Eat beef to find love?

According to research by the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), increasing your chances of success in love could be as simple as eating out, ordering beef for dinner and avoiding sport based dates!

The way to a man’s (and woman’s) heart is still through the stomach: The best ‘get to know you dates’ are those based around food according to nearly eight out of 10 singles. Topping the list is the classic dinner-for-two capturing over one third (39%) of the votes. The rest prefer to enjoy a more casual backyard barbecue, picnic, or burger and chips at the beach.

The standard night at the movies was selected by less than one in ten (9%) and anything sports related – spectator, participatory, extreme or otherwise – captured only 4 per cent of the vote. Boys take note: save the cricket matches and paint ball for your mates!

We are what we eat: If you hadn’t given much thought to your dinner order – think again. Your choice of what to eat says more about you than you’d imagine. Over a third of singles would prefer their first date to order a steak meal over the pasta or salad options. Just by showing a preference for beef, your date is much more likely to see you as easy going and enjoying life.

Additionally, females who order beef are more likely to be viewed as confident and outgoing and male beef-eaters are viewed as more masculine, especially among city slickers.

Girls, if you’re thinking of ordering a vegetarian meal on the first date, think again! Over half the eligible men surveyed reported that women who ordered ‘V’ meals were either fussy/finicky eaters or simply ‘boring’. Ouch!

Boys, showing a preference for the vegetarian option is also a real no-no with nearly 50 per cent of single women surveyed assigning negative personality characteristics such as finicky/fussy eater and boring to those that order these on the first date.

Meat eaters are more attractive: The vast majority of singles (84%) would prefer a partner with a relaxed and open attitude to food choices. A massive 72 per cent would like a partner that ‘eats anything’ and an additional 12 per cent will tolerate a few food dislikes as long as red meat’s on the table. Vegetarians and vegans should seriously reconsider their food choices if they want to find love. Only 4 per cent of the single population preferenced this lifestyle for their potential mate, and almost 40 per cent of singles admitted that they would reconsider dating someone if they discovered they were a vegetarian.

Relationship psychologist John Aiken comments:

“The survey results demonstrate just how important a shared enjoyment of food and similar food choices is in bringing couples together. Having similar attitudes and beliefs can increase levels of attraction to a potential partner. And a shared interest in food allows you to engage in additional positive activities together - dining out, organising dinner parties and trying out new recipes.

When it comes to dating, people certainly make judgment calls based on many first impressions including your food preferences. These can come from all sorts of factors such as physical appearance, nonverbal communication, attitudes, and different behaviours and preferences. For instance, if we like what we see in a potential partner, before they have even spoken, we tend to perceive them as being more interesting, warm and outgoing, as well as happy and more professionally successful.”

Tips for dining success

John has fifteen years’ experience as a relationship psychologist and provides the following tips for making your dinner date a success:

1) Be punctual
2) Choose a restaurant that allows you to talk
3) Avoid messy meals
4) Ask questions and show interest in your date
5) Don't drink too much

The research
The research was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of MLA. The research surveyed 1,059 single Australians aged 18+. The sample distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. Approximately two hundred interviews were conducted in each state and the total was weighted to national proportions of single people.