You Can’t Fall in Love with Me — I Don’t Cook!

Why is This a Dating Deal Breaker?

Roz Warren, Writing Coach


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Jeff was engaging, funny and successful. After meeting through a dating site, we enjoyed a number of email exchanges and several phone conversations. We were really connecting. Until I mentioned that I don’t cook.

There was a pause. “What do you mean, you don’t cook?” he asked.

“I mean that I don’t cook.”

“Not at all?”


“How can you not cook?” he asked. “What do you eat?”

“I eat takeout. I throw together a salad. I eat out.”

“But you don’t cook?” he asked plaintively. “Ever?”

I could feel the energy draining out of the conversation. And it wouldn’t be the first time.

Most men seem to expect women to be able to cook. Specifically, men want women to prepare them a delicious home-cooked meal. It wasn’t that Jeff loved spending time in the kitchen. He didn’t. But? He expected me to.

“You’ll never get a home-cooked meal from me,” I told him. “If you need a woman who will cook for you, you’re going to have to find someone else.”

And he did.

My inability to cook for Jeff was a deal-breaker. Never mind that I’m smart and loving and loyal and accomplished. I’m a good friend. And a good kisser. I can make you laugh. (I’m a successful humorist. I’ve even been on the Today Show!)

But because I couldn’t whip up a delicious beef stroganoff?

Jeff was outta there.

I find this exasperating, if only because it’s so gendered. Can you imagine a woman turning down an otherwise wonderful man upon learning that he would never prepare her a tasty dinner? Of course you can’t.

Saul and I were introduced by a mutual friend. We had a lot in common and enjoyed each other’s company. Early on, when I mentioned that I didn’t cook, he made no comment. I took that as a good sign.

Then, one night, he suggested that he’d like to come over for dinner. Which, naturally, he expected me to prepare for him.



Roz Warren, Writing Coach

Writing Coach and Editor Roz Warren ( will help you improve and publish your work.