Media portrays online dating

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One woman says he ordered more than 0 worth of food in one sitting.

(He was later sentenced to 120 days in county jail after pleading no contest to three misdemeanor counts of “defrauding an innkeeper by nonpayment” and one misdemeanor count of petty theft, and ordered to stay off Bumble and Plenty of Fish while on probation.)The noncriminal version of dating for food, it turns out, is not entirely uncommon behavior: A study recently published in the journal found that about a quarter of roughly 1,000 women surveyed said they had at one time or another elected to go on a date with an unpromising suitor in hopes of getting a free meal.

Nevertheless, for the majority of the women surveyed, that alone isn’t enough of a reason to go out with someone.

And it found that people who went on dates to get free food got higher scores on a series of multiple-choice questions designed to measure for a set of three traits that psychologists ominously call the “dark triad”: Machiavellianism (basically, a willingness to manipulate other people), psychopathy (a general lack of empathy and regret), and narcissism (an undue focus on the self).

(The researchers weren’t diagnosing people with any disorders, but rather trying to test for levels of these traits that wouldn’t necessarily warrant a diagnosis.)Despite this association, the researchers stressed that these traits might not in and of themselves cause people to make “foodie calls.” “Other variables that we did not measure, such as previous relationship experiences or beliefs, could have influenced both a woman’s personality traits and their dating behavior,” Brian Collisson, a co-author of the paper and a professor at Azusa Pacific University, wrote to me in an email.

Trejo says that when she goes on a date where food, not romance, is her priority, she doesn’t feel bad, noting that she still makes an effort to be an engaging dinner companion.

“If it’s a guy that’s inviting me out, I do expect them to be the one to pay,” she says.

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