Some women demand it while others despise it as sexist — chivalry can be a minefield in modern times, especially in the dating world.
But if there's one move that seems to be almost universally agreed upon as awkward and unnecessary, it's when men order for their dates at restaurants. Though some women might faint when asked to pick up half the tab for the meal, the former chivalrous staple of choosing for your date — or voicing her request with the waiter — has fallen out of favour.
Even in a modern chivalry guide, which suggests old-fashioned courtesies like opening the door for your date or waiting until she's seated to take your seat, Esquire magazine insists: "Never order for her."
Unless you're blessed with telepathy, there's a decent chance you could get it wrong. Christina Jones, writing for Ryanseacrest.com, elaborates on the multitude of other problems this outmoded move can have.
"What if we have food allergies you don't know about? That could go downhill real quick. Besides, what are the odds that you're going to know exactly what we're craving to eat this particular moment?"
Others drawbacks of proposing your date's entrée to the server: it makes her feel like an idiot who can't decide or speak up for herself. In the Table Manners advice column on Chow.com, Helena Echlin explains the history of the tradition to a woman put-off when a man ordered her ravioli.
Citing Rebecca L. Spang's The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, Echelin points out that in the 19th century, the public sphere — and therefore eating out in public — was "encoded" as male.
"In other words, it was indecorous for ladies to address men outside their circle of family and friends, even if it was just to say, 'I'll have the roasted chicken.'"
There seems to be at least one loophole to the never-order-for-her rule. On Thefrisky.com, Kate Torgovnick writes, "The only time this is cool is if I have no idea how to pronounce something and you do."Watch the video below about some of the great food truck trends sweeping Canada coast to coast.