They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, in a new study published in the journal Appetite, researchers found that women, particularly those who diet, may be more primed for romance if they’re well fed first.
For a first date, it’s standard fare to meet up for just coffee or drinks sans avocado toast. Singles get it — it’s easier and seems more practical than investing the time and money that a whole entree would require. Especially if you’re meeting online. Even if daters do end up at a restaurant, if one person isn’t interested in eating, the other might shy away from pigging out in front of a stranger.
“When you’re hungry, you’re thinking about food,” communications specialist Alisha Golden says. “I might take out my hangriness out on him.”
Golden, 30, has cut a date short so she can go home and “throw down,” meaning stuff her face. She doesn’t do salads and adds that sharing small plates is just not enough. That night, her love of food trumped her interest in her date.
Matt James gets the message. The 30-year-old bank associate says that even though he might not eat much for fear of “appearing as a pig,” he ended a recent first date with a kiss “because we connected over the food.”
The subjects in the Appetite study were given chocolate shakes. According to the researcher’s data, “historical dieters” such as product officer Chaya Cooper, 46, could respond even more positively to being wined and dined. She describes the warm and fuzzy feeling of having enjoyed a planned-out meal that turned into something more.
On the other hand, she also had a date that went quickly from good to bad: The man she was with said he’d already had his one meal of the day, so he wouldn’t be eating. (Seriously? What is this diet called? Was he just being cheap?)
“We walked around the neighborhood after watching a film and I brought it up because I was hungry, and he literally snapped because he didn’t want to eat,” Cooper recalls. “We went to a bodega and had cookies and milk. To me, that was inconsiderate. That was a strike against him. I was not in a great mood. Unintentionally, I was a little b—– because I was hungry.”
Sounds like the hangriness was mutual. Cooper says she would have been fine paying for her own food or just grabbing a slice of pizza. Instead, she wrote the guy off entirely.
So daters, make sure you get yourselves a happy meal. You want those slightly nervous knots in your stomach to come from excitement, not hunger pains.
Food probably cannot make up for lack of chemistry, but the absence of it seems to serve as sabotage. Perhaps prime rib does prime us for love, if the appetite to connect is there in the first place.