Good Idea/Bad Idea: Foodie Dating Site

Heart-shaped Egg | Photo: p!o/Flickr/Creative Commons License

For the most part, "doing the dating scene" is a terribly annoying venture. You get dressed up, go out, spend a few hours of awkward "getting-to-know-you" time making sure to act your most proper and appealing, all the while knowing the other party's also putting their most idealized version on display, meaning you can't really trust the date at all -- is this truly them or just their dating persona? -- meaning very little weight can be placed on the first few dates, meaning what was the point of spending the last few hours talking to that stranger at all?

And that's just talking about the good ones.

On the other side of the ledger, having a bad date is almost built into the equation: to realize what you yourself are looking for, you need to navigate the mind field of badness to know which boxes to check off the next time you go out.

At least, the dating scene used to be that horrific. Nowadays, with the combination of extended text message conversations and casually flirting through social networking platforms, daters can cull their field of potential partners more easily and acutely than ever before. The growing roster of niche dating websites helps matters even further. Care nothing about personality, only looks? Become a member of the kind of despicable Beautiful People. Need a fellow Christian or momma's going to be angry? ChristianSingles.com should be bookmarked. Does anyone speaking ill of Ayn Rand really get your goat? Become a member of The Atlasphere, which "connects admirerers of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged." So it's not shocking that a new website has decided to separate the good-dates-with-potential from the terrible-nights-with-people-you-never-want-to-see-again by looking at what kinds of food you eat.

As their opening page states -- in very poor spelling and faulty formatting, mind you -- SamePlate.com has a simple message for users: "No Preassure of Dating. JustStart a ConversationAbout FOOD!"

To find a potential mate, users enter the standard information of the kind of person (gender-wise) they're looking for, the age range they'll accept, and their zip code for ease of meeting up. But then, they offer two additional site-specific categories: "Foodie" and "Diet." Options for the former include everything from broad ideas ("American," "Mediterranean," "Holes in the Wall") to the creepily-specific ("Supermarket Prepared Food," "Ketchup on Everything," and the all-too-telling "Hot Dogs/Sausages"). Diet options range from the fabulous fads of "Atkins" and "Master Cleanse" to the more obscure "French Women Don't Get Fat Diet." It's pretty detailed, is the point.

But is this the best way to meet a potential mate? Do a date's food choices dictate whether or not you'll enjoy their company?

Let's take a look at some pros and cons of this venture.

Good Idea
- There's virtually nothing more important than eating. Literally. You'll die if you don't.
- Theoetically, it should be easier to find somewhere for a dinner date.
- A couple sharing any kind of passion is a positive. (Except, like, a passion for hating each other.)
- If you have the same dietary requirements or preferences, neither has to feel bad for keeping nightly meal options limiting.

Bad Idea
- A person's food preference is not that indicative of their personality, meaning this is an unnecessary extra step.
- It actually may be tougher to find a place to eat, seeing as you're both so passionate about food.
- You may keep yourself from being exposed to other types of foods you might end up liking.
- The saying "opposites attract" is around for a reason.

Which is to say, like any niche dating site this is probably perfect for the people who desperately need to have their date be on their same culinary page, and terrible for the rest of us.

So, then:


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About the Author

Rick Paulas has written plenty of things, some of them serious, many of them not, scattered over the vast expanses of the Internet. He lives in Los Angeles and is a White Sox fan.
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