There's a lot of pressure with first dates when you're a midlife single, especially if it's your first date in a long time. Lunch dates are great because (much like a coffee date) the end time is pretty much determined in advance. This makes it easy to exit without awkwardness or excuses.
Another benefit is cost. If you're unsure whether or not you'll hit it off with someone, lunch is lighter on the budget than dinner followed by drinks and dessert. What's more, the tone of the date is lighter and less serious so you're less apt to be nervous for lunch dates.
You can always arrange your own lunch dates, of course, or you can opt to go with a service. Arguably the most popular service is It's Just Lunch, which has been in business over twenty years.
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