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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

It's Just Lunch

It’s something we have done our whole lives, every day, and usually around the same time. It’s called “lunch,” and it shouldn’t be scary. But when you throw the word “date” on the end, it’s frightening.

A lunch date is a tricky thing, so when he first casually said, let’s grab lunch, I panicked. Lunch is in fact a casual thing, so it should be easy. But in my mind, it was not the norm of drinks or dinner, making it instead, traumatizing.

Immediately, a little list of things to worry about formed in my mind.


First, what to order. Chances are, we’d be in a place where I couldn’t throw back a shot of tequila to calm my nerves. Water it is. The issue of being the messiest girl around also presented a problem. Since I have been known to spill anything and everything, I had to be careful of what item on the menu ended up on my plate. While a sandwich is seemingly innocent, it provides a great threat of filling falling into my lap. I couldn’t take the risk. Salad, it is. But with chicken, so to not seem too girly.

Second, what to wear. It’s daytime. No glitter or glow-lights. Just kidding. But still, daytime dress is different than nighttime dress. What is date appropriate during the day? And the harsh daylight doesn’t mask a thing. There’s no longer the ability to hide under the soft lighting of a bar or restaurant. Note—Use extra hair spray.

Third, the biggest problem. The time frame. Whereas an evening date provides you with a whole day to pamper and prepare yourself for your meeting, a lunch date cuts that time in half. No time for a workout, a few crunches will have to do.

Manicure/Pedicure? I’ll do them myself. The night before. Talking to friends to coach me over the phone? They’re all at work!
The stupid little worries kept adding up, and all these insane things went through my head before the actual date. I tried to plan it all out, but of course, couldn’t exactly adhere to all my own little rules, and it’s a good thing I hadn’t because that probably would have been disastrous.

The actual date…

Yes, I did my nails the night before and a little pilates the morning of. But since the planning of the date had all been so casual, I was surprised at the fact that, while I’m usually a bundle of nerves, I wasn’t nervous at all. Since I didn’t have all day to scrutinize over what I would wear or how I would do my hair, I kind of just threw it all together and was on my way. And to my surprise, the experience was much more relaxing than a drink or dinner may have been. A daytime meeting was very laidback and easier to talk. Yes, I almost spilled my iced tea (I lived dangerously, screw water), but besides that slip up, I was not as anxious as I had imagined.

When it was all over with, I was pretty proud that I had just survived a lunch date, but I later found that I’m apparently the only one who thinks it’s just a daunting event. There are now online dating services made specifically to match you up on a lunch date. (Check out for more details) The idea behind it is that people are so busy, that a lunch break is a perfect opportunity to meet for a date. And also, it gives you a limited time frame. So if things don’t look so good, check please! Work calls. But if they do go well…maybe we could meet for dinner?

My overall conclusion was that though a lunch date was new to me, and new things always seem scary in the dating realm, it was actually refreshing. It was nice to break out of the norm for a bit and actually see someone in different light. And though I didn’t have the whole day to primp, I found that I was actually more energized because I hadn’t been working or busy all day. I had a bit of spunk left in me. So to all you daters looking to break away from the dinner routine, try moving your meal up a few hours. It is, after all, just lunch.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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