Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Food Love~ The Relationship Between Food, Love, and Psychology?

I may have mentioned before that my fabulous husband formats all my books for me. He won't read them, but he formats them, so I guess he catches the stray word here and there.

He was formatting Call Me Yours for me and was like- Why the hell are you writing about meatballs? I just shook my head and laughed, it was one part and I thought it was weird he picked that up.

A little while later he goes- Mmm, bagels. We should get some bagels.

I look up, remembering that later in my book my character is eating a bagel.

I realized my characters eat a lot. More than the average author? I don't know. Perhaps I am just a food-centric individual.

I actually read a vampire series by Chloe Neill called Chicagoland Vampires. This is probably my favorite current book series and the main character in them is always eating and loves food. The author is constantly referencing local Chicago cuisine and favorite street food. So much so that it makes me hungry when I read them and it also makes me want to visit Chicago. (The eating is all between kick ass vampire fighting and sexual tension- but even vamps gotta eat.)

A lot of the foods in my books fall into the comfort food category. It would make sense when I am writing a romance novel about people falling in love that they would be sharing/cooking some comfort food dishes.

Cooking can be a very intimate experience to share together. Well, I view it as intimate because of the size of our kitchen. You can't open our refrigerator if someone is standing in front of the sink.

But the thing is- there is something about chopping up salad fixings at the counter while my husband cooks something at the stove beside me. It makes my heart smile, it makes me happy that we both appreciate each other enough to want to share a nice meal together.

Even if you aren't as much of a food lover as I am, the fact of the matter is, we need to eat! Anyone remember Psych 101?

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? (I know, you're all like, I clicked this link to read about sex and now she's all talking about psychology- just stick with me a second.)

Eating is a physiological need that needs to be met before you can move up in the hierarchy and get to higher level stuff like social interactions- including and not limited to romantic relationships.

The whole tried and true typical date night scenario of dinner and a movie actually fulfills two levels of Maslow's Hierarchy. First, filling a physiological need of eating and then giving/getting safety from your date when you snuggle in close and hide your eyes during all the scary parts of the movie. 

Maslow probably wasn't thinking about love and dating when he came up with his theory, but it still fits.

Also, in looking at this again (I had to reference something- it's been a while since college) don't think I failed to notice that sex is a full two levels below romantic relationships/intimacy.

Just some food for thought...


  1. Interesting, Casey. It's been weird in my nano-novel this year; my MCs' are on a cyber date that started with them on laptop/tablet doing video chat as they are cooking their dinners. Further I've been playing with this article I read about 11 things missing from modern dates and that author specifically says he thinks first dates should be dinners, not dinners and a movie because you should talk. I probably talk as much as you about "food," but I tend to mention sipping on drinks far more often. Between my anorexia and hypoglycemia, food is still a difficult subject for me

    1. I agree that for a first date you probably shouldn't go anywhere where you can't talk. That kind of defeats the purpose of the date. I am sure since movie theaters were invented the object of taking your date to a movie was to get her close up next to you and in the dark ;)

  2. Eating also fills love and belonging needs--it's very social. How many family/ friend events revolve around food? People are fed at weddings and funerals. Every holiday has a meal associated with it. Parties end up in the kitchen. Women "do lunch." When people congregate, they eat.

    1. Eating is very social. Also, I forgot, I want to be a lady that lunches when I grow up. How do I get that gig? I'm sort of awesome at lunch.

  3. You made me think--my upcoming book has several different meals. Lol. But I agree with Cara, that's part of friendship and love--cooking and eating together. Awesome post.

  4. I'm going to go out on a limb and say most romance I read has food in it. And I usually have a reaction to the food depending on how it's described. I will "for no reason" have a sudden craving. Then I'll realize it's what the characters in a book I'm reading ate. It's not as bad as when I'm writing about my characters eating.

    And I can tell you the type of food each of my characters eat on a daily basis off the top of my head. It's one of the first things I think of when I'm mentally building a character.

    1. I love that you plan your characters food menus. That makes me love you even more, Aubrey!

  5. Yep, I'm all about the food. In the chef book, both the hero and heroine are turned on by good food... :)

    1. Food porn! I can't wait to read that one. I am turned on by food. Actually, more turned on by someone cooking for me. I can be wooed with a nice piece of meat :)

  6. mmm, I love steak, lobster and red wine from my favorite restaurant.
    So delicious!~

    Watching a character eat- either in a book or on the screen does something for me.
    I remember just HAVING to make braciole because I saw Debra making it on an episode of a sitcom my hubby used to watch.

    It sounded soooooooo good!
    Mine was ok. Too much effort for the payout, LOL.

  7. Casey I loved this post! It's so true that food/cooking it can be such an intimate activity. Also, as a person from Chicago, if you ever go there, eat as much as you can. We have pretty awesome food. :-)