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Dating rules: He must share food

Not sharing at the table translates directly to the bedroom, according to one Chicagoan.

I didn’t realize I had a strict dating rule until it was suddenly and unexpectedly broken. While out to dinner about five years ago with a relatively new boyfriend, I reached my fork over to his plate of pasta. He gave me a look—an odd combination of shame and irritation—and said the seven words that will live on in dating infamy: “Sorry. I don’t like to share food.” I was aghast. He didn’t want to share? “But you can have a bite of mine,” I quickly replied, assuming he just didn’t want a one-sided trade. “No,” he said. “I would just rather have my own.”

My appetite waned, but my frustration grew. As a passionate eater who loves the experience of dining communally, I couldn’t believe he was refusing to swap even one bite.

Shortly after, we transitioned from the dining room to the bedroom and I made another unpleasant discovery: He didn’t enjoy sharing, period. I realized I was going to be unsatisfied regardless of the situation.

I developed a new cardinal rule for relationships: He must share, whether it’s the first bite of a burger, the last bite of cake or anything else that would make both of us feel better. Luckily, my husband is a selfless eater.—Rachel, 30/female/straight/married/River West

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