The taboo phrase “you are what you eat” often applies in the courtship process. A potential partner can influence a date by how he or she eats to get a favorable outcome in the relationship.
A Cornell University study showed that students believe that food is the most important component of a date.
Public health major Yulee Smith said her dates often involve a meal at sit-down restaurants.
“I figure they are going to figure out my true eating habits so I might as well eat normal,” Smith said. “And guys think it’s cute when you eat a lot as long as you aren’t morbid obese about it.”
Smith said she likes to indulge in the meals provided for her. While Smith often goes out for meals as a single student, family life science major Sadie Crookston said she and her boyfriend tend to eat at their parents’ homes for dinner and go out for dessert.
“We … stop and get ice cream,” Crookston said. “A lot of the time right now we will just eat at each others’ houses. That is where we spend our time together.”
Another Cornell study found couples in long-term relationships find homemade meals as an acceptable date more than single students.
While setting is an important factor in dating, students also care about food selection.
A match.com survey found that most people see selective eating during the first date to be a turn-off. This happened to P.D. biology major Trey Hatton when girls on dates pull things off their dish.
“Ordering a salad, a girl took out the strawberries from the salad, and another girl took off the chocolate cover from a chocolate-covered strawberry and didn’t explain … why,” Hatton said. “The kinds of things that maybe make me tilt my head and ask ‘what?’”
But it occurs on both ends as well. Crookston said that it is a turn-off when someone judges another for their meat-free lifestyle.
“A guy told me once he went on a date with a vegetarian, and when he found out she was a vegetarian he stopped liking her,” Crookston said. “That was the line for me. I stopped being attracted to him.”
One of Smith’s dates ordered coleslaw, chicken and rice together, which she thought was strange.
“The boy mixed everything together so it was this nasty combination of everything,” Smith said. “When I saw him do it, I completely lost my appetite and decided I didn’t want to go out with him. I was very grossed out.”
Food remains a necessary part of lives, and what a student eats on a date can affect who will continue to stick around in a relationship.