Deciding what to order on a first date is stressful.
This is especially true if you're like me, and what you actually want to order is usually the most expensive item on the menu and/or something giant and messy that will probably end up smeared across your face.
But what is the right thing to order? Like, if I get a salad, I'm a basic bitch. But if I order a double cheeseburger with bacon, he's going to think I'm disgusting. And if I order the chargrilled octopus, I look like a douche.
THERE'S NO WINNING.
Well, actually, a new study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Chicago proves there actually is something you can order that will guarantee you some points in your date's book.
It turns out, the best way to make your date like you more is to — drumroll, please — copy them. Yep, you read that correctly. Copy them. Throw all of that garbage your mom told you about being yourself out the window and order a similar meal.
Through a series of tests — ranging from whom participants were more likely to trust with their money all the way to whom participants were more likely to engage in business negotiations with — the study's findings proved people were more likely to trust and enjoy the company of people who ordered similar foods as them.
In a statement, one of the study's co-authors, Ayelet Fishbach, explained that although human beings tend to believe logic guides the majority of their decision-making, the fact of the matter remains that food preferences really do influence our thinking.
Fishbach, a professor in the business school at the University of Chicago, continued,
On a very basic level, food can be used strategically to help people work together and build trust.
And this sort of trust-building based on food preferences isn't just limited to first dates. No, researchers believe this can be extended to early friendships, blind dates and even co-workers.
This all being said, I'm a big believer in being yourself. If your date is ordering a double cheeseburger and you really do want him to like you, but you're both gluten-free and dairy-free, don't torture yourself. The right guy will like you no matter what you order.
Citations: A recipe for friendship: Similar food consumption promotes trust and cooperation (Journal of Consumer Psychology), Want to Build Rapport? Eat Similar Foods (PsychCentral), Recipe For Love: What You Order At A Restaurant Could Positively Influence Your Relationships (Medical Daily)