6 Reasons Why Cooking and Intimacy Go Hand in Hand
There are dozens of opinions out there on what you can do to strengthen the relationship between you and your loved ones. But no matter how diverse these opinions can get, there is one concept that almost everyone agrees on - and that is that cooking with someone is the best way to bond with them. Even scientists concur that cooking and intimacy are more related than we thought.
But have you wondered why? How exactly does cooking help us create more meaningful relationships? Well, here are six reasons why intimacy starts in the kitchen - whether you want to create mementos with your friends, strengthen your bond with your significant other, or get closer to your family.
1. Setting a Common Goal
Research(1) proves that sharing a mutual goal with someone is a surefire way to increase intimacy. This occurs because both parties share a common vision and do anything in their power to make it true. In the process, they learn more about each other's qualities and strengths, creating a more intimate connection. Science(2) also shows that joint attention to a task (in this case, cooking) makes people feel more connected to one another – mainly because of the shared experiences.
So, when two people cook a meal together, they do more than just follow a recipe. In reality, they let aspects of their personalities shine while discovering more about their partner's character and emotions. And that is the foundation of any meaningful relationship.
2. Connecting Over Mutual Interests
Even though the "opposites attract" mantra applies to some cases, scientists(3) have proved that we tend to like more those we feel similar to. So, when two people do something they both enjoy (for example, bake brownies or make grilled cheese), they are more likely to have fun around each other. Chances are they'll even want to spend more time together in the future. So, if you want to get closer to someone, connecting over your mutual love for cooking is a solid option.
3. Enhancing Communication
Communication is key in most shared tasks – and sharing a kitchen with someone is no exception. In fact, when you decide to make a meal with a friend, partner, or family member, the first thing you need to sharpen is your communication skills (your chopping skills come at a close second). This is the only way for the both of you to:
- delegate the tasks without anyone getting upset
- listen to what your partner has to say and become more understanding of their needs.
By synchronizing yourselves around each other, you'll be able to connect on a deeper level, mainly because of your smooth cooperation. If your cooking-together habit continues, chances are you'll extend your mutual appreciation past the kitchen and communicate effectively in other areas of your relationship.
4. Sharing Deeper Thoughts
For many people, cooking is a way to let go of stress. The kitchen becomes a safe place, where "worries" is just another word, and creativity is the main theme. When you choose to cook with someone under such circumstances, it's only natural that you show them another side of you -- a side that's relaxed and fun. As a result, you end up sharing some of your deepest thoughts, experiences, and ideas, or you may even have the most honest conversation you ever had – all of which eventually connect you on a deeper level. A sense of trust is built, and, dish after dish, you grow closer to one another.
5. Establishing Rapport
Rapport(4) is when two people are in harmony with one another. No matter the task they're performing, they're in sync. So, they can either be calm or energetic, focused or distracted, interested or indifferent.
Often described as the foundation of any great relationship, rapport is hard to achieve and maintain. But if professional chefs have proved anything to us is that cooking with other people helps build rapport in no time.
It's all about creating momentum. When you connect with the people you cook with, you subconsciously flow around them, and your moves just click. For example, you reach for the knife while they hand you the bell pepper. Or you sauté the onion to a crisp, and they add a bit of water to prevent it from sticking. That kind of thing!
In some cases, you may even complement each other's moves so flawlessly that you end up with a dish that exceeds all of your expectations. And just like that, you've graduated your relationship from superficial to worthwhile.
6. Dealing with Hurdles
Cooking isn't always smooth sailing. In fact, between deciding what to cook, going grocery shopping, and prepping the ingredients, there are a lot of things that can go wrong – and some people aren't up for it.
But here's a fun fact: If you and the person you cook with are willing to share these struggles, it could be your chance to form a deeper connection. Owning up to a weakness is never easy, and opening up about it will certainly make you more sympathetic to your partner, friend, or family member. Plus, having someone to help you out when you need it will make them more sympathetic to you.
What are your thoughts? Do you think intimacy starts in the kitchen? Or maybe not? Let us know in the comments down below!