They say when you laugh, the world laughs with you. But when you love, the world certainly does not love with you. In fact, it takes a look at your love, dry heaves, then decides to go home and eat a pint of ice cream. Even in restaurants. Scratch that. ESPECIALLY in restaurants.
Here are the most grating, irritating, and just plain obnoxious things couples do when they eat out. Actually, we should probably refer to it as "dining out," just to avoid any confusion with our Sex and Dating section.
Is This $2k Gold Pizza Worth It?
Sitting on the same side of the booth
There are conjoined twins out there who would do anything to sit on opposite sides of a table. But seriously, think of why this would be necessary:
You are trying to rub on each other in ways that violate the entry above.
You are so disgustingly in love with each other that you have to be close at all times.
You've literally never been in a restaurant before because you two were stranded on a desert island when you were 4 years old with nobody else but an old salty cook who soon passed away, leaving the two of you to discover the ways of the world (and your respective bodies!) totally naturally and without involvement from the outside world. This is really nice, and how love should be. But maybe watch a few episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives before going out to a restaurant for the first time so you know how to fit in.
Playing footise, handsie, and mouthsie
Footsie is… bearable. Most of the time we can't see it. Handsie can get weird, especially at spots without cloth napkins. Mouthsie is almost never OK. Almost.
Feeding each other
Spoon-feeding another person should be reserved for babies and coma patients, not for delivering bite after bite of steak to another able-bodied adult.
Trying to force couple friendships
They were eyeing you the moment you sat down. They're asking what you're going to order. They're asking what neighborhood you live in. They're doing anything they can to talk to anyone but each other, as they exhausted their thoughts on Westworld 10 minutes ago and have nothing left in the conversation tank.
Speaking in cutesy voices
Regardless of whether your boo-boo cares if you nibble on one of his wittle Frenchy fries, if he doesn't get his spoony-wooney out of your soups-sy, I might just get an ulcer-wulcer.
These hushed-but-piercing notes of hatred can actually carry further than a normal tone in the right acoustics. Example: Your girlfriend whisper-whips you for asking for sour cream at the local Thai restaurant and reminds you that she tells all her friends about how uncouth you are and they all laugh at you... especially Debbie.
Less discreet than whisper fights, but just as awkward. Example: Your girlfriend yells at you for asking for sour cream at the local Thai restaurant, and also for cheating on her several times with her friend Debbie, who happens to find uncouthness incredibly sexy.
Being social media extremists
Because a dining experience warrants both parties taking pictures of the same dish at the same restaurant to parade them in front of the same friend group that never wanted to see them in the first place, right? And if you both have to #DateNightWithBoo! every time you hit Red Lobster on a Wednesday, perhaps you should take a long hard look at your life and figure out where it all went to shit.
Yes, it's lovely that you just got back from Spain. That doesn't mean everyone within earshot needs to know that the patatas bravas at your local tapas joint simply don't compare to what you had in Valencia, and that you picked up the proper pronunciation of Bar-THA-lona.
Lady and the Tramping
Yes, even if a nice Italian man is serenading you with the romantic sounds of an accordion in the alley behind a nice bistro. Just think about how much chewed-up food's getting passed back and forth when your lips meet in the middle of a piece of spaghetti. And it doesn't matter who you are: When you push a meatball to your date with your nose, you look like a total asshole.
Loudly proclaiming that it's their anniversary
They're either gunning for free drinks or validation. Especially the ones celebrating their three-month.
This is one of the most intimate moments of your life. Please, share it among a bunch of strangers stuffing their faces and talking about politics. It's even worse if you hide the ring in some type of souffle, then scramble to Google "Heimlich maneuver" on your phone.
When your server has to come back to the table to find one or both of you bawling face-down in your clam linguine, you know you've done the wrong thing. Do the honorable thing and drive your partner out in the middle of the woods, pretending like it's a birthday surprise (always dump people on their birthdays so they have something to take their minds off the pain), and tell them you need to run back to the car, only to drive away. It's 2016.
Bringing their horrible monster children
Look, if you know your kids can't sit through a meal without throwing a five-alarm tantrum because this particular establishment didn't have crayons, you don't get to bring them to reputable restaurants for a few years, OK? Enjoy some frozen chicken tenders while you watch Doc McStuffins and ponder your decision to spawn.
Constantly looking at their phones
When you see two couples sitting at a restaurant with their eyes fixated on their glowing smartphone screens, it makes you wonder what these people talk about when they are alone. Are they ever alone? Are they even people? Why do they prefer Snapchatting over a nice discourse with their partners? Why would you choose to date someone if you'd rather cruise Reddit during dinner? While this is annoying even if you aren't dating, it should be the final nail in the coffin of what is sure to be a terrifyingly boring relationship. And listen: Your phone can't have sex with you. Um, yet. Probably soon though.
Accusing each other of hitting on the waitstaff
Nothing says "she's the one!" like throwing a Mai Tai in your boyfriend's face after he says "thank you" to the server after she drops off his clam linguine (JUST LIKE LAST TIME).
Dining in complete, bitter silence
If there's anything worse than an openly happy couple being all smug and shit, it's the silent couple paralyzed by years of disdain. Sitting there quietly, watching their food move, praying for something to change, waiting for something to happen in their relationship that will shake them out of their quiet comfort and make them realize they just aren't right for each other. And then the server comes over and acts like everything's normal and is super-chipper and lays on a facade as thick and toxic as asbestos lining. When did the trouble start? This is creepy. Stop doing it.
The check came and went 30 minutes ago and there's a two-hour wait for a table, yet there they are still sipping coffee and gazing adorably into each other's eyes. Take your adorableness somewhere else -- you're not the only one on date night.
Gross. Also, rude.
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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He's literally done all of these things, and he's never even been in a couple. Follow him @wilfulton.