I’m a slow eater, even more so in a social setting.
I don’t really like eating large amounts of food in a social setting. Especially if the food is really good. I feel that combining the two activities (food and conversation) diminishes the pleasure I get from each of them.
Also, I am really prone to anxiety attacks after a big meal, which sucks if the meal is a part of a larger social plan for the evening.
In a restaurant situation where both the food and conversation are excellent, I’m probably just going to nibble a little bit and take the rest home. Once, at a business lunch with a couple of vendors I got so caught up in the conversation (it was rare to find someone that actually listened to my product and marketing suggestions) that I literally forgot to eat. I had been in deep conversation for an hour and I looked down and realized my salad and steak sandwich were completely untouched - I just asked the waiter to box it up. It didn’t seem to bother anyone and I got to enjoy the excellent sandwich at home where I could savor each bite without distraction.
I’ve never felt any need to modify my behavior by speeding up my food consumption. In some situations, like a first date, I usually let the person I’m dining with know before the meal that I’m a slow eater and that I don’t eat a lot. I do this because I don’t want them to be concerned that I didn’t like the food.
But dining with a fast eater wouldn’t bother me at all. I’m used to keeping my plate in front of me for at least twice as long as everyone else at the table and I probably wouldn’t even notice if someone ate 4 times faster than me rather than just twice as fast,