Do you drink on first dates?

June 28, 2018

Going on a first date can be a daunting experience. It’s the rule (not the exception) to worry that your outfit is all wrong, that your armpits will get sweaty, or that you won’t know what to say. As a result, more than a few singles say they have sipped some “liquid courage” before that special someone arrives.

In fact, according to the findings of a 2014 survey conducted by the dating site, Plenty of Fish, over one-third (36.4%) of singles say they have calmed their nerves with a drink in advance of a date—and nearly half (48.9%) say they often drink moderately during an initial night out. Just 9.2% of respondents draw the line at drinking on a first encounter and, instead, brave any awkwardness without chemical alterations.

But, if you drink, what should you ask for? The researchers found that 26.6% of men think that “the most attractive drink” for their date to order is red wine, while 23.3% of women appreciate it when their date orders a pint of craft beer.

Of course, it’s easier to drink, if you are in the right surroundings. According to a poll by BuzzFeed, 28% of respondents preferred dinner at a romantic restaurant on a first date; 20%, a night at a theme park; and 18%, either the movies or dinner in and a DVD.

What if the night’s going really well, and you decide to make it last a few more hours? The Plenty of Fish survey found that 19.1% of single men have actually gotten drunk on a first date — and so have 16.8% of women. It’s not always a good look, but, hey, it happens.

Either way, it’s a crapshoot—at least that’s what Princeton University psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov discovered in 2006.  It only takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression. And it doesn’t matter how funny your jokes are or whether or not you offer to pay for dinner. Longer exposure can’t alter how your date saw you when they first cast their (no doubt impeccably bespectacled) eyes in your direction.

Research contact: @PlentyOfFish

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