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Side by Side, or Face to Face


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Ever curious, I was wondering which seating arrangement e-gulleteers prefer when dining out with s/o's.

I have always preferred the face to face matchup. I always tell Mrs Juanito that it is because I want to gaze at her lovely face during dinner, but in reality, it's because I can't stand to have anyone sitting on top of me while I eat.

She seems to think the side by side thing is more romantic, which, after 14 years of marriage, is a moot point anyway. :wink:

I think the side by side thing looks a bit silly, when only two are at the table.

What do you think?

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Mr. B doesn't like banquette seating, so I've rarely done the side by side seating...but even without his preference, I prefer face to face. Furthermore, Mr. B also does not like his back to the room, so we've further specified our seating to face to face, with his back to the wall if possible. And no, he's not a mobster worried about a Spark's experience! :wink:

Edited by Kim WB (log)
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ugh. I hate sitting next to anybody when they eat (unless it's outdoors, or panoramic, or we're shelling something together) pretty much unless there's teamwork involved in dinner I cant stand to sit next to a guy. My ex used to take me to see and be seen places, and would wig out whenever they would seat me at the banquet, facing the room, he'd always squeeze in next to me to try to get the view too.

eat

eat

elbow

elbow

eat

elbow

it's not romantic, just terribly annoying. oh, i also hate to be touched while eating...so when SO sits next to me there is always arm around me etc...essentially dinner is over.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Face to face most definately. I want to be able to look at my companion when dining and talking.

In addition, since I'm left handed and the majority of my dining companions are right handed, my companion runs the risk of connecting with elbow if he chooses to sit beside me.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Face to face, expecially when we're dining out. We can see each other's

meal, discuss it and observe each other's reaction to the food, and have

a good conversation.

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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It depends.

If there is enough room between tables and a banquete, we like to sit next to each other. That way we get to hold hands between courses if we feel like it, and I find it nicer to lean my head to the side for quiet conversation than to both hunch forward over the table.

When we dine with another couple, we prefer to sit kitty-corner next to each other rather than across from one another.

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Side by side, most of the time. I'm left-handed, and sit on the left. We like the physical contact, and the ability to share food without making a big deal out of it. :wub::raz:

Unless we're in Paris. I don't like being yelled at by the owner in a language that I don't understand. :shock:

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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In another room.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Anyone remember Cafe Nicholson? It was a wonderfully hidden and romantic restaurant in Manhattan's East 50s. I think it closed a couple of years ago.

What I remember most about it is that couples were seated side by side. The waiter would pull out the table and say, "Lady on the settee, and gentleman on the side."

I loved it.

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While we don't do it often, I like to sit side by side. I feel it's more intimate. If we want to hold hands, we don't have to do it over a candle and the table settings. Besides, it makes it easier to talk about the people sitting at other tables if we can both see them! :)

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There is an actual study on the effects of seating positions on heart rates and level of stimulation ...

the study details

This study examined the effects of three seating positions, face-to-face, side-by-side, at right-angles, on participants' heart rates, anxiety, and estimated duration of interview.....  There was a significant effect in different seating positions on the heart rates among the participants. The results suggest that the face-to-face seating produces increased arousal compared to the side-by-side and right-angled seating positions.

increased arousal? works for me! :laugh:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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The Biker Dude insists that we sit side by side, facing the door (a remnant from his shady past, no doubt). He's the romantic one in this relationship. We have always shared our food, too, from the very first date.

"It is a fact that he once made a tray of spanakopita using Pam rather than melted butter. Still, though, at least he tries." -- David Sedaris
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Definitely face-to-face. I agree with the study; when my husband I go out just the two of us, I definitely find it more romantic to be able to make eye contact, hold hands across the table. Seated next to each other, I feel like it's too easy to ignore the other, to feel like we are at a diner or something. Too be honest, I've always found the side-by-side thing a little creepy.

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F2F is OK; I like the banquette and remember the old etiquette that the lady only has her back to the room if she is not the wife of the gentleman (something like that...Ah, Emily Post!). Of course I have never been the wife of the gentleman, but I greatly prefer the banquette.

I also have a great fondness for sitting at right angles at a square table, for the reasons stated: hand-holding, food sharing, the occasional low-key snog (terrible manners, I know). It also permits more knee bumping and possible footsie. It also lets you get through dinner if you're in that heightened place where, if you look each other in the eye for long, you have to "get a room."

I can't remember sitting side-by-side, but I think I would like that, too.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Face to face, most definately- it makes conversation easier. At home though, we do sit at right angles.

I do have to agree that sitting side by side does make it easier to talk about people at other tables (one of my favorite practices!). I just think it looks weird when I see couples sitting side by side- when I waited on tables, I always thought it looked like they were waiting for more people to arrive.

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I really like right angles if it is an intimate event a deux. Otherwise I am old school and think if you are at a dinner party you should be at opposite ends of the table chatting up/catching up with strangers-highly risky with the occasional excellent payoff. Or next to old friends you haven't seen in a long while.

Don't know if there is a thread about this but we really love to eat at the "bar" but only in really good establishments. We love the perch, the voyeuristic quality-kitchen & floor/bar & floor/the theatre of the dining room.

Life! what's life!? Just natures way of keeping meat fresh - Dr. who

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Outside of the house, it's face to face, and we fight over the gunfighter seat. FtF seems less PDAish, and since my husband and I don't even care to hold hands in public, the idea of sitting in a position that looks schmoopy to us is horrifying (hee, our pastor couldn't even to convince us to kiss on our wedding rehersal night(people were WATCHING)...he finally got fed up and told us to shake hands). Few things are squickier than seeing a couple sitting side by side in a booth. Get a room! But at home, we're side by side on the couch or at right angles. We're also schmoopy in the privacy of our own home. Just never, ever in public.

Gourmet Anarchy

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Outside of the house, it's face to face, and we fight over the gunfighter seat. FtF seems less PDAish, and since my husband and I don't even care to hold hands in public, the idea of sitting in a position that looks schmoopy to us is horrifying (hee, our pastor couldn't even to convince us to kiss on our wedding rehersal night(people were WATCHING)...he finally got fed up and told us to shake hands). Few things are squickier than seeing a couple sitting side by side in a booth. Get a room! But at home, we're side by side on the couch or at right angles. We're also schmoopy in the privacy of our own home. Just never, ever in public.

Now that's interesting. I'm just the opposite. While I'm not interested in groping my love in public, or being groped for that matter, :rolleyes: to me, holding hands in public is a kinda like saying "I'm proud of the guy/woman I'm with and I want everyone to know we're together. Otherwise, I'd be thinking, "what, he's ashamed of me?" Holding hands across a table during a romantic dinner is the best for me.

And the gunfighter seat is always mine. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I'm with Bernaise, Mr. Shelora and I are definitely bar perchers. It's much more interesting. If the bar is full or none available, we like to mix up the side by side with the face to face. It all depends on the size of the table, views, comfy seats or banquette, etc.

s

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Face to face, none of this side to side stuff. Way sexier to have major eye contact across the table. Mmm.

Can I just say I HATE it when couples sit side by side and do the PDA crap during dinner. I'm all for people with their preferences but when people do the luvey dovey PDA stuff when sitting side by side, it's annoying. Perhaps it's a sign of my age that I say this? *grin*

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I greatly prefer to sit face to face. I think it makes conversation easier. We can see each others meals as well as our reactions to them. There is also a lot to be said about having more of the place under surveillance as far as people watching goes.

I always like to sit where I can watch the door. I think it has more to do with the history of our species than my humble past. I feel a little like a nervous antelope at the water hole if I can't kind of keep an eye on things. That's just the way I am.

Cheers,

HC

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If it's just the two of us, F2F. If we're at a nice restaurant, we like being able to look at each other; if we're at the taqueria or our favorite pho place, sitting across from each other means we can each have a book on the table.

If we're out with friends, himself and I sit next to each other so we can look at the friends.

At home, space limitations force us into either a 90-degree arrangement (kitchen table) or side by side (on the sofa, watching a DVD while eating). :raz:

"The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet." - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

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