The biggest dilemma a couple can face is not knowing where to eat. You know the age old conversation: “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, what do you want to eat.” My boyfriend and I have faced this challenge many a time and we’ve found the perfect solution: cooking together!

I am a big proponent for cooking as a couple.

Aside from being a romantic experience, cooking together can also be fun and therapeutic.

Here are some more reasons for why cooking as a couple can be a great experience:

1. Cost

Cooking is just more cost effective than eating out. That said, a meal out at a nice, reasonably priced restaurant runs between $15-$20 dollars while some of the easiest dishes to cook can cost far less than that. And, you get more bang for your buck! You get one meal, maybe two, out of eating at a restaurant and by cooking, you can easily make three to four meals at once. That means a delicious homemade lunch for your work day for both of you!

2. Skill Development

Maybe one of you has been cooking on their own since they could see over the counter and the other can barely make cereal without making a mess of the kitchen. Maybe you’re both still eating college-style meals like ramen and Easy Mac.

Cooking together and learning new recipes can improve both of your skills in the kitchen regardless of base skill set.
If one of you is new to the kitchen, spend time watching your partner slice and dice vegetables and season chicken, you’ll pick up a few tricks of the trade just by watching and learning.

If both of you are experts, make a competition of the main course and sides so you can each show off your culinary prowess. Regardless, by learning new recipes and even learning how to cook together, you’ll both develop skills that will aid you further in your life as individuals and as a couple.

3. Dietary Concerns/Specifications

Some restaurants don’t make changes to their menu regardless of dietary concerns. Ditch the possible allergic reaction by making something yourself. You can make adjustments as needed. Want to eat something that requires milk, but you have a lactose intolerant partner? Swap your regular milk for almond or soy.

Want to make a dish that traditionally uses chicken but your partner is vegan or vegetarian? Swap out the chicken for some tofu! Cooking is an easy way to ensure that any sort of dietary concern or specification is met.

Additionally, cooking your meals as a couple makes things easier for a picky partner. My boyfriend will try anything at least once, while I have a carefully selected and cultivated set of 10 meals that I eat. Cooking our meals allows me to try new things without fear that I’ve wasted money – if I don’t like something we make, he’ll always eat it free of charge and I can always make something that I like afterward.

4. Bonding

While cooking, couples can spend some much-needed quality time together doing something productive. You both need to eat – work together to create something delicious and make that your common goal.

Communication is key – while you’re focusing on your individual tasks like boiling and mincing, spend time talking to each other. Many couples agree that cooking together has strengthened their relationship and increased their levels of communication.

Chat about your day before the meal even begins so that when it’s time to eat, you can spend more time savoring your delicious home cooked meal. Not to mention, you’re practicing teamwork, one of the skills necessary to ensure a successful relationship.

There’s even evidence that eating separately can be detrimental to your relationship as it sends the message that you are not a team – imagine how great making a meal together can be for your relationship.

5. Science

Couples who cook together, stay together longer. A survey of U.S. adults over the age of 18 found that adults place a high value on cooking as a skill and cooking together as a couple.

Also, 3 out of 4 American couples believe that couples who cook together, stay together longer and see cooking as a necessary aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship.

6. Romance

Ah, good ole’ fashion romance. There’s nothing sexier than someone who can cook. Spice up your romance while you spice up your main course and increase the level of romance on a dinner date by making it a little more DIY.

And cooking is excellent foreplay – cooking together is even proven to improve the quality of your sex life and increase emotional intimacy.

So whether you’re taking a cooking class as a first date or you’re making Friday night dinner after a look week of work, cooking together is sure to make your relationship stronger. So sharpen up those knives, break out the cutting boards, and get cooking.

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