Do You Think It's a Red Flag If a Man Can't Cook At All?

September 21, 2023

Cooking is a basic life skill that most adults should have. But not everyone grows up learning how to cook properly. Is it a red flag if a man you're dating doesn't know how to cook beyond the bare minimum?

This question recently came up in an online dating forum, sparking a lively debate. The original poster described going on a date with a 31-year-old man who revealed he has virtually no cooking abilities.

The Date's Limited Cooking Skills

According to the woman, the man said the only things he can cook without causing salmonella poisoning are:

  • Omelets
  • Cereal
  • Ramen
  • Sandwiches

To clarify, he meant just adding boiling water to pre-made ramen noodles. Not actually making ramen broth and noodles from scratch.

The man also apparently went to the grocery store and accidentally bought a zucchini when he meant to get a cucumber. He didn't even recognize the difference between common vegetables.

Why This Left a Bad Impression

Understandably, the woman was put off by her date's lack of basic cooking skills and knowledge. She couldn't believe an adult in their 30s wouldn't know how to cook at least a few simple, tasty meals.

In her view, not being able to cook shows:

  • Immaturity
  • Lack of competence
  • Reliance on others to be fed

She was especially concerned that he's made himself sick multiple times by undercooking chicken. To her, this signaled ignorance about food safety.

Differing Opinions on Cooking Skills as a Red Flag

Commenters had a range of reactions to whether poor cooking skills are a red flag when dating.

Some agreed it's very problematic if a grown man can't feed himself. They saw it as a sign he wants a woman to baby him. Others pointed out how unhealthy it is to rely on takeout and pre-made food.

However, some argued cooking simply isn't a priority for everyone. Maybe he focuses his time and energy on other skills. Or he grew up without home cooked meals, so he never learned.

A few women shared they don't cook either, since they dislike it. They didn't think it's fair to expect all men to cook.

Key Takeaways on Dating Someone Who Doesn't Cook

So what's the verdict - is it a red flag if a man you're dating has minimal cooking skills?

Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Cooking is a basic adult life skill

Most people agree any mature, independent adult should have some ability to prepare basic healthy meals. They don't need to be gourmet chefs. But cooking is a daily necessity.

2. Lack of cooking ability may signal other issues

Not being able to cook could be a yellow or red flag about someone's maturity level, finances, nutrition, etc. But don't assume the worst.

3. Willingness to learn is most important

If your date lacks cooking skills but wants to learn, that shows maturity and caring. But refusing to learn could be a red flag.

4. Discuss cooking expectations

If cooking for a partner is important to you, bring this up early. Compromise if needed.

5. Don't make assumptions about causes

Maybe he grew up with family who never taught him cooking basics. Be understanding.

6. Make cooking together an activity!

Instead of criticizing your date's skills, try making meals together. It could enrich your relationship.

The Bottom Line

Lacking cooking skills doesn't necessarily make someone a poor partner. But for many people, it's important their significant other can share responsibility for this basic domestic task.

Evaluate the overall maturity, financial habits, willingness to learn, and other factors. Don't just reject someone for one missing skill. With open communication and empathy, cooking ability doesn't have to be a dealbreaker.

So what do you think - is it a red flag if a man you're dating can't cook at all? Share your thoughts below!

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