Reading While Eating

My boyfriend, man of my dreams (ok he is sitting here telling to say that part),reads while we eat. If we go out or at home it doesn’t matter. He always has to have a paper of some sort. I feel at times he would rather read then hold a conversation with me. Now I have improved on my people watching skills. But that does get old after awhile. So I guess the deal is how many other people have to have something to read while they eat also??? I guess I want to know if this is a normal thing…Or is he really WERID???

I always read while I eat; whether it be a paper, magazine, or computer screen. It’s developed into a habit, and I’m fine with it.

I used to have to read while eating, but at home, the tv will suffice. At restaurants, I prefer the company of my dining companion.

My sister’s ex would come to the house and immediately grab a newspaper and read the ENTIRE time we were visiting. What a schmuck.

My two cents’ worth:

Reading while eating is a perfectly normal activity when eating in a solitary way.

Reading while eating on a social occasion is antisocial and a sign that the reader is not adequately trained in Playing Well With Others.

With family, some occasions are social and others aren’t. But the whole family has to agree on which times are social. In my family, breakfast is not a social meal, and people often have a book or a paper at breakfast. At supper, however, pleasant conversation is required and a book usually isn’t appropriate. And reading alone at a restaurant is a good idea, while reading at a restaurant with others is appallingly rude.

Your family might be different than mine, but a common understanding of what kinds of meals call for pleasant conversation and what meals don’t is vitally important. It sounds like you need to have a conversation trying to set some mutually agreeable standards of behavior. Maybe having each of you conduct a poll of the standards of other book-friendly families (as in, he also collects some data) would help you find standards that make everyone content.

I’ll read when I’m alone, but not when dining with someone else. To me that’s as bad as someone chit-chatting on the phone while I sit there staring into space. Just rude.

I read at the table if I’m alone, or if dinner is right after work. It’s become part of my de-stress cycle after a hard day at the office reading SDMB.

However, if guests are over, or I’m eating out, I don’t read.

I think it’s particularly rude to read while eating with someone…makes you wonder why they’re bothering to eat with you honestly. The only time DH and I have done such was on particularly rough days when we let the kidlets eat while watching a movie and we just needed escape time in our fantasy worlds.

I think I’d be extremely offended if DH decided to read at every meal. Just my humble opinion…

I don’t have a problem with people reading at breakfast, as long as I have something to read as well. Dinner is another story. Dinner is for unwinding and talking together. My husband and I make an effort to eat a home-cooked meal at the table with each other, if not every night, then at least several times a week. We both work full-time on slightly different schedules, and dinner is often the first chance we have during the day to really talk to each other.

Both truma and I like to read while when eating. We go out once a week for our “date night” and will most always bring reading material. We read about 15% of the time, but when we do, we’re comfortable being quiet with each other and reading. It’s mostly when we’re both wiped and need to decompress. Often reading will be interrupted when one of us has a thought to share. We have a rule that if one of us has no readin material, then the other may not read, out of consideration.

We do both feel that it’s impolite to do so with anyone else with whom we don’t have the same understanding, and when trusquirt gets old enough to talk about his day, reading material will be bannished from the dinner table.

Breakfast is the exception, as no one is assumed to have sufficient bandwidth online at breakfast to carry out a conversation, and the paper is new anyway. There usually are exclamations of surprise as we read to each other articles that have caught our attention or suprised us, but not much actual conversation.

I must confess that on business trips, I often make up fake “old-friends” to visit to get out of having dinner with the folks I’m visiting, if I feel that we don’t have much in common and that conversation will be strained or restricted to work topics; in that case I much prefer to be by myself and have a good book or thoughtful magazine. A lot of times people feel that eating alone is a fate-worse-than-death, and will invite me to dinner out of pity when I’m on the road.

I guess if I were to venture to offer some advice, ms_mom67, you could try having some reading material of your own. Sometimes when truma wants to read and I don’t, I ask her gently to put the book down “because I would like to have her here with me

At the risk of resorting to stereotypes, perhaps your BF is afraid of not having anything to talk about that would interest you, or doesn’t enjoy talking as a means of building relationships. Many guys like to just *do[\i] things together without too much talking. Having a paper handy can be an effective defense from somthing he may find uncomfortable.

Perhaps you can “talk” about it with him? :smiley:

I think FisherQueen nailed it. Miss Manners couldn’t have said it better herself.

Oh, and if the boyfriend doesn’t shape up, you could start reading during sex. :smiley:

By myself, I read. If it’s just my mom and I eating, we usually both read. But it’s really rude IMO for one person to read while the others don’t, unless it’s really early in the morning and everybody’s half asleep anyway.

[quote=Thudlow]
Oh, and if the boyfriend doesn’t shape up, you could start reading during sex.

[quote]
I get a good chuckle out of the SDMB every day. Thanks.

I also read or watch TV when I eat. I think this started at work. Our group always seems to eat at different times, this is by situation and it also gives us the ability to cover. It is important that someone is always there.

It becomes quite ingrained. My Wife and I live in a small town, when we go to the movies, we usually grab a couple of local papers. Get there real early and read, comment, and talk.

It’s rude in a group I agree, and on a ‘date’. The real break though (IMHO) in a relationship, is when you can sit quietly together.