8/26/2012 3:54 PM
Dating can be awkward; when you're sifting through match after match, it can become a little exhausting going out to dinner all the time. That said, the importance of casual dates is often overlooked.
First dates especially can be a bit daunting, and whether or not it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, but when you're faced with a dinner date as the first date, it can be easy to get nervous at the prospect of sitting with someone for an entire dinner. The drinks, the waiting while you look at the menu, the waiting after you've given your order, coming up with during-dinner conversation, waiting for the check, the "check dance," and then how long you should wait to leave—it's a recipe for awkwardness even if it's a good date. If it's a bad date, that hour and a half can feel like forever.
Casual dates, like getting coffee, a drink, or ice cream/dessert are a little easier on the nerves than something longer. If you find yourself liking the other person, that short little date can be extended to something like dinner.
But, if the date goes sour, you're only on the hook for however long it takes you to finish your coffee, drink, or ice cream. And that can feel freeing, even if it means that you have to tell yet another "bad date" story.