guy flick with me, she gets laid.

15 years later, I think it’s one of the bedrocks of our ability to agree on what to see for a movie date.

ckessel, so in other words if you guys go to a movie you end up having sex. Assuming you are like most guys and don’t turn down sex, why can’t she just insist on chick flicks all the time?

Because she loves me (and I her).

You sort of missed the point. Not that you’re being dense, but more that I’m not sure how to really explain it. Either it hit an emotional/relationship chord and you understand or it didn’t. She said, in a way I thought was clever and with a touch of humor, that the point that movies are just a reason to spend time together (sex or not). She managed to tell me in one indirect sentence that she loves spending time with me, stated in a way I thought was clever and touched with humor, all wrapped inside a brazenly flirtatious comment. How could I not love a woman like that?

The end result is, we don’t really have any format about who picks date night. There’s no one person, there’s no taking turns or keeping score.

Rule 1: We take alternating turns picking restuarants.
-No input from the other party is required.
-If you are feeling charitable you can give the other person a list of two places saying it’s either or.
-We have a short list of acceptable fall back places if coming up with a place is deemed overwhelming.
-You can pick what you are in the mood for, or save your pick for some new place you heard about
-It is perfectly acceptable to pick a place that the other person isn’t crazy about but if pick a place the other person absolutley hates then you are deliberatly being a jerk.

No trading picks. That is what the fall back list is for. If you can’t come up with a place you are dying to go to then you can’t say you didn’t have a chance.

Movies are a rare occurance and there is never any real conflict.

I’m convinced it’s a girl thing. I used to think it was just my wife, as most of the time our conversations on where to go played out as her asking where I wanted to go and me suggesting various places then her shooting them down until I hit on the one she really wanted. Then I started going out to lunch with some female coworkers and they did the exact same thing.

So now I usually start off with any female by asking “Anything in particular you are hungry for or haven’t had in awhile?”, which usually results in at least a couple of suggested options. Since I’m pretty laid back about where I eat decisions can then be made fairly quickly.

I love how ckessel and snowcrash22 describe two totally opposite approaches within two posts. You two should sort dinner together.

The most equitable solution is to divide potential date venues into divisions, taking into account parity with regards to previous dates at said venues, weighted enjoyment of dates, and a handicap determined by relative cost of dates. At which point, each division is seeded in accordance to likelihood of date enjoyment, and a round-robin comparison is made within each division until one venue progresses to the best record. That isn’t where you’ll go, of course, the overall “winner” will not be decided by such mundane means, but by a complicated method involving tidal charts, astrological signs, the stock market closing value, and the ritual throwing of chicken bones.

In other words, use the BCS system.

This solution has worked for us. There are 2 decisions to be made and 2 parties to make them. The first person decides on 3 restaurants to select from. The second person chooses from those 3.

There you have a joint decision being made where both parties have control over the outcome.

Now that I have 2 kids though we tend to end up at Mcdonalds playland.

I use an octopus to decide where to eat.

With our kids, our choices are limited to “we can be home quickly from there.” Our recent 17th anniversary dinner lasted 37 minutes.