When facing the daunting challenge of selecting a suitable dating destination, the painfully sensitive among us are frequently overwhelmed by the complexities of the choice. The arboretum, whose trees' latin name tags will compose themselves into a love poem of sorts through the course of your stroll? Acer argutum Ficus macrophylla Paeonia japonica. Construct a poem. A planetarium, a la Manhattan? (If God fails to grace you with a rainstorm from which to seek shelter, a preparatory shower may be advisable). This point may strike some as obvious, but food is good. Why? Because it fills the mouth, obviating conversation. Among the alternatives, choose a venue:
(1) that you have dined at at least twice, so that you will be familiar with the space, and feel fairly certain that the food is consistently good.
(2) whose fare you anticipate digesting comfortably, under the worst of circumstances. Sushi, for example, rather than barbeque.
(3) that is counter-cultural neutral.
(4) where the food is shared. Again, sushi, Ethiopean, tapas are good choices, because they introduce a little intimacy to the dining experience, and enable you to observe how your date handles thorny financial questions (does he/ she offer to pay for everything? suggest you split it down the middle? Offer absolutely nothing or all-too-eagerly accept your offer to pay?)
(5) whose bathroom lighting is flattering, so that you can find a little affirmation in the mirror every time you take a trip to the toilet.
(6) that is not super-cheap, but is affordable regardless of your income. You don't want your date to face the embarrassment of ordering nearly nothing, though he/ she is ravenously hungry, because he/ she can't pay for the entrees.
(7) that serves drinks, so that in case things are going well (but perhaps not amazingly well), you aren't confronted by the awkward moment of deciding together whether to relocate to a bar in order to continue your conversation.