My question concerns table manners dating.
My boyfriend has the most annoying habit of picking food off my plate and eating it. I want to say, “Here, help yourself,” and hand him my plate. Even though I’ve asked him time and again to kick the habit my plea doesn’t register. How do I get him to be more polite?
Thanks, Molly, for your great question about table manners while dating.
Next time you sit down to eat alongside your beau, make sure there is a small plate above your dinner plate.
- A butter plate or salad plate will do.
- Then when you notice him eyeing your food, make your move.
- He’s zeroing into exactly what tidbit looks the most mouth-watering.
- Wedge off a piece of your grilled tuna with your knife and fork, scoop up a generous bite with your fork, place the tuna on the small plate, and handing it to him gently say, “Here, what else would you like to sample?”
Make the small plate a ritual. Not only will this civilized addition to your routine make you both more patient, but it shows respect for each other: including your personal boundaries.
No, your boyfriend shouldn’t be eating food off your plate, but he learned table manners as a small child and bad table manners are lifelong habits hard to break. Have patience, use the small plate trick. It will work.
- To quote the British author Peter Mayle, “Good manners make any man a pleasure to be with. Ask any woman.”
You decide together, or not, that your relationship itself comes first, that the wishes of your partner are second and that personal needs come in third.
This understanding between you and your partner only works when each partner prioritizes the other person’s needs, the expectation is that the other will reciprocate and that at the end of day, you both get what you really need.
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