He describes himself as being adventurous when it comes to food. He credits this to having lived in different regions in the U.S. and abroad for a few years. His girlfriend, however, is the opposite. He describes her as an incredibly picky eater and says she eats like a 10-year-old. For example, she refuses to eat such things as: “Unflavored water, fish (excluding fried shrimp), anything with bones, cheese other than sharp cheddar, spinach, onions, garlic, pasta without red sauce, eggs, spicy food, aioli, ketchup, potatoes (other than french fries), pastries with fruit, citrus, sausage or any “non-American” food.”
Whenever he takes his girlfriend to a nice restaurant, she orders the same meals: burgers, chicken tenders, and fries. He says whenever they go to a non-American food restaurant, such as authentic Nepalese, she will get french fries and white rice. He finds it embarrassing to go to a higher-end restaurant where there is a dress code, and his girlfriend orders chicken tenders and fries. Since he typically pays the bill, it also bothers him to pay $15 for chicken tenders that he could get from the freezer section of Walmart for $5.
He says a very nice restaurant recently opened in their area, and his girlfriend has been dying to go. He looked at the place and the menu and saw it was pricy. He told his girlfriend she would probably get chicken tenders, per usual. He asked her what the point in going was if he could toss some tenders in the air fryer for her without spending a ridiculous amount of money on them.
His girlfriend asked him why he suddenly had this attitude. He responded that he thought going to a nice place only to order ‘little kids’ food was a waste of time and money. He says she interpreted this as him calling her a child. He said he wasn’t calling her a child, but the food she insisted on ordering was childish. He also said if she was going to order food they could make themselves at home, then there was no point in going anywhere.
She now believes he thinks he is better than she is. He is frustrated as this is not what he was trying to say. He is reaching out to the online community to ask if he was wrong.
Many readers agree with his perspective. This particular reader received the most votes for their comment as they seemed to really understand the original poster (OP) and his intentions.
“I don’t see the point in taking her to an expensive restaurant with a very specific type of cuisine and her getting fries or chicken fingers. Why is she dying to go there anyway?” This same reader also added another important point about people who are ‘foodies.’ But I will also tell you that a huge number of people have said for them and many self-described “foodies” trying new cuisines or restaurants is about savoring the shared experience. It’s about trying each other’s foods and comparing flavors, textures, etc. it’s part of how they bond with friends or partners. And while not everyone understands that, it is valid. OP’s girlfriend isn’t “wrong” per se, but it seems like for OP, he wants to share these experiences with someone who enjoys that as well.
Several other top-voted comments mentioned that the girlfriend may actually be ordering from the kids’ menu, as that is typically where you find food like chicken tenders. They also said high-end restaurants usually don’t have a kids’ menu.
However, many readers disagreed with him as well, believing that he was actually treating his girlfriend like a child.
“You are treating her like a child. You’re not going to eat any food at a restaurant that you can make at home? I call bs. Anyway, sure, she eats like a child. But those meals aren’t $15 because they claim to be better food. They’re $15 because you pay for service, a white tablecloth, and a date night with your partner. That’s what she’s asking you for — a date — and you’re refusing to give her that because you see her as a child, “embarrassing,” and undeserving of a $15 dinner that she would enjoy. Don’t bother dating her if you don’t like her. I’m saying this as an extremely adventurous eater. If they have what she wants on the menu, then she should get it. And if you can afford to take her there if she gets something you approve of, then it’s not about your money. It’s about your approval and control over her. Seriously, why date someone you’re judging so much?”
“Wasting food and money = buying food you don’t like and aren’t going to eat, especially if the reason you did it was to make sure someone else at the table wanted to look important or mature.”
One reader also advised that he should ensure this isn’t going to affect their relationship.
“You have to eat several times a day for the rest of your life. You need to seriously consider if this is going to be a problem for the rest of your relationship. Are you going to look at your girlfriend every time she eats at home and resent the fact she doesn’t have a more open palate?”
What do you think? Is he treating his girlfriend like a child because she has different taste than him? Is he right to be annoyed to be paying for food they can make at home? Or should he be more focused on her company than the food she eats when they go out?
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