When it comes to the ritual act of dating, participants often have very different expectations. Some hope to meet their soul mate. Others seek companionship. Some are looking for a good time…and think that springing for a meal entitles them to one. And now a new study finds that some women say that, now and again, they just want to score some lobster tails.
The finding is in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. [Brian Collisson, Jennifer L. Howell, Trista Harig: Foodie Calls: When Women Date Men for a Free Meal (Rather Than a Relationship)]
“You’re probably wondering how we came up with this idea.”
Brian Collisson, a social psychologist at Azusa Pacific University in California. Collisson says he’s always been intrigued…in a scientific sense…by romantic relationships.
So when one of his coauthors…Trista Harig, also at Azusa Pacific…told him about this interesting new phenomenon that Maxim magazine had nicknamed a “foodie call”…
“…we were curious to explore how often women date men for food rather than a relationship.”
In this study, the researchers focused on heterosexual women in part because, based on longstanding cultural expectations, men often pick up the tab…particularly on a first date.
In a pair of online surveys, the researchers asked more than a thousand women: Have you ever agreed to date someone you were not interested in a relationship with because he might pay for your meal?
“We found that approximately 23 to 33 percent of women surveyed had engaged in a ‘foodie call’.”
Of those who admitted to having swiped right for the free eats, the majority claimed to have done so only occasionally or rarely. But about a quarter admitted accepting the restaurant outing with greater frequency.
The respondents most likely to engage in this type of dating-for-dinner behavior were those who endorsed traditional gender role beliefs…and who scored high on a personality test designed to detect what’s called the Dark Triad.
“The dark triad refers to subclinical levels of psychopathy, which is a lack of remorse and empathy and perspective taking, Machiavellianism, which is where you purposely manipulate others for your own self benefit, and narcissism, which is a grandiose and over the top self-love.”
With that as a checklist, it might be possible to avoid the users who are in it for pasta…rather than possibilities.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]