Anna says her secret to success is that she loves great food, and she loves to eat.
“I’ve never been afraid to go out on a date and order a huge steak. Well, if that’s what I’m craving at the time,” says Anna. “It may sound crazy, but a lot of guys love that.”
It’s true. Many men agree that finding a woman who is actually willing to eat on a date—even a first date—is a rare but welcome find.
Chris, a 42-year-old personal trainer, explains why. “I spend my entire day in a gym. If I go on a dinner date after work, I want to eat an actual meal, but few women are willing to join me.”
How does this make Chris feel? In a word, it makes him feel disappointed. “If I order a salad and main course and my date only orders a salad, I feel like we’re not really connecting.”
Okay, but do women really eat less when attempting to attract a man, or is this just a myth?
Research suggests that it’s true—women eat less when attempting to attract men.
In one study, researchers invited female college students to a lab to participate in a study that required them to have a conversation with a male student. Before the conversation, the women read a background sheet on their potential conversation partner. The information made him either seem desirable or undesirable. They were then asked to spend 20-minutes talking. Before leaving the room, the researcher also pointed to a huge bowl of M&Ms and encouraged the participants to eat the M&Ms.
What happened? You guessed it—the women who were talking to undesirable partners ate far more M&Ms than the women who were talking to desirable partners.
The study mirrors real life. Many women believe that light eating makes them more attractive to men. But what do men think?
The truth of the matter is that while few men are seeking a woman who can go head-to-head in a hotdog or pie-eating contest, a lot of men love food and love women who are willing to enjoy it with them.
Why do men love women who love to eat? Like Chris, a lot of men simply want to share a great meal at the end of the day.
For men who are passionate about food—foodies or gourmets or whatever you call them—sharing food may also be a point of shared interest.
But sharing food is also symbolic.
Sharing meals is one of the most powerful rituals of social bonding in the world. From ancient times, people have met, created bonds and marked special occasions by sharing a meal.
So what happens when you decide to nibble away at a piece of lettuce and sip on a glass of water while your date eats a five-course meal? If actions speak louder than words, you are sending out a message that this relationship is never going to work.
What you eat is ultimately your business. And you can’t eat like a man all the time without some health consequences. But if you’re ever faced with 20 minutes of conversation with a desirable partner and a huge bowl of M&Ms, don’t forget, you might be better off by trying to enjoy both at the same time.