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Coffee with Your Ex Less Threatening than Lunch, Jealous Partners Say

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on July 13, 2012

Coffee with Your Ex Less Threatening than Lunch, Jealous Partners Say What is wrong with having an innocuous lunch meeting with an old flame?

Apparently a lot, suggests a new research study that finds meeting with an ex-lover over coffee is a much better way to maintain harmony at home.

“Our research suggests that sharing lunch involves more than the physical consumption of calories,” conclude co-authors Kevin M. Kniffin and Brian Wansink of Cornell University.

Their new paper, “It’s Not Just Lunch: Extra-Pair Commensality Can Trigger Sexual Jealousy,” appears in the journal PLoS ONE.

In the study, the researchers measured the amount of jealousy reported by current romantic partners if one of them were contacted by an ex-lover and subsequently engaged in several food- and drink-based activities.

“We consistently found that meals elicit more jealousy than face-to-face interactions that do not involve eating – such as having coffee,” Kniffin said. “These results are consistent for both men and women.”

Experts say the study suggests that men and women who “do lunch” run the risk of a jealous spouse or partner at home.

“It’s key to remember that from your spouse’s perspective, it’s not ‘just lunch.’ While meals can strengthen social relationships, they can also destroy them,” Wansink said.

Source: Cornell University

Couple eating dinner photo by shutterstock.

 

APA Reference
Nauert, R. (2012). Coffee with Your Ex Less Threatening than Lunch, Jealous Partners Say. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/07/13/coffee-with-your-ex-less-threatening-than-lunch-jealous-partners-say/41553.html