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Dating & Relationships

Best way to heat up your love life is to get into the kitchen

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Beautiful woman looking at her husband who is cooking at home

Looking to please your partner? Start in the kitchen, not the bedroom.

Seven in 10 Americans polled in a new survey agreed that whipping something up for their partner in the kitchen is far more intimate than having sex.

The study asked 2,000 Americans in a relationship how cooking plays into their relationships and found 79% believe good food is the most surefire way to someone’s heart.

The ability to cook is so important, in fact, 43% of respondents said they’ve ended relationships in the past if their partner was a bad cook.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of meal kit company, HelloFresh, the survey found three-quarters of those polled said they’re more likely to go on a date with someone they know can cook.

In fact, in addition to being kind and having a good sense of humor, the ability to cook is considered one of the most attractive traits a potential partner can have.

Food and romance appear to be quite connected. Sixty-five percent agreed that if the meal on a date is bad, the date will be bad too, whereas 72% said the outcome will be better if the food hits the mark.

The ability to cook may be a turn-on, but going out to eat can raise some red flags about a new partner.

Over half of respondents said if their date is rude to the staff (56%) or chews with their mouth open (52%), they may not be calling them for a second date.

If you’re thinking about snagging a fry off your date’s plate – think twice; 47% said it’s an immediate turn-off when their date eats off their plate without asking first.

Just over a quarter (27%) of respondents are also turned off when their date doesn’t tip well or has one too many cocktails (26%).

Respondents shared that it takes four dates for them to feel comfortable shifting the environment of their dates to their partner’s home and five dates for them to feel comfortable hosting their date for dinner.

After you reach this point, 81% of respondents agreed that the relationship is serious when you start cooking for your partner – and men were more likely to agree with this than women (85% vs. 78%).

Once their dates are in the comfort of their own homes, 78% of those surveyed said their cooking skills actually improved – citing that they're more likely to cook at home than go out to dinner (67%) and use this as an opportunity to spend more time with their partner (58%).

“Cooking can be an intimate activity that creates bonds and brings people together, so we encourage couples to get in the kitchen to spend some quality time together preparing a meal,” said Kristin Bryan, Director of Culinary Innovation at HelloFresh. “Cooking should be fun and easy, no matter your culinary experience so we are proud that 48% of survey respondents attribute their improved cooking skills to using meal kits.” 

When it comes down to deciding what to do for date night, 49% of respondents prefer a home-cooked meal over going out (33%).

In fact, 73% agreed certain foods are more romantic when cooked at home – with chocolate and strawberries topping the list of “sexiest” foods.

Forty-five percent said the top disagreement they have with their partner is where to go out to eat and 35% often quarrel over what to cook for dinner.


  1. Kindness - 46%
  2. A sense of humor - 42%
  3. Intellect/intelligence - 40%
  4. Good listener - 39%
  5. Confidence - 35%
  6. The ability to cook - 32%
  7. Similar political views - 26%


  1. Where to go out to eat - 45%
  2. My partner doesn’t cook as often as I’d like them to - 42%
  3. One of us followed a recipe incorrectly - 42%
  4. What to cook for dinner - 35%
  5. What groceries to buy - 37%
  6. What the grocery budget should be - 20%
  7. Who should cook dinner - 10%

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