A Quarter of Women Say They've Gone on a Date Just to Get a Free Meal

Don't fall victim to the "foodie call."

couple enjoying romantic dinner in restaurant

There's a new term that anyone in the modern dating world needs to know. It's a "foodie call," AKA a date that someone sets up just to get a free meal, and, according a new study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, it's more common than those of us looking for love would like to think.

The online study from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, asked 820 women—85 percent of whom identified as heterosexual—questions about their personality traits, approach to traditional gender roles, and how often they've gone on dates for free food. Twenty-three percent of the women said that they had gone on a date with someone they were not romantically interested in just to eat for free, but that number jumped up to 33 percent when the group surveyed was heterosexual only. Most of the women in the study believed that making a "foodie call" was moderately to extremely unacceptable, and those who went on them said they had only done so occasionally or rarely.

It's interesting to note that women who believed in traditional gender roles were not only more likely to accept a date for the free meal, but were also more likely to view it as being acceptable. Additionally, these women scored high on what is known as the "dark triad" of personality traits—psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. That's not too surprising, given that going on a date just to score a free meal would, at the very least, strike most people as a bit self-involved.

The Azusa Pacific University study only included women, but the authors noted that it could occur with any gender, especially now that men are no longer necessarily expected to pay on a date. And for some more uplifting dating news, check out Science Says Women Aren't Interested in Flashy Men.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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