I have a confession to make. When I was in college, I didn’t pay for a single drink when I went out to bars.
I usually went out with guy friends who liked to pick up the group tab, or I accepted free drinks from guys who were flirting with me. These weren’t my finest moments, and I’m certainly not proud of it, but I’m not the first young woman to do this. A recent study shows that many young women participate in "foodie calls" — going on dates simply for the free food.
What Is a “Foodie Call”?
A “foodie call” is when a woman goes on a date with a man for free food, and a recent study at Azusa Pacific University and U.C. Merced shows that up to 33% of women participate in this phenomenon.
When asked if she felt guilty about participating in this phenomenon, one woman said, “I don’t know if I could ever say I used a guy for that but there are perks to the dating life.”
A “foodie call” is when a woman goes on a date with a man for free food.
Another woman said, “I don’t want it to seem like I’m using him, so if I know I’m not going to see him again then I’ll pay for it and let that be that.”
When asked how he felt about the phenomenon, one man answered, “When I was dating I remember it was almost expected and the norm for the man to pay for the bill.”
I found this interesting because I've split the bill on the majority of first dates that I've been on. Though the majority of my first dates were absolute disasters, I never hesitated when a guy suggested that we should split the bill. At the same time, I wouldn’t hesitate if a guy offered to pick up the tab (note to self: start dating more chivalrous men) on a first date.
Is a “Foodie Call” Wrong?
The main question is whether or not engaging in a “foodie call” is inappropriate. One could argue that it’s the cost of the opportunity to go on a date with you, but it’s also easy to argue that you could be using the man or are being dishonest.
Is paying for your meal simply the cost of the opportunity to go on a date with you?
My two cents is that going on a date with the pure intention of getting free food without getting to know the guy is wrong because it’s rude, you’re wasting the guy’s time, and you’re using him. If you go on a date and the guy is a jerk but offers to pay for you, let him pay for you. If you like the guy and he offers to pay, it’s up to you as to whether or not you agree to split or let him pay. However, I would recommend splitting or paying on the second date.
The Dark Side of “Foodie Calls”
Though many of us can agree that this premise is humorous, the study also found something sinister about women who are likely to engage in this behavior. According to CBS Philadelphia, “Researchers in this particular study found that people who were likely to participate in foodie calls were also likely to have negative personality traits, such as narcissism, and more likely to engage in deceitful behavior.”
People who participate in foodie calls are likely to also be narcissistic and dishonest.
When you think about it, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Engaging in a “foodie call” is a pretty immature thing to do, and we all know that those who are narcissistic or emotionally immature play games in relationships.
It’s no secret that narcissism is on the rise in our society and that playing games in relationships are more and more common. Who knows, you could go on a “foodie call” with the intent of getting a free meal and meet a great guy, and shouldn’t we want to put our best foot forward when meeting new people?