What to Do When You’re Early for a Date
You make plans to meet your date at a restaurant at 7:00 p.m., and despite your best efforts to take your time getting ready, you still manage to arrive at 6:48 p.m. That's 12 whole minutes to kill before your date arrives, 12 minutes that will probably feel more like 20 because you're slightly nervous and jittery and keep looking at your watch.
So how do you pass the pre-date time, and more importantly, where?
1. You Take An Extra Loop Around The Block
Pros: Depending on how slowly you walk, this can take up a good portion of your lag time. A brisk walk will help you get rid of some of your jitters, and the scenery might distract you from thoughts of your impending meeting. If you're lucky, by the time you swing back around to the meeting place, your date will already be there.
Cons: What if you turn the corner and meet your date coming in the opposite direction, and then either have to turn around and walk back with them, or pretend not to see them, keep going, and then come up with some excuse as to where you went? What if the walk takes longer than you feared, and you actually end up being late for the date?
2. You Wait Outside The Restaurant
Pros: You can put on your sunglasses, lean against the wall, and look super cool. You can make a phone call if you want. Your date will see you immediately, so you won't have to awkwardly flag him or her down as they enter the restaurant and look around for you.
Cons: It's hard not to feel like you're loitering. People inside the restaurant/cafe will give you curious looks. It's awkward when you accidentally see your date approaching, but they're still a few blocks away, so then you just have to weirdly smile and watch them make their way towards you, stopping at crosswalks, et al.
3. You Wait At The Bar
Pros: Good chance to order an impressive drink. There's something sort of sexy about sitting at a bar alone. You can strike up a conversation with the bartender or the people next to you so your date will see how easy to talk to and popular you are.
Cons: Craning your neck every time you hear the door open, or worse, being seated with your back toward the door so your date sort of sneaks up on you. Hard to have good posture and not look slumpy on a bar stool. Hard to not impulsively take out your phone and neurotically text everyone you know, just for something to do.
4. You Wait At The Table
Pros: You get to sit down and carefully examine the menu without the distraction of small talk. Maybe they will bring you bread? You can text your date so they will know exactly where to go. ("I am at the table by the window, eating bread.")
Cons: Do you stand to greet them when they arrive or stay seated? That is hard to navigate. The other diners examine you and are as eager to see your date as you are. It's awkward when your date shows up and you've eaten all the bread.
Tell Us: Where do you wait for your date?
— Chiara Atik, How About We