Want to snag a man? Order meat!

Are you a vegetarian? Maybe you just don’t like the taste of red meat? Well careful ladies, cause you might not be able to snag a man!
The NYTimes today reports that eating red meat (particularly steak) and ordering it on a first date is a surefire way to hook the man of your dreams. The article starts with the story of Martha and her Match.com profile, where she mentioned red meat twice in her advertisement. Fast forward to a year later, and she’s engaged to Mr. Right, after numerous red meat centered dates. Martha used to be a meat-hating vegetarian, but changed her ways when she realized

That ordering steak on a first date had the potential to sate appetites not only of the stomach but of the heart. Red meat sent a message that she was “unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic,� she said, “that I’m not obsessed with my weight even though I’m thin, and I don’t have any food issues.� She added, “In terms of the burgers, it said I’m a cheap date, low maintenance.�

We’ve heard this line before haven’t we? What you decide to order on the first date is of the utmost importance. If you order too much, he might think you’re a pig…if you order only a salad, he might think you’re a waif with body image issues. So what’s the solution? Meat of course!

Ordering meat, on the other hand, is a declarative statement, something along the lines of “I am woman, hear me chew.�

Someone please tell me that the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is behind this. Are we seriously still in a time when this statement can pass muster?

Of course, there are always those rare women who order what they want and to heck with what a man might think.


Join the Conversation

  • patty

    Everybody knows that there are no vegetarian men after all. Right?
    That’s the problem with this kind of advice. It is directed at a specific class (and possibly race) of heterosexuals that doesn’t include strong women or anyone who doesn’t share the values or habits of the upper class mainstream.

  • Janet

    You are right Patty!
    Shit like this really makes me mad. I am a vegetarian, and being a farm girl just about everyone in my family and town think I am crazy! I used to (USED to being the key word) have a boyfriend who literally would guilt me into trying to eat meat, then I spend the next hour in the bathroom puking. His reasoning “It’s just not healthy to not eat meat, you’ll never be able to carry a baby full term not eating meat.” Well I have a daughter who is now 4 years old (and I was two weeks overdue) and she is as healthy as anyone, and I lived off of grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese pizza when I was pregnant.
    My reasoning for being a vegetarian is not because of cruelty to animals, or because I have body issues – it’s because when I was 10, I showed cattle in 4-H and after fair your steer got sent to the butchers, and then back home to your freezer. I never put much thought into until at dinner one night my sweet sweet brother says “Oh, we are eating your steer Casey tonight!” I looked at my hamburger in horror and started my vegetarian lifestyle. Of course, everyone thought it was just a phase, but I am now 24! Sometimes I wish I could eat a steak or juicy hamburger, but I have tried and my stomach can’t digest it.

  • VT Idealist

    Rare women…Oh, I do like me a good pun in the morning.
    Seriously, though, do people actually adjust their food orders to be deemed marriage worthy? That thought had never really occurred to me. I don’t think I would ever date someone based on their food order.
    It seems like if you start eating something to impress someone, you’re going to be stuck eating that thing forever, whether you really like it or not. It just seems counterproductive. The hole tome of the article is that women have to prove that they can play with the boys by ordering a burger or steak. And there’s a paragraph at the bottom talking about how guys can’t appear to manly in their food orders.
    You know what? If both people are pretending to be something they’re not, then why even date?
    I can see not ordering certain foods on your first date, for instance anything that makes you real gassy or anything real messy (I love ribs but probably will never order them on a first date). I guess in my eyes, going out is such a rare treat, that when I do go out for dinner, I’m getting something tasty, regardless on who is impressed by it.
    THe article mentions that women shouldn’t order a salad because they will seem waiflike and likely to have body issues. Has this guy seen some of the salads served in restaurants? Entree salads are quite large and filing. Some of them are full of just as many calories as other entrees as well, after you get done with the cheese, meat, bacon, and dressing. Sometimes I order these and just think *putting on my best Homer Simpson voice* …mmm…2000 calorie salad…
    As for the steakhouse owner being surprised at the number of women eating red meat, well, it’s a steakhouse, isn’t it? I know when I want a good steak, I’ll go to a nice steakhouse. If I wanted seafood, I’d go to a seafood restaurant. It just stands to reason.

  • Cheshire Katz

    To the rare women who order what they want, I say, well done.

  • http://wealhtheow.typepad.com wealhtheow

    Awesome. Now when I eat meat I can do so confident that everyone around me knows I’m doing so to impress my fellow diners, and not because I’ve been craving a good burger for weeks. I’m so relieved–I was really bothered that my dinner order might not be interpreted as a calculated attempt to please others instead of myself.

  • Pup, MD

    I was always thrilled when a woman a) ordered something that looked good, b) ate a reasonable amount of it, and c) saved me a bite if it was really yummy.
    My high school girlfriend enjoyed the “I order a steak, and he orders a salad” line, since I was the vegetarian, and she’s grown up into a liberal-hating Ann Coulter wannabe.
    If there’s a J-Date, there really needs to be a V-date for vegetarians.

  • http://radicaldoula.wordpress.com radicaldoula

    There is!
    Check out these dating services for veggies:
    A friend reports that the pickings are slim though(for those ladies looking for men at least)

  • Laurel

    @ Pup, MD, you ate the tofu, you drank the wine, now pay the bill. ;-)
    I order what sounds tastiest. If it’s super tasty, I stuff the second bite in my date’s mouth, just as I would anyone else, because damn, taste this!
    I eat meat now. I still insist no meal ever served could beat my ex-hub’s lentil sambar with saffron rice. If I am ever on death row, it’ll be my last meal, and he will have to cook it.

  • http://christinehennessey.blogspot.com evil_olive

    That’s funny. My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. After a year of dating, my eating habits inspired him to go vegetarian, too. I guess we must be doing something wrong.

  • http://www.veronicapare.com Roni

    I don’t think ordering differently because it was a first date has ever even crossed my mind. It worries me that there are people out there that take things like this very seriously.

  • Lucretia

    I’m horrified at this article on so many levels! ack!
    I generallt order a salad and a glass of water cause I don’t eat meat and don’t really drink. If people think less of me for that then that’s their issue. I also try to order cheap cause I respect the fact that who I’m with isn’t made of cash.
    My current boyfriend eats meat, and he’s actually really good about not eating it around me. It’s never been a problem, but then I suppose I don’t think I’d ever be attracted to the kind of guy who force a steak on me anyway.

  • giffy

    If I knew my date was changing her eating habits to impress me on a first date that would be a pretty big turn-off.
    But then I tend to look at peoples personality, character, intelligence, etc and not what they order off the menu. Though vegetarians are pretty sexy.

  • TheSoyMilkConspiracy

    I’ve always been amused by men who spout that whole “I love a woman who can eat burgers, fries, and beer like a man” line of bullshit, and then, in the same breath, turn around and say “no fatties.”
    Being that I’m one of those rare assholes who can eat whatever and stay thin, this tends to (admittedly unfairly) work in my favor. I’m a vegetarian and ex-vegan though, so apparently not so much. The idea that stuffing your face with dead animals makes ANYBODY attractive shows how goddamn stupid some people really are.

  • http://localdisturbances.blogspot.com bleubird

    Soymilk, exACTly! What bothered me about this article was this seemingly-throwaway line: …that I’m not obsessed with my weight even though I’m thin…
    Uh huh, uh huh, I see — and if you weren’t thin? Ten to one it’d be a different story. Eughhhh.

  • http://jeffpack.vox.com/ Jeff

    I think a big problem is that at a lot of restaurants the “diet” food and the vegetarian food are both synonymous and not very good.

  • Zrusilla

    Let’s see how Martha feels when Mr. Right dumps her for a slimmer model after a few years of chowing burgers and fries.

  • SarahMC

    To “snag” a man a woman must:
    1.) Not be a “career woman;”
    2.) Not be “too clever;”
    3.) Eat meat, whether she has a genuine taste for it or not;
    4.) Be thin despite her new-found eating habits.
    In summary, don’t be yourself.

  • http://www.okvoiceofreason.blogspot.com adrienne

    Hmmm…now I see the connection!!
    Before reading this I would have never drawn the line between being a lesbian and a vegetarian. But now, whew, it’s like an epiphany! This is an article to send home to mom.
    *serious sarcasm*

  • http://www.elainevigneault.com/2007/08/08/vegansexualism-part-deux.html Elaine Vigneault

    Fuck them and their horrid dating advice.
    I found the man of my dreams by being m myself, a vegetarian. The man I married was a vegetarian too and we’re madly in love.
    The NY Times can go fuck itself.

  • Spider Jerusalem

    I do believe my first date with my husband involved Matzo Ball soup, and very possibly a bagel somewhere. On the other hand, we didn’t know it was a date until much later. I don’t think I’ve ever been out on a “first date” really. I mean…you go out with a friend…you might end up as more, but that’s completely besides the point of companionship and tea.

  • http://profeministmale.wordpress.com ProFeministMale

    I think the point here, and I am starting to see it more and more, is that women are often used to advertise a cause – no matter how good or evil it is.
    Take PETA, for example. The organization would put pictures of women next to tons of vegetables and fruits, and proudly proclaim that vegetarians and vegans make better lovers – that they taste better and are better to make out with. In fact, once, they even staged couples making out on the street with signs that say “vegetarians make better lovers.”
    On a completely different, I made the mistake of ordering steak on the first date with this awesome and amazing feminist without knowing she was a vegetarian. :( It never worked out.
    In both this case and the case of the beef people, women are made out to be commodities, for their cause. Rather than focusing on the real issues, the organizations are using women as their selling points.
    It’s not a case that sex sells. It’s the case that women sell.

  • Doug S.

    This is both weird and a clear case of over-analyzing the situation and putting the emphasis on the wrong things. I really doubt that most people even think twice about what you order; they’re too busy worrying about how they’re coming across themselves.

  • Ann

    YES, Jeff. As a vegetarian, I get so annoyed that it’s seen as the “diet” option. I hate that, at most places, veggie burgers come with a side salad instead of fries.

  • Doug S.

    I like to order pasta.

  • Jayble

    The idea that you should be anyone other than yourself, or that you should order food other than what you like is sheer craziness to me. People blame feminism, but backwards advice like this is more responsible for the high divorce rate.
    For me, why on earth would I want to waste time on some loser who prefers me to pretend to be someone I am not? If a man isn’t interested in me because of me then he is a waste of my time. Changing your eating habits to “snag a man” – or for that matter trying “snag a man” instead of meet someone and falling in love with them – is utter bullshit.

  • Deborah

    Is there a subtext here about women with “appetites” who eat “meat”?

  • wagadog

    Oh! I almost forgot that my most important goal in life is to make myself attractive to men!
    I am so glad that there are articles like this in the NY Times to remind me.

  • http://moderatelyinsane.blogspot.com Sailorman

    People who are “weird about food” are, well, weird. About food. Which makes for sort of a tense evening if you’re on a dinner date, ya?
    I never cared about whether my date ate steak or poached beets. I cared whether she was weird about it.
    Ordering salad (if you want steak) because you don’t want your date to think, um, whatever… is weird. And ordering steak (if you just want a salad) for the same reason is also weird.
    Jeez, can’t people just order what they want, eat what they want, and enjoy their meals any more? Now, THAT is sexy.
    I actually think that many (not most, but many) women DO need to change their eating habits if they want to have more successful dates. They should stop eating what they “think” they should eat, or what they’re “supposed” to eat, and they should eat what they want to eat.
    Damn, all this talking about restaurants…
    Now I’m getting hungry again. :)

  • UltraMagnus

    Though this is purely anecdotal but I find this article strange since I know a lot of guys who’ve gone vegetarian to either impress a girl or to get to that next step with the woman they were dating. My best friend and her husband went vegetarian at the same time. Go figure. Though reading Janet’s comment I see that some guys pressure women into eating meat again but his whole reasoning was stupid, there’s more than one way to get protein.

  • http://mightymarce.blogspot.com/ Marcy

    I LOVE these articles that promise you that by doing X, Y, or Z you’re GUARANTEED to get a 2nd date!
    B/c I totally remember my first date with my husband. He was like, “Yeah, honey, I totally wasn’t into you– we had no chemistry, I wasn’t attracted to you, the conversation was boring… but then you ordered the STEAK and man, did that turn EVERYTHING around!!”

  • http://av0gadro.blogspot.com/ Av0gadro

    You know, four years into my marriage, I’m really glad I never hid my food preferences from my husband. Because I think by now we’d have a problem when he noticed I never serve red meat.
    On another note, I can’t wait to tell all the guys at fatfreevegan.com that they ought to be impressed when a woman orders a steak.

  • Incendria

    Everything that’s obnoxious about this article is right there in the title: “Be Yourselves, Girls, Order the Rib-Eye.”

  • http://www.kindlypogmothoin.com zuzu

    I’ve had plenty of steaks on first dates, and I’m still single.

  • http://pinstripebindi.vox.com june

    What the hell kind of message is this? Sell out your beliefs so you can snag a man?? And I say that as an unabashed carnivore. “Mr. Right” isn’t Mr. Right if he doesn’t respect your tastes and ideals.

  • http://www.seprah.com sepra

    This article is disgusting, like many of the articles telling women how to act on a date to impress a guy. Look, I love salads. I crave salads. When I am having a bad day, I think, “What I need right now is a humungous salad filled with lots of veggies.” To be told that instead I should order something that would literally turn my stomach so that I didn’t come across as “weak” or “obviously dieting” is the most ridiculous assumption. And would I want to date anyone that thought less of me if I didn’t have a big hunk of cow flesh? Well how about: the kind of man who would want me to eat meat to placate his ego is not a man I would tolerate.
    I also agree with Avogadro and would love to see what take Susan at fatfreevegan has of this too.

  • Scriptora

    Drinking is really the quicikest way to determine compatibility :)

  • Scriptora

    And, obviously drunk when I wrote this…
    Drinking is really the quickest way to determine compatibility :)

  • TheSoyMilkConspiracy

    AND, for the record, meat makes…human excretions (lady come and man come alike) taste like absolute ass. And not in a good way. Just saying.

  • TheSoyMilkConspiracy

    AND, for the record, meat makes…human excretions (lady come and man come alike) taste like absolute ass. And not in a good way. Just saying.

  • http://www.elainevigneault.com/2007/08/09/how-offensive-can-the-ny-times-be-let-me-count-the-ways.html Elaine Vigneault

    If anyone wants to tell the writer of that article what they think about it, his email address is

  • Katy

    Wow, I feel so blessed, vegetarian for 10 years and SOMEHOW managed to ‘snag’ a man, I must be one of the lucky ones!!!
    (Oh and is a steakhouse REALLY the only appropriate place for the first date?!?!?!)

  • Katy

    Wow, I feel so blessed, vegetarian for 10 years and SOMEHOW managed to ‘snag’ a man, I must be one of the lucky ones!!!
    (Oh and is a steakhouse REALLY the only appropriate place for the first date?!?!?!)

  • jeff

    As a somewhat-conscientious meat-eater myself, I’m always impressed when a woman is a vegetarian – I just kinda consider them to be better than me. Not only would I crave meat, but eating vegetarian and healthy is a commitment that would be difficult to make, time-and-effort wise. Still, I’ve gotten better – I have a vegetarian roommate so if she plans the food, no meat for me.

  • Jane Minty

    AND, for the record, meat makes…human excretions (lady come and man come alike) taste like absolute ass. And not in a good way. Just saying.
    Actually, this is based more on whether the man is taking care of himself period. I’ve dated a few vegetarians who were still a nutritional trainwreck. The ones with balanced, healthy diets no matter what they consumed tasted just fine.

  • jeff

    Is there a way for something to taste like ass in a good way?
    In any case, I think this demands some kind of blind taste test type of study, so we can find out once and for all.

  • oenophile

    Well, I had never been so much as kissed until I became vegetarian. Correlation? Who knows.
    I’m sure that this woman found a guy, but I’m not sure if he’s really worth having. Honestly, if you wouldn’t date a girl because she eats pasta, don’t you have some issues yourself?
    The men I’ve dated know that I eat a lot. High metabolism and athletic – I need to eat constantly so as to not appear anorexic. One of the guys I dated said that I have the healthiest appetite of any woman he’s met. Other men have told me that I have the great skin that healthy vegetarians have.
    In our meat-eating society, people are often surprised when I tell them that I’ve been vegetarian for 1/3d my life, in part because it’s better for MY body. I’m always clear that it’s about how I react to meat (and meat products – I’m healthiest when almost vegan), and I honestly don’t care what other people eat. Not my body. As a runner, I found that I was able to increase my mileage and decrease my injuries (what a great combo!) when I stopped eating meat.
    I love food. I like to eat. Any man who is turned off by my specific choices in those areas isn’t worth having.
    Rant over.

  • PamelaV

    The author can HAVE the idiots who would eat a steak to impress them.
    While some people do put on the “vegetarian” label to restrict their eating for body image reasons (the same way they could say they are doing “Low carb” or this or that), that is for the vast part, inaccurate as far as reasons go. Many vegetarians, including myself have researched and come to our own conclusions for why this lifestyle is best for us. At least with vegans, it is a lifestyle, NOT a diet. I am certainly not on a diet.
    I would like to clear up something- just because it is vegetarian doesn’t mean it is “diet” or “healthy”. It also doesn’t mean it is lacking in any way to traditional meat-filled cuisine. Unfortunately, all of us have had a cardboard “vegetarian” cookie or something and it has ruined it for some people.
    Vegetarian and vegan food has so many options and just because people don’t tap into what they can, it makes us all look like we much carrots all day and it’s pretty ridiculous.
    There is so much food out there! There’s also a ton of greasy bad-for-you vegetarian/vegan junk food so don’t be fooled.
    Personally, I would not want a long-term relationship with someone who eats meat. To me, meat is NOT sexy, and I don’t want to be around it and I certainly wouldn’t want to kiss someone with meat breath. That’s just me. Then again, I am probably not the type of girl this person wants.
    I love how the time “be yourself, just as I will now describe to you what “yourself” really means..”

  • Ledlight

    I have to say, my boyfriend and I have HUGE appetites and love food – quite a few “romantic” dinners have degenerated into silent (and surprisingly vicious!) spoon battles over the last mouthful of dessert. Eating and cooking together, and trying new foods, is a really enjoyable part of our relationship.
    While I would have no problem with him being vegan or having certain dietary restrictions (as Jeff said, I’d probably be impressed by his discipline), I would have a problem if he was always watching what he ate calorie-wise (and I’m not including people here who genuinely need to lose weight for health reasons). There’s nothing less enjoyable than going out to dinner with someone who only orders an entree even though they’re clearly hungry, or who asks the waiter to let them know every single ingredient and cooking method for everything on the menu so they don’t accidently ingest a gram of fat.
    Even though I know it’s the fault of unrealistic beauty standards and BS like this article telling women what they should eat to put across a certain image, I would have a bit of a problem dating someone who was so deeply insecure and self-absorbed, and unable to enjoy something that I really love.
    At the same time, if the person was perfect for me in every other way, I wouldn’t let food (or lack thereof) be the deciding factor. I’d just try to nurture their self-esteem and love of food…

  • SingOut

    A friend convinced me to sign up for match.com a few years back, and I read so many profiles from men who all said the same thing, almost verbatim – that they were looking for a woman who’s thin and beautiful but doesn’t know it, and certainly doesn’t care about it.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-goldstein/beyond-walter-reed-the-d_b_46720.html Nancy in NYC

    Some commentary from a queer former waitress:
    Clearly this article is a typical NYT asshat special. That said, having spent a good decade watching women invariably order (and then pick at) chicken or a salad on dates while the guy wolfed down a steak, it does my heart some good to hear that at least women are eating again (even if it’s for that worst of all reasons: because they think that the way they order and eat will impress some guy).
    And of course the article takes it for granted that all dating is heterosexual dating. As a queer woman who has been subjected to all of the other body image crap that every woman has dumped on her, and who dated other women who live with the same issues, I must admit a weakness for women who: a) order dessert without making any comments about how they shouldn’t, b) eat heartily and unapologetically, c) share food, and d) aren’t squeamish about taking a bite off of my plate or letting me take a bite off of theirs.