When it comes to meeting old flames for a ‘harmless' catch-up, make it a coffee date rather than lunch, suggests a new study which found that meal dates elicit more jealousy among partners left at home.
For the study, researchers out of Cornell University surveyed couples about the potential level of jealousy should their partner engage in a food- or drink-based activity with an ex-lover.
The results, published in the online journal PLoS ONE earlier this month, consistently found that situations in which partners shared a meal with a former flame elicited more hypothetical jealousy than other activities like catching up over coffee.
It's a finding that props up the proverb that the way to a man -- or woman's -- heart is through their stomach.
"It's key to remember that from your spouse's perspective, it's not 'just lunch.' While meals can strengthen social relationships, they can also destroy them," Wansink said.
The latest study builds on previous research which also highlight the social importance of sharing a meal with others, particularly loved ones. A slew of scientific studies, for instance, have shown that regularly sitting down to dinner as a family can do everything from prevent disordered eating habits among girls to reduce substance abuse among teens and foster healthier eating habits.