Let’s set the stage: you are on a dining date for two.  Maybe it is a fancy “date,” maybe it’s a casual dinner that’s part of a budding romance, or maybe you and your significant other just wanted to stop by a favorite neighborhood haunt and get a bite.  Whatever the circumstance, when your server shows you to your table, it’s set up in such a way that sitting side by side, on the same side of the table, is an option.  What should you do?




She Said – By Elizabeth C.

Go for it!

If you are on a fancy date, this is the perfect chance to enjoy an intimate meal together.  Especially if you are at a nicer restaurant, sitting next to each other can really up the romance factor.  What’s better than a white tablecloth, candlelight, good food and your sweetie cuddled up next to you?

If you are at a more casual dinner, this might be the perfect chance to show your guy that romance isn’t just for the white tablecloth nights.  Cozy up next to each other at a new restaurant and enjoy each other’s company along with sampling the cuisine.  Take this opportunity to order several dishes you both want to try and share.   You’ll really experience the meal together, making a casual dinner a much more memorable experience.

If you and your significant other are out for a run-of-the-mill meal, sitting side-by-side could be just what you need to spice things up.  If you’re at your corner sports bar watching the big game, cuddle up in a booth instead of sitting across the table craning your neck to get a view of the TV on the opposite side of the room.  If you’re at a casual spot, chances are the noise level could be loud, so sitting side-by-side is actually a practical move that will help you hear each other talk.

Beyond all of these reasons, the additional closeness and added eye contact that is inevitable when you’re sitting next to each other instead of across the table makes it almost impossible not to connect with the person you are dining with.  What better way to really deepen your relationship and create lasting memories than by taking away the barrier of a table?

He Said – By Phil V.

While Elizabeth makes some valid points, the act of sitting on the same side of the table has a much bigger impact on the restaurant as a whole than the couple at the table.  Let me paint the scene for a moment.  In a dining room full of happy and hungry patrons, a couple walks into the restaurant, is shown their table and then choose to sit right next to each other.  Nothing out of the ordinary at first of course; as most diners will assume they are merely waiting for another couple to join them.  Then their server comes over and removes the place settings from the other side of the table.  Now curiosity is piqued in the entire dining room.  Questions begin to fly through the once happy and content diners’ heads: Why are they sitting right next to each other?  Wouldn’t sitting across from each other be much easier for conversation?  Are they both looking right at me?

Now, the couple sitting next to each other have turned themselves into a spectacle, and all eyes in the dining room are on them.  Privacy is ruined and your every action is being analyzed by perfect strangers.  This is not because those other diners are rude, but because the couple has so distracted them from their own meals that they can do nothing else but attempt to figure out why this couple is sitting right next to each other when there is a perfectly good seat directly across from their partner.
While, in reality, all this couple did was choose to sit closer to one another while dining, they have caused a major disruption to the diners surrounding them.  So, while I see the validity in wanting to sit next to each other at a restaurant, I think the argument goes beyond the individual and comes to the social responsibility we all must take when making decisions in public.  Please, sit across from each other, like a normal couple, and spare the diners around you.

In all seriousness though, sitting on the same side of the table can definitely create a new dining experience with couples old and new.  While it may be awkward at first for some, it can definitely create a much more intimate and meaningful dining experience.

What are your thoughts on sitting on the same side of the table?  Sound off in the comments below!