I disagree with the author. I would say that dating can be a losing game. If two people hop into a car, talk a bit while driving to the theatre, watch a movie together, then hop back into the car and go back to the home of the person who doesn’t have the car, while talking a little bit more, well, that is a complete waste of time IMHO (please stress the humble as I’m no expert and my marriage was a debacle).
My best dates have been those where we talk. It doesn’t matter where. I think that talking and really communicating is what is missing in many dates.
As for eating meals at the date’s house, personally I would be honored if my son or daughter and his/her date ate dinner (or lunch) at my house. But then I’m very informal. After two or three times, especially at the beginning of a possible relationship, I would think that someone is taking advantage of me. I would start to wonder if he/she really had a job. Why can’t he/she afford to take my daughter or son out to a restaurant?
It could also be intrusive. I think it depends on the family. My parents, like me, were very informal. When people were close to perhaps becoming part of the family (and I don’t mean engaged but involved in a serious relationship), my Mom would say “If you get hungry in this house, it’s your own fault. There’s the kitchen.”
I miss her.
Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, it depends on the situation. Why would a professional postgraduate student be living at home? I know it’s expensive and I’m sure there are good reasons, but it would raise a red flag for me. And that is speaking as a mother, not as someone who is dating.
Picnics with the date’s family? Great! Anything that gets someone involved with their date’s family is wonderful, as long as the dater (this is hard so I’m going to call the male the dater and the female the datee) is really welcome (“Oh, is he coming over again? Doesn’t he have a job or some money of his own?”)
I think that when people get to the age that most postgraduate students are, dating like high school kids is boring. It also wastes time. The most important thing any two people who are not married can do is talk. Talk about life, love, children, families, RELIGION, school, philosophy, all that sort of thing.
Those are my (somewhat rambling) thoughts. Hope it helps. I think that book may have some great ideas but I also wonder if it’s meant for younger people.