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Love Bites: Singles’ Attitudes on Dining and Dating

With summer upon us and dating season at its height, the “Love Bites” survey connects the dots between food, booze and dating during those first few impressionable dates.

The findings just might help singles get closer to love by pointing out revealing facts they may want to avoid or incorporate into their dating life. From carnivores’ pickiness to wait staff flirting, the “Love Bites” survey cooks up the national recipe for dating success., the online site of America’s morning program, and, a leading dating website, teamed up for “Love Bites” survey that reveals turn-ons and turn-offs of dining etiquette and food choices that will keep dates coming back for seconds – or not.

[ Also Read: Now, an Online Dating Network for Spiritual Singles ]

“Food is an integral part of our culture, and so many of us fall in love over a good meal,” said Vidya Rao, food editor. “We attach our memories and emotions to what we eat, and as a result, learn a lot about someone by observing their attitude about food. It’s a basic human need, and we use that to judge how a date might be in a relationship. Is he adventurous? Is she respectful? It’s a lot deeper than what’s on the plate.”

[ Also Read: Get Ready to Meet the Most Romantic Couple ]

“Food, sex and courtship go hand in hand in nature,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, chief scientific advisor to

Love Bites Survey

Love Bites Survey

Click the infographic to enlarge it.

Below are highlights from the “Love Bites” survey grouped by category and in response order:

Drinking Dos and Don’ts

  • You booze, you lose?: Nearly 70% of women said it was a big turn-off if their date had more to drink than they did, while 23% of single men and women said it was a turn-off if their date had nothing at all to drink.
  • Alcohol etiquette: When it comes to drinking alcohol on a date, 43% of singles said they order a drink “most of the time” while 40% said they would only order a drink if their date ordered one as well.

Types of Foodies [or lack thereof]

  • Close-minded carnivores: Meat-eaters appear to be less liberal than vegetarians with regards to choosing a dating partner. The study found 30% of meat-eaters would not date a vegetarian versus only 4% of vegetarians who stated they would not date a meat-eater.
  • Culinary degree necessary?: 19% of singles said they would stop dating someone who couldn’t cook or refused to cook.
  • Fearless foodies: Adventurous eaters trump knowledgeable foodies in Love Bites. 66% of singles are turned off if a date lacks desire to try certain types of food and 35% of singles would be turned off by a date’s lack of food knowledge.

The Date

  • Dinner Date Still a “Do”: More than 90% of single males still think a traditional dinner date is the perfect atmosphere for a first or second date.
  • Dining Don’ts: Uncovering the biggest turn-offs in dating, 67% of singles don’t want their date ordering for them; 62% are turned off if their date asks to split the check; and 56% are turned off by a date who is picky when ordering.
  • Appetizing Acts: In looking at what turns singles on, 70% appreciate a date that is knowledgeable about food and wine pairings, and 56% said they enjoy it when their date offers a bite of his/her food.
  • Wait staff flirting: 87% of singles said it was a turn-off if their date flirted with the wait staff versus a mere 4% who said it was a turn-on.

Sexy Food

  • Savories over Sex?: If forced to choose, 39% of single women would rather give up sex than their favorite food for a year, while only 16% of single men would give up sex for their most favored meal.
  • Chocolate takes the cake: Of those who answered they’d rather give up sex than their favorite food, 26% said chocolate was the number one food to trump sex, followed by 25% who would rather choose a juicy steak.

The survey was hosted at and for one week from April 19 – April 26, 2012. A total of 4,000 singles, with the majority (92%) between the ages of 25-70, participated in the survey. The findings were released today, July 2.

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