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The Struggle of the Dating World: Many Go on a Date Just for a Free Meal

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The dating world is tough, that's no secret. While many women might feel nervous about first dates, men might have even more reasons to worry since new research finds about 23-33% of women dating only to get free food, engaging in a so-called foodie call. Even if done occasionally, many women confessed to having set up a date with someone they weren't romantically interested in since they only wanted to get a free meal.

Somewhat not surprisingly, the women who found foodie calls to be acceptable, also scored higher on darker personality traits and deceptive actions like narcissism, faking orgasms, one-night stands or other traits like that.

Since admitting a foodie call portrays someone in a bad light, it's clear that the results of the research might not be accurate since some women might not admit they've engaged in such activity. What's more, the researchers believe that a foodie call might not be just a “female thing” – both genders might engage in it, especially now that traditional gender roles are fading.

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Foodie calls are becoming more and more prominent nowadays, but the action is actually nothing new. In 2017, the New York Post gave insights into the world of foodie calls on the example of women who purposely found men who would take them to expensive restaurants they couldn't afford on their own budget. As one woman confessed: she chose a date only because the guy seemed successful and lonely.

Many New Yorkers are engaging in foodie calls regularly since it allows them to try great restaurants without breaking their budget.

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The moral dilemma: is a foodie call wrong?

Foodie calls pose a real moral dilemma. On one side, there's the clear deception: you're going out with someone while knowing you have no intention of even talking to the person again.

On the other side, there's a “service”: as some women explain, they're offering their time and conversation for a simple meal. Many men understand that the beautiful woman they've taken out might not really be interested in them but they still enjoy the company, even for that one night. In a way, it's a two-sided game where both understand the other one's endgame.

So is it wrong to engage in foodie calls? It depends on your own moral compass.

To make a foodie call more “legit”, it's essential not to lead the guy on too much. Don't pretend to be interested in his hobbies, stay true to yourself and be honest. And at the same time, don't sell your date short too early either – even if initially you think you're not interested, you might end up liking your date.

Foodie call gets morally challenged if you give an impression of being genuinely interested, lead the guy on and give him hope.

How to know your date is legitimate, not just a foodie call

Traditional gender roles are tough to break but they are breaking slowly and steadily. Even if foodie calls are more common among women, things might be the other way around as well, especially if you're a successful (and possibly older) woman. Similarly to women finding men who look successful and seem capable of paying hefty restaurant bills, men might “hunt” in the same way, swiping right whenever they see a potentially successful woman.

So how to know your date is not just after free food? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. He's too eager to go on a date

Ever met a guy who barely talked to you before pushing you two to go on a date? Before figuring out if you even want to go on a date with someone, it's normal to at least talk a bit to figure out if you might be compatible.

If a guy is too pushy with going on a date, it's a definite red flag.

2. He doesn't like an idea of NOT going to a restaurant

A bigger red flag occurs when you propose going somewhere without any food – for example, going on a walk or a picnic in a park.

To figure out if a guy is only after a free meal in a fancy restaurant, firstly offer to go on a walk. If he is completely against doing anything not food-related, it's a sign he's not really interested in you. If he's interested in you as a person, he wouldn't mind just going out with you, no matter where you're going.

3. He proposes only expensive restaurants

Even if you'd like to go to a restaurant yourself, things get shady when your date pushes expensive restaurants on you and disagrees whenever you propose anything more moderately priced. Similarly to New York women who were described above, many men might fish for successful women who would take them somewhere they couldn't afford to go themselves.

4. He doesn't want to chat much

Things get even shadier when your potential date doesn't seem to be too interested in what you have to say and tends to give you only one-word replies with an occasional proposal to go on a date and then talk more. This manipulative tactic is used all too often and indicates a possible “fisherman” who isn't looking for an actual partner.

If he's interested in you or in finding a partner, he'd have an actual conversation with you via text or call as well, not just face to face.

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5. He brags too much

If a guy seems to be too attached to material things or luxurious experiences, it might be a sign of someone who's only after a foodie call in an expensive restaurant which they could add to their “achievements” – after the date, they can share an experience of a fancy restaurant without even having paid for the meal themselves. Braggers are suspicious and better to be avoided!

Have you engaged in a foodie call or consider this dating phenomenon to be morally iffy ground? Either way, keep this new dating trend in mind so you could successfully avoid “foodie dates”.

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