In honor of National Women's Health Week, we're taking a closer look at how our lifestyle choices influence our love lives. Single or taken, our relationship with food is by far the most emotional. When you stop and think about it, food sneaks into our love lives in ways we don't even realize. We bond over dinner dates and share our deepest secrets with each other over cups of late night coffee. We toast glasses of wine to our significant other when we reach our anniversary milestones, and we indulge in sweets in the throes of a breakup ... only to start the cycle all over again when a new person catches our eye.
But there's no denying that eating — emotional or not — affects our lives in ways we don't fully appreciate. From being a vegetarian to late night snacking, these healthy (and not so healthy) ways that food is affecting your love life.
1. Men Prefer Vegetarians And Women Prefer Meat-Eaters
First of all, we're told not to judge someone on a first date by what they order, but let's be honest: we all do. And men are the biggest judgers. Luckily, lady vegetarians will love to hear this news: According to research from the dating app AYI. Their researchers found that men were 11 percent more likely to reach out to vegetarian women than carnivorous women. Interestingly enough, the opposite proved true for women: they were 13 percent more likely to reach out to meat-eating men than vegetarian men. (So what happens when two vegetarians meet on a date? Hmmm, I wonder...)
2. Feeling "Hangry" Causes Couples To Fight
Here's a reason not to skip lunch: Do you ever notice that you start to feel a building anxiety and even rage around the time you forgo a meal? It's called being "hangry" and it's ruining your relationship. Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, and his colleagues recruited over 100 married couples, and asked them to fill out a relationship satisfaction questionnaire. They measured their blood-glucose levels each night, seeing the biggest drops in blood sugar about five hours after supper. They noticed a direct link between the low blood sugar levels and feelings of aggression towards their spouse, proving that couples fight when they're hungry.
3. Soda Could Be The Culprit Behind Your "Headache" Excuse
Your daily afternoon can of soda could be hurting your chance of getting lucky between the sheets later that night. That's because these artificially sweetened energy boosters are also known mood killers. And if you're opting for the diet variety, you're also consuming an artificial sweetener called "aspartame." This sugar substitute causes headaches and low libido ... not sexy.
4. Watch Out If You've Been Drinking
If you find yourself getting hit on left and right at the bar, it might not have anything to do with you ... except what's in your glass. Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington set out to observe young singles mingling in bars. They found that a man's sexual advances against a woman didn't match his level of intoxication. Instead, it had to do with whether the woman appeared intoxicated. In the study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the team concluded that a man was more likely to approach a woman if he thought she was drunk out of her wits. (What a bunch of creeps!)
5. Eating Avocados Helps Couples In The Baby-Making Department
Research has found that women who follow a Mediterranean diet — including avocados — triple their chances of success for having the fertility treatment. Scientists funded by the US National Institutes of Health conducted a study of 147 women undergoing IVF at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. They discovered that monounsaturated fat — found in olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts and seeds — is better than any other kind of dietary fat. Those who ate the highest amounts were 3.4 times more likely to have a child after IVF than those who ate the lowest amounts.
6. People Agree: A Homecooked Meal Is An Act Of Love
Last year, YourTango conducted their annual Breakfast, Love & Dinner survey of over 1,000 readers and 75 of respondents agreed that preparing food for a date or partner is a significant act of love. I guess it goes to show that the way to someone's heart really is through their stomach. So get cookin'!