Doper Men - How important are good cooking skills in a potential girlfriend or wife?

I realize it sounds shallow, but if I was dating an otherwise interesting woman and all she could do was do was microwave dinners or order carryout it would be pretty disappointing. I say this as someone who likes to cook, but also as somehow really admires the ability to cook in women. If a woman really knows how to cook that’s just incredibly attractive on levels beyond sexual. It gives her this gravitas in my mind. And it’s not because I have cultural expectations, my mother was an indifferent cook and my father actually took more interest in the kitchen.

So what about it? If a woman you’re interested in is a good cook is that a huge plus or a “meh”.

If I have only “huge plus” and “meh” to choose between, then I choose “huge plus”. I love cooking, and I want to be able to cook with my partner. I also want to be able to split the day-to-day cooking if we’re going to live together, and obviously this will be very drab if she can’t cook.

It’s not a dealbreaker or anything, but I’d appreciate it. There’s no attraction to it, though, except inasmuch as all skills are attractive. People who are good at something are just damn sexy.

I’d consider it a big plus - not because I want her to cook for me/us, but because it suggests we share an enthusiasm for fine foods.

My SO once quit her job as a programmer/mathematician to become a professional cook. (Before we met, that is.) Is that cool or what? :slight_smile:

It would certainly be a nice plus to know that I was not responsible for cooking all the meals, but I can’t see it as a make-or-break proposition–and it is certainly not a major point of attraction. (When my Dad took my Mom home to announce their engagement, his good German father demanded of my mother, “Can you cook?” to which she replied, “No, but I can read.” Leaving aside smart-assed observations that her cooking still leaves something to be desired 63 years later, she was basically right: if you can read and follow directions, anyone who gets a copy of The Joy of Cooking or some similar overall cookbook can learn to cook.)

As to being “able to cook with my partner,” I’ll take a pass, thank you. Deb is a good cook, but our kitchen “styles” are quite different. Aside from opening jars or dicing vegetables, (Deb hates fine chopping or slicing), I can’t do anything in the kitchen with Deb without one of us getting irritated. We both cook well, but we have different ways to organize ingredients, different ways to pace the preparation, and a host of conflicting little habits that make it a bad idea to put the two of us in the kitchen working on the same meal while surrounded by sharp knives and hot burners and pans.

I’m a woman who doesn’t cook anything that doesn’t come in a pouch or a box – except for the occasional grilled cheese sandwich, and baked mac & cheese. It’s not that I can’t cook (my Italian grandmother would roll over in her grave!), it’s just that I’ve lived alone for the past 11 years and have never been movitated to cook for myself. However, it doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to learn – and, like tomndebb’s mom said, I can read. Plus, I think that I would enjoy preparing meals for someone I care about. Would someone like me be acceptable? Do I have to already be into cooking for it to “count?”

Originally posted by tomndebb:

My guy couldn’t do much more than make toast when we met. Now, we both really enjoy having a glass of wine together in the kitchen while putting dinner together. It definitely qualifies as “couple time” to us, even though it’s me that does most of the actual cooking. And uh…sometimes dinner never gets finished :smiley:

My intention is not to hijack a perfectly good thread, but I am curious: is having a woman cook for you a “caretaker” kind of thing, or more of a sensual king of thing?

Personally, I kind of subconsciously equate food and sex…both are very sensual things, to be enjoyed and explored on an extremely personal level, and appreciated when well executed…but I digress :wink:

(By the way…as a female, I find men who can cook, or are at least enthusiastic about learning to be extremely hot. Not a lot of men do it, and when one does it well it really scores points in my book)

It’s not a consideration. I can’t cook wonderfully, so why should I expect my partner to? And besides, I’d feel weird being waited on.

It is the only thing that matters. Personality, looks, etc. matter not a whit as long as she can rattle those pots and pans. Double bonus if she’s rich and naive.

I not all that comfortable being waited on or babied. Some people like it, but for me its just a little oogy. Re the cooking it’s realy much more of a “skills” thing. If a women can cook that gives her (IMO) a certain stature as someone who can create and “do” things beyond just being a work monkey. “Can do” life skills beyond what you do for a profession are just very attractive.

Why men only? It’s definintely a big turn off to me if a man can’t cook. It brings to mind visions of spending my days picking up his socks and hanging out alone in the kitchen while he watches TV. No way in hell I’m coming home from work and spending an hour in the kitchen chopping veggies while he watches TV. No thank you.

It’s completely irrelevant to me. I actually prefer to cook than to be cooked for. My wife’s cooking is workmanlike at best and I’m good at it so I’m the one who does it.

A good cook is a plus. I like to cook and a woman who will hang with me in the kitchen, and suggest differences or cook part of the meal ? Yum. Fun plus a chance for a little making out and tasting.

She doesn’t cook? Not a big deal. But it’s a definite minus for spending time together. I really like hanging out in the kitchen with a woman.

On the downside, the last time I lived with a woman who liked to cook we both put on 20 pounds.


Well, I love cooking, but if someone else says “I can’t cook at all,” then that kind of speaks to me of someone who isn’t self sufficient.

I was talking to a girl not too long ago who, after hearing that I can cook, said, “that’s cool. I can’t make anything. I even screwed up a ham sandwich; it was so bad I couldn’t eat it.” Huh? Complete ineptitude in anything as simple as basic home ec skills is not attractive, and I would expect to hear the same from women about men.

This would be a slight plus for me. I can’t/won’t cook either, so if neither of us did, we’d be eating a lot of pre-packaged/take-out stuff or out at restaurants more frequently. But, that’s nothing I haven’t been doing for the past 10+ years anyways.

My wife couldn’t cook to save her life when I met her. I was always an OK cook but never great. In the past two years she’s taken an interest with it and now makes much better things than I do. Just had Curry Chicken with rice and yogurt for dinner tonight.

So don’t assume “can’t cook” = “won’t ever be able to cook”

I’m actually a competent-to-good cook, but it’s not something I enjoy particularly. The guy I’m currently dating really doesn’t cook at all, so he’s easy to impress with simple stuff. Last weekend he pulled a couple of steaks out of the freezer, so I made roast potatoes to go with (chunks of potatoes, olive oil, freshly ground pepper, rosemary – we were at his house, there wasn’t a lot to work with) and he was in heaven.

I’ve got to go to the grocery store with him, get his pantry a bit better stocked. I don’t mind cooking, but I’ve got to have one or two ingredients to start with, yanno?

My current girlfriend claims to be terrible at cooking, but I prod her into making me a meal or 2 a month. They’re always delicious and I make sure to tell her so, but I guess she lacks the confidence to make them more often.

I, on the other hand, am a terrible cook. I eat anything, but can’t manage to choke down food that doesn’t come in a box. My meal making is limited to cereals, microwave dinners, hamburger helper, and mac-n-cheese. Anything else I make sucks.

Oh, I didn’t answer the question. I wish my girlfriend cooked for me more often, but if she never does again, it won’t be a deal breaker. So long as she picks good restaurants to get carry out from.

The ability to cook is a basic survival skill, not so much in the lost in the woods sense, but the modern day living sense. Not possessing this skill would have me question how prepared this person is for life.

I’m not talking about everyone has to be a chef, but be able to take food from the fridge and make a basic meal, which taste decent, seems to be a reasonable requirement. There will be times for most of us when restaurants are not practical (and expensive), and the other person won’t have the time to cook.

So yes, I wouldn’t consider someone who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) cook, but this doesn’t mean they must cook everyday, or even often, as i do enjoy it myself.

You’re creating a false dilemma here. There are more potential options here than just those you’ve given.

To the OP, I guess I’d rather be with a woman who absolutely loved to do dishes. The reason is that if she cooked, then every meal would either include me doing dishes, which a really hate, or me feeling guilty about not doing dishes.

I guess I’m not a food person. Food is just not that rewarding or interesting to be of particular interest; thus, cooking ability is not that relevant in my life. There are some econ macro models where utility is normalized so that the maximum attainable well-being is zero, otherwise it will be negative. That’s kind of how I am with food: it’s functional and it can taste good, but what really matters is that it isn’t gross or too repititive.

Now, give me a woman who knows how to grapple (e.g. wrestling, judo, etc.)…that’s hot!