A new form of dating is emerging, termed the “foodie call,” where a person sets up a date with someone they are not romantically interested in just to get a free meal.
New research finds that 23 percent to 33 percent of women in an online study say they’ve engaged in a “foodie call.”
Further analysis by researchers found that women who scored high on the “dark triad” of personality traits — psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism — as well as expressed traditional gender role beliefs, were most likely to engage in a foodie call and find it acceptable.
Researchers conducted two studies. In the first, 820 women were recruited, with 40 percent reporting they were single, 33 percent married, and 27 percent saying they were in a committed relationship but not married. Out of them, 85 percent said they were heterosexual, and they were the focus for the study, researchers reported.
The women answered a series of questions that measured their personality traits, beliefs about gender roles, and their foodie call history. They were also asked if they thought a foodie call was socially acceptable.
According to the study’s findings, 23 percent of women in this group revealed they’d engaged in a foodie call. Most did so occasionally or rarely.
Although women who had engaged in a foodie call believed it was more acceptable, most women believed foodie calls were “extremely” to “moderately” unacceptable.
The second study analyzed a similar set of questions of 357 heterosexual women and found 33 percent had engaged in a foodie call.
For both groups, those who engaged in foodie calls scored higher in the “dark triad” personality traits.
“Several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behavior in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures,” said Brian Collisson of Azusa Pacific University.
Collisson and co-researcher Trista Harig said they became interested in the subject of foodie calls after reading about the phenomenon in the news.
As for how many foodies calls might be occurring in the United States, Collisson says that can’t be inferred from the current research.
“They could be more prevalent, for instance, if women lied or misremembered their foodie calls to maintain a positive view of their dating history,” he says.
The researchers note that foodie calls could occur in many types of relationships, and could be perpetrated by all genders.
Researchers say it is important to note that neither of the studies recruited representative samples of women.
“So we cannot know if these percentages are accurate for women in general,” they explained.
The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.