Love at first bite: 1 in 7 would end a relationship over their partner’s food tastes

NEW YORK — Couples break up for all sorts of reasons, but would you believe one of the biggest reasons may be what’s on their partner’s dinner plate? A new survey finds 22 percent of adults will only consider a relationship with someone who shares their taste in food.

The poll of 2,000 people adds that 14 percent say they would end a blossoming romance if their flame likes completely different menu items than they do. Another 11 percent would decide against a second date if they hate what the other person orders. Respondents are also more likely to judge a date by their food choices than their shoes, their car, or income level.

How much does food matter to people? The survey, commissioned by Peperami Chicken Bites, finds 30 percent of respondents believe food is more important to them than sex (17%).

“Having studied the behavioral patterns behind people’s relationships with food for many years, it isn’t surprising to hear that food plays such an important role when searching for a partner,” Dr. Christy Fergusson says in a statement.

“What someone eats and the food choices they make can give important insights into who they are. In dating it helps us to assess if they are going to be a good fit for us and our lifestyle and values.”

Love is on the menu

A quarter of adults believe sharing a taste in food is a sign the date is going well. One in eight people admit they’d actually walk out on a date if they don’t like their partner’s menu selection.

“Most people recognize that in dating and relationships so much of our interaction is centered around food,” the food psychologist adds. “It’s clear that we don’t only make decisions about compatibility with our head and our heart – but our taste buds too.”

The poll finds chicken is the most popular dish to dig in to on a date. Italian food is the go-to cuisine, with 46 percent saying it’s the perfect meal to have while connecting with someone.

If you’re going on a date, 39 percent of respondents also believe the safest choice on the menu is chicken. This tied with pizza and finished just ahead of steak (36%) for the orders that’ll see you safely to another date.

If you’re looking for a quick breakup however, 36 percent say ordering food that’s heavy on the garlic is most likely to keep you single. Respondents also think ribs (14%), corn on the cob (12%), fish (10%), and sushi (10%) should be avoided on a date.

First impressions are important for dating

Four in 10 people say it takes them just five minutes to form an opinion of someone during their first meeting. If you’re looking to make a lasting impression, one-third prefer a home-cooked meal on a first date over going to a fancy restaurant.

“It’s interesting to understand how food can influence who we fall for and how ordering a controversial dish could mean the end of a short-lived romance,” a Peperami spokesman says.

Despite this deep connection to food, only 55 percent of respondents currently in a relationship feel their partner’s taste buds are compatible with their own.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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