I once had a friend who swore that if he was dating a woman and saw the soundtrack to The Big Chill in her record collection, he would break up with her. Music snobs can be cruel. But what about food snobs? Are there certain food habits or dining experiences that would be romantic deal-breakers for those among us who have strong opinions about local/seasonal/sustainable/artisanal?

Chowhounds have a lot to say on this topic, in the “Dumped because of food choices” thread. There was the guy who advised his date to load up on free samples at Costco so he wouldn’t have to buy her as much at dinner. Or the girl who pronounced Chablis “chaaa-bliss” in a fancy French place, to the embarrassment of her date. My favorite quote is from Babette_feasts:

“Dinner was, unfortunately, exactly as he described—pasta with a whole lot of canned seafood, then overcooked. I’d brought a bottle of white wine, so he pulled out some cheesy brass (?) goblets that made the wine taste horrible. But like I said, there were other things … like the Xmas wrapping paper from his kid’s presents still all over the floor in mid-January.”

I recently suffered a pretty severe blow when I learned that my boyfriend of two years enjoys chicken on pizza. Chicken is not an appropriate topping for pizza. However, it wasn’t a deal-breaker. What is, is: Splenda, hazelnut coffee, margarine, Diet Coke, and slimy compressed ham lunch meats with rounded edges. If my boyfriend brings any of that home, we’re through.

A survey of friends and coworkers revealed that, for many self-professed food lovers, overt health consciousness is a major turnoff. Said one:

“We went to Wichcraft and he had the gall to order a kick-ass club sandwich sans bacon. It was partially the fact that anyone would omit bacon from anything where it was not only offered but pretty essential to the meaning of the food, but also partially the annoying tone of superiority he used when announcing to me that he intended to hold it. ‘What are you gonna get? I’m goin’ club sandwich, hold the bacon, of course.’ He also purchased two of the largest bottles of water I have ever seen and refused to leave until we had both finished them fully.”

Eating crappy food is a gimme deal-killer, but the opposite can be equally unappealing.

“Any guy who has a strong feeling about microgreens or insists on buying expensive wine when it’s unnecessary,” lists one of my coworkers. “I find gratuitous displays of wealth highly unattractive.”

What's a bigger turn off?

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Image source: Flickr member Zamantha under Creative Commons

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