“Foodie call”: the “dark” personality traits associated with dating for a free meal

An image to illustrate foodie calls, the behaviour of dating for a free meal, and how this is associated with personality traits
© iStock/fudfoto

A “foodie call” is dating someone for the free meal offered on the date rather than romantic interest. But what does it say about the person’s personality traits?

The new research found that the 23-33 percent of the women in an online study have engaged in a “foodie call”, dating for the free meal perk rather than from romantic motivation. The study notes that this behaviour can occur in any types of relationships or genders. The study assessed the personality traits associated with this, which include narcissism and psychopathy.

The “dark triad” of personality traits

According to the researchers, the “dark triad” of personality traits is:

  • Psychopathy;
  • Machiavellianism; and
  • Narcissism.

The social and personality psychology researchers found that of the women studied, those who scored high on the “dark triad” of personality traits and expressed beliefs in traditional gender roles were more likely to find a foodie call acceptable and engage in that behaviour.

One of the researchers, Brian Collisson, added: “Several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behaviour in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures.”

The study sample

According to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, in the first study, 820 women were recruited, of which:

  • 40 percent reported that they were single;
  • 33 percent were married; and
  • 27% saying they were in a committed relationship but not married. Out of them, 85% said they were heterosexual, and they were the focus for this study.

The second study analysed 357 heterosexual women with similar questions and found 33 percent of them had engaged in a foodie call. “Neither of these studies recruited representative samples of women, so we cannot know if these percentages are accurate for women in general”, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology notes.

How prevalent are foodie calls?

Collisson commented: “They could be more prevalent, for instance, if women lied or misremembered their foodie calls to maintain a positive view of their dating history.”

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