He Said, She Said – are you and your partner food-compatible?

The most exciting thing about He Said, She Said is wondering if we’ll still be married by the end of each post! We both write on the same topic but we don’t read the other’s work until after it’s published.

Food compatibility picture

He said:

“Joey doesn’t share food.”

She said:

Your diets don’t need to match but your passion for food does.


What’s more, he says:

In a way I wish Mrs Romance and I had a less similar taste in food. As I’ve mentioned before in my rant about picnics, sharing food isn’t high on my happy list. It’s not that I resent giving Mrs R a taste of what I’ve got. Far far from it. It’s just that I’m a greedy pig and want it all for myself!

For the most part, I think we are quite closely food-compatible. In restaurants we’ll often be eying up the same things.

I suppose that’s to be expected though. We’ve been together for almost 14 years now. There’s always going to be a bit of melding over that kind of time period. I sometimes wonder if we’ll wake up one morning just one body, and two heads, two arms and two legs.

But there are a few differences that set us WAY apart.

When it comes to looking through menus, Mrs R heads straight for the desserts list and plans her entrée and main course from there.

I, on the other hand, agonise over the main courses and then, if I have time, glance at the prices of the scotches and cognacs. And maybe the cheese plate if there is one.

Coming from a cold country, I have an innate love of comfy foods. I’m a huge fan of the most useful of vegetables – the potato. Mrs R really doesn’t care for them in any format other than gnocchi thanks to her Italian heritage (chips also get a let). She’s outwardly aggressive towards the humble mash.

Born and bred in Sydney, Mrs R loves South-East Asian food. She loves the fresh, sweet and sour blends of flavour and the lightness and delicacy of Thai and Viet dishes.

England, whose national dish is now officially Indian food, has taught me to lust after food from the subcontinent. I could eat a vindaloo three times a week if I could. I don’t mind Thai or Vietnamese food but it wasn’t really what I ate growing up.

In fact the sweet and sour versions found in the UK only came in the kind of orange found on the jackets of those working on road sites. It wasn’t great.

And since Mrs R has discovered she’s gluten intolerant, we’ve altered our diet quite a bit. No more bread in the house, which I found very hard early on, no more quick easy pasta dinners, and no more homemade pies as GF pastry is a massive pain to make.

It’s very interesting though, that, by and large, we’ve come to understand each other’s palettes. We’re now happy to eat whatever the other feels like.

I do wonder if two people can be together who have such different tastes in food that they can’t even go to the same restaurant. That must make it tough.

And another thing, she says:

Food is a very important part of my life.

This topic came up because we were talking about adventurous eaters, and how we think it’s important to be with someone who is willing to try new things. I could never be with someone who refused to try new foods.

For me, trying new cuisines is one of the best experiences of travel. I’m not afraid to try anything, once, and I’m glad my partner feels the same. I would feel frustrated with someone who didn’t enjoy food adventures.

The only food issue I have with Mr R is that he doesn’t like to share food. A bit like Joey from Friends, he gets a little territorial and hates people trying food from his plate. He copes well with shared dishes at restaurants but he’s happiest when he orders what he wants and doesn’t share.

In recent times our diets have started to vary. I have developed some dietary intolerances so I’ve had to reluctantly adjust what I eat. Mr R has adapted well and doesn’t mind cooking a different meal for me.

Food compatibility is something you need to work out in a relationship. Your diets don’t have to be an exact match and sometimes opposites attract. My dad was Italian so lived to eat, while my mum mainly eats to live. However, she does appreciate good food and that’s where the compatibility lay.

How do you and your partner match up on the food-compatibility scale?

Images by Mrs Romance.


  • […] It started a conversation we have published on today’s He Said, She Said column: are you and your partner food-compatible? […]

  • We are very food compatible! Chris is always guaranteed 1.5 meals every time we dine out and we have very similar taste in food, too. We both love seafood, Asian food and anything chocolate.

    • Reply March 21, 2014

      Mr Romance

      Ha ha! I reckon your Chris and me would get on very well, Sonia: neither of us are ashamed of eating our wife’s leftovers! It’s the benefit of being married to someone smaller that you!

  • Reply March 17, 2014


    Mr Smags is a coeliac and I’ve become not so amazing on eating gluten so that’s really our only rule. I tend to like things a bit saucier and saltier than him and he likes carbs. Lots of carbs. Apart from that we’re fairly compatible. We both love Asian food and neither of us are that big on desserts except that I like ice cream and he likes one mouthful of ice cream so it works out really well.

    • Reply March 21, 2014

      Mr Romance

      Being coeliac must be tough, Smags – though like I said, we’ve been cutting right down on gluten too. I was speaking to a couple of friends who have been gluten-free for years. He quit because she was gluten intolerant but has since become quite passionate about it. He referred to gluten as ‘a turd’ and really bad for your body. I thought it was quite an interesting choice lexis to describe gluten.
      Love that you guys are so food compatible. Can’t wait to meet him, Smags. Can’t keep the man hidden for ever! 😉

  • Reply March 19, 2014

    Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie

    Luckily my boyfriend and I are both vegetarian as if one of us wasn’t it would make things a lot trickier! I’m a huge fan of sharing food, my go to option is to check the menu for how many vego options there are and whether they are share-able as I always want to try and many things as I possibly can! Again, luckily the boy is okay with this, it’s probably not his go-to but he’s not fussed either, so that works for me!

    • Reply March 21, 2014

      Mr Romance

      That sounds great, Liz! And your hunt for multiple veggie options reminds me of my mum. She used to be vegan, which can be tough in regular restaurants. So when she’d find a place with more than one vegan option on the menu, she’d get very excited and order as many things as possible!
      I’m getting better with the whole sharing food thing. In fact buffets and picnics are probably the best option for me as I feel very awkward about eating what I see as essentially everyone else’s food. I end up eating a lot less than I would do normally!

  • […] As for the food, the Middle-Eastern/North African theme runs heavy through the menu. Go for a breakfast tagine to share – or they also do individual ones if you’re anything like me! […]

  • […] After sharing our entrees, Mrs Romance and I went our own separate culinary ways – after all, I don’t share food that well. […]

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