There is no mistake when it comes to romance, the mouth plays a very important part of our connection. First, there is the smile which is what initially attracts us to someone and then we connect with what comes out of someone’s mouth, the conversation the way they communicate, their teeth, the lips are all important components of attraction. Next, to the eyes, no other area of the body is viewed more.
What we do with our mouths both verbally and non-verbally forms the basis for the beginning of every relationship. Not only is it designed as a verbal tool it is how we nourish ourselves. The mouth is also used in nonverbal communication to taste life so we take it seriously even though we may not realise it. A baby, for example, will pick up a rock, or a piece of glass and without thinking put it straight in its mouth. Anyone witnessing a child will often grimace at what is about to be experienced not just for the potential danger of illness or harm but because we can’t bear to watch something which has a negative effect on our brain
The importance of human interaction and the correlation food plays as a source of communication helps humans’ bond with a set of rituals and traditions which vary in different cultures but are evident in every country and society which in turn extends to social groups and families, who often form their own traditions.
Food has long been used for more than just a means of survival. It helps form a part of nonverbal communication to demonstrate respect, or as a form of celebration, negotiation, love, caring and connection.
Examples we see include the man being seated at the head of the table which represented the head of the family or person of power, not eating the food on the table until the person who cooked it ate first, the blessing of the food with prayer, eating everything you put on your plate. These were/are all actions which demonstrated a form of respect and gratitude. Sitting down at the dinner table to share family time and talk about the day, cooking for the people you love, taking your loved one out for an intimate meal, romantic picnics outdoors, preparing special food for someone sick, all acts of nonverbal communication to show the people who are important to you that you want to nourish and sustain them.
There is no disputing how the sharing of food communicates so much more than just simply eating, which brings to light the mistakes you are making with this socially powerful, nonverbal act of communication is inadvertently affecting your chances of scoring a partner.
Being unaware of the mating ritual and etiquette your nonverbal communication reveals to your date in the consumption of food is a powerful message and one which should not be squandered.
I believe the lazy coffee date and the lack of understanding of the importance of the ritual of sharing food is the knee jerk reaction to people’s failing communication.
6 Mistakes you need to avoid when sharing food
The important key to understand here is not solely in the choice of food, it is the clusters of nonverbal messages and reactions which result in the experience for both the person watching and eating.
1. Choosing food which requires two hands to pick up and eat while you are sitting opposite them.
Watching someone navigate a burger into their mouth with the proportion of food going in to the size of the mouth is a turn off, particularly when there is always food which stays on the outside of the mouth and requires cleaning after every mouthful, anything which is seen outside of the mouth in the eating ritual will cause the person watching to have a microexpression of disgust especially if it’s lingering in your beard.
2. Messy food which must be eaten with your fingers and torn off the bone with your teeth like, ribs or chicken wings and crabs.
There is nothing more disturbing than watching your date lick their fingers like a mother cat cleaning her young nor seeing the meat stuck in your teeth and the crushing of crab shells depicting the slaying of the food which lays before you.
3. Whilst you may enjoy a bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night it is best saved for the comforts of home
Soup has a limited window of opportunity in which to be consumed, it’s either too hot which causes you to slurp but left too long it’s cold and unenjoyable so the natural reflex is to paddle it in quickly and get low to the bowl to minimise the spilling of its contents on the journey to your mouth. There is no eye contact during eating soup which causes disconnection and awkward silences.
4. If you haven’t been shown or don’t have the skill to eat spaghetti without sucking it up as it dangles from your mouth don’t order it.
Not only do you have control where the residual sauce flies off, in order to suck up spaghetti you have to purse your lips which is a negative, nonverbal form of communication as it sends the message that you are not in a favourable agreeable frame of mind even though you might be, so if you’ve ever wondered why it’s not pleasant watching someone suck up spaghetti there is more to it than simply the noise.
5. How do you sound? Independent of how you eat the noise level in which you break down your food is collectively between the sexes the second biggest turn-off.
Not only do you have control where the residual sauce flies off, in order to suck up spaghetti you have to purse your lips which is a negative, nonverbal form of communication as it sends the message that you are not in a favourable agreeable frame of mind even though you might be, so if you’ve ever wondered why it’s not pleasant watching someone suck up spaghetti there is more to it than simply the noise. As much as sight plays an impact on nonverbal communication the ears are also sensitive to what’s being transmitted. It’s great to eat healthily but chomping on carrots and certain raw salads or noisy nachos, tacos or pork crackle can induce feelings of unpleasantness.
6. The biggest turn off you can make in the important ritual of sharing food is your unconscious poor manners.
Putting so much food in your mouth that breaking it down requires the shuffling of it from cheek to cheek, communication halts as your date patiently observes the food being macerated by overworked molars. Eating with your mouth open and attempting to tell your life story while the last mouthful is bulging inside your left cheek with the threat it could spray a sample at any given time. The lack of regard shown to people serving the food to you is in most people’s perception enough to say no to a second date.