A Matchmaker's Take On Breakfast Dates
They're definitely not for everyone
Last week the New York Post reopened the conversation about breakfast dates. An article headlined "Why breakfast makes the best first date," didn't quite tell us why breakfast makes the best first date, but did focus on one New York City couple who met on a breakfast date and went on to become partners in both marriage and business. A breakfast first date clearly worked out for these two crazy lovebirds, but for many, the concept of breakfast date as first date seems downright wrong. We're all comfortably familiar with the idea of date night. Even lunch dates don't set off any major alarm bells. But breakfast dates give us pause.
Perhaps there's something at odds with being on your best behavior during the first meal of the day. Or, if you're someone who typically brushes after breakfast, maybe you can't think about a breakfast date without imagining morning breath. To get past this breakfast date mental block, I sought out professional advice. I spoke to Valerie Hsiung, a Love Detective & Emissary at Tawkify, a personal matchmaking, date planning, and "love recruiting" service for a modern-day matchmaker's take on the pros and cons of breakfast dates.
Who should go on breakfast dates?
If my previously expressed apprehension a the idea of breakfast dates wasn't enough to convince you that they're not quite right for everyone, Hsiung agrees. She thought breakfast dates were great options for three kinds of people: those who prefer not to drink while socializing, morning people, and anyone who is looking for an out-of-the ordinary setting for a date. "I think it's a good idea for unconventional people who are up to try adventurous dates. I think the same type of person who would go to Sleep No More or rock-climbing on a first date would also at the very least find it interesting to try a breakfast date," Hsiung said. Breakfast, a meal you eat everyday, becomes extraordinary when used as a means to meet the potential love of your life.
What are some of the pros and cons of breakfast dates?
According to Hsiung, alcohol can both help and hinder a dinner date. The fact that alcohol isn't (usually) a factor on a breakfast date changes the dynamic. While a social lubricant is can certainly be helpful on a date, it can also become a bit of a crutch. After all, is the you after two drinks really the real you? Hsiung says, "With an evening date, you often have the added influence of alcohol. You've also been preparing for or at least thinking about the date all day so you go into it with a ball of nerves that you're likely to want to drink away." Conversely, with a breakfast date, you have no time between waking up and the date to prepare to be anything other than yourself. "With a breakfast date, you have the freshness of just waking up not too long ago, which is a combination of alertness and calm, so I think you're less likely to censor yourself—you haven't had a whole day to harp and practice your fakeries—and you're more likely to let real parts of you slip into the interaction, without even needing alcohol to let you open up," Hsiung says.
In this way, a breakfast date can be helpful in weeding out people quickly. Although it may take three dates obscured by a boozy, romantic evening atmosphere to realize that your date's dislike of dogs is a deal breaker, on a clear-headed breakfast date, you're likely to come to that same conclusion by the end of the meal. Hsiung says, "Morning just has a way of making people say whatever the hell is on their mind, and when the other person discovers this, it can create a natural spark. If they don't like it, they'll run for the hills, and you've just saved yourself a lot of time on someone who couldn't handle the basic screening!"
What's the best kind of breakfast for a breakfast date?
So what kind of breakfast strikes the perfect balance between casual and festive, fortifying and dainty? Hsiung names Turkish breakfast her top pick for a breakfast date, followed by dim sum. "You get to share everything and have a little bit of a lot of things, so it's like going on a tasting adventure. And chances are, one of you hasn't had Turkish breakfast so that's always fun. I think dim sum is also an awesome breakfast choice because again, sharing is caring, and [at dim sum] there are so many foreign things to look at and engorge."For some, breakfast dates may be missing a few of the things that make breakfast itself so great: comfort, simplicity, and the opportunity for a moment of quiet before greeting the day full on. But, precisely because your defenses are down at breakfast time, there's room to form strong bonds at the breakfast table. Breakfast dates make breakfast the most important meal of the day for more than the usual reasons.