When it comes to our dating lives, we all have certain standards for our potential partners.
But sometimes it takes a behavior coming up for us to realize it’s a dealbreaker, as pointed out by the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor JestertonQ was thoroughly grossed out by her boyfriend’s etiquette at the dinner table, to the point that she hated eating with him at all, let alone in public.
But when he refused to work on his behavior at all, the Original Poster (OP) seriously began to question how they could work this out.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my boyfriend I won’t go for meals with him because of how he eats?”
The OP was grossed out by her boyfriend’s lack of table manners.
“My (32 Female) boyfriend (32 Male) is the fastest eater I have EVER known.”
“This wouldn’t be an issue in itself (although I do worry about him choking) but I physically cannot stand seeing him eat to the point that we don’t go out for food.”
“He grew up in a rich family of foodies and loves cooking and eating. I grew up in a poorer family and was amazed by his food knowledge.”
“He is average weight, and he doesn’t eat TOO much, just crazy fast and with no manners at all. Like a badly behaved kid who was never taught.”
It was even worse for the OP when the couple ate out in public.
“We’ve been out for food twice and I hated it.”
“Once he had a burger meal which he guzzled down in LITERALLY 1 minute, like ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox.’ Even the waiter commented on it, because as soon as they put the plate down, he dived at it, so they jokingly asked if he was hungry.”
“Another time, we had sandwich wraps, and he picked it up and just shoved it into his mouth, pushing it in bite after bite without taking a break, again in like 1 minute. So I was eating alone for 10 minutes (slowly because I felt awkward).”
“I also want to add that he isn’t tidy. He shoves it in, so it goes all over his face along with dribble. He’s also really noisy like he’s struggling to get it down as fast as possible.”
The OP experienced similar issues with him at home.
“When we eat at home and I’m cooking, I’ll bring his in and pass it to him and then go fetch mine, and he will be finished by the time I leave the room and come back.”
“He’s also like this with chocolates and sweets. He will shove one after the other into his mouth. He puts one in and his hand is immediately taking another out of the bag.”
“His sister bought him some, and even she said, ‘Jesus Ch***t, slow down, they’re supposed to be enjoyed, not shoved down your throat.'”
As a side note, the OP also mentioned her boyfriend’s kissing habits in the comments.
“The weird thing is he makes a lot of noises when kissing, too. Loads of lip-smacking and moaning from the get-go.”
“It doesn’t bother me, but I’ve wondered why it is and what the connection is.”
The OP tried to talk to her boyfriend about it, but to no avail.
“I’ve asked him if he can just slow down and try and eat properly, at least when we’re in public.”
“He said he won’t and it doesn’t matter.”
“So I said I won’t go out to eat with him anymore.”
“He replied, ‘Why should I care what people think? If I’m hungry, I’ll eat how I like.'”
“I commented, ‘Because you’re a grown man, not a toddler, and you should have a basic understanding of how to eat properly.'”
“He got mad at this and said, ‘I’ll eat how I want.'”
“I’m left wondering if I’m over-reacting. It’s not that I care what other people think, it’s just that seeing him eat both looks gross and stresses me out. It’s unattractive and kind of embarrassing.”
“I don’t care about perfect manners but I’d tell my 7-year-old nephew off if we went for a meal and he shoved his food into his face like that.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought this was an absolute dealbreaker that they would end the relationship over.
“NTA. I couldn’t live with that. Deal breaker.” – Skizzybee
“You should also wait for the companion who cooked for you to join the table with their plate before starting to eat.”
“Why would OP go out to eat with someone who refuses to eat with them? I wouldn’t cook for them either. He’s not a foodie. He’s refueling like a Formula One pit stop.” – Cardabella
“I actually had the opposite problem for a long time. I love to savor a good meal, and I love bite construction, and I love sauces, so I will slowly cut little bits of my food and get them on the fork in different combos of meat/veggies/sauce and taste and savor.”
“It got to the point where I’d often have half of a plate of food left while everyone else was done eating.”
“Nothing messy, just a slow eater. I realized how rude it was to just keep people waiting and picked up the pace a bit so now other people typically finish while I still have a handful of bites left.”
“It’s time for the boyfriend to change his pace, too. NTA, OP.” – g0d15anath315t
“I’m sensitive to certain noises, eating noises are the worst. I couldn’t be with someone long-term who eats with his mouth half open or slurps his coffee like my elderly father.”
“But a guy like OP’s boyfriend? Wouldn’t even get a second date with me. I don’t even want to imagine how it sounds like, I would lose all appetite instantly, maybe even forever…” – lilli_neeh
“There are a few mental conditions that do this, but… I am hesitant to go further as it requires him to go through a lot of medical testing, as well as an eating study.”
“While it isn’t an issue for some, speed eating can be considered a mental health issue, but for others a conditioned habit. Sometimes cultural habits could have a play in it.”
“The thing is, do you want to find a way to get him to slow down, or do you want him to be more aware of his habit?”
“Also just saying, you are not in the wrong either if this habit is a deal breaker. People with Misophonia (the hatred of loud eating noises) have had a bad rap because they have broken up with a noisy eater, but it physically repulses them, to the point that they can not eat because of it.”
“You also have a right not to be repulsed when eating.” – OriginalDogeStar
Others agreed and also pointed out that this is not how a true “foodie” would behave.
“She said he was a foodie but he is far from it. Foodies enjoy all aspects of food and eating. Based on the description of how he eats, he is not even tasting what he is shoving in his mouth.” – NewEllen17
“I deliberately eat more slowly so I can enjoy food. Especially with something like chocolate. It’s not like I’m eating because I’m hungry, it’s a treat to be enjoyed.”
“The only times I can think of when I have eaten fast is if I’m running late for a meeting or something.” – INFJPersonality-52
“That also means he isn’t really chewing. So unhealthy. And he doesn’t even taste the food. It is a waste to cook for him or spend money on good food.”
“And that he doesn’t give a f**k that his partner feels this way… All in all, it is disgusting and disrespectful: for all the people sitting around him, his partner, and the people that cook the food.”
“Just think if your partner stands three hours in the kitchen for a wonderful meal and he gulped it down before you set down your own plate.”
“NTA. The sounds by eating and in bed/kissing would make me run away alone.” – EvilFinch
“My toddler has way better table manners than that. She loves mealtimes and will dive in the minute her plate hits the table, but she will usually use her fork or spoon, and she takes breaks to comment on her food and to yell, ‘More milk!’ when she finishes her glass.”
“This guy is most definitely an untrained dog in human form.” – Zupergreen
“NTA. Eating like a starving dog, gulping, and chomping and wolfing down his food, is horrible to watch. It is bizarre that he comes from a family of ‘rich foodies’ since usually, people who are into food and cooking will savor their meals.”
“His petulant childish response of, ‘I don’t have to change! There’s nothing wrong with how I eat!’ lets you know that this is what you’ll be looking at every time you eat with him.” – NoxWild
“Every foodie-type person I know savors their food and eats slowly. What’s the point of eating good, high-quality food if you’re just going to shove it down like Soylent green?” – Sneakys2
The subReddit was absolutely disgusted and felt their skin crawling while reading the OP’s post about her boyfriend’s eating and kissing habits.
The easy answer was to end the relationship, because otherwise, the OP was either in this for a lifetime, or in it for however many months or years it might take to diagnose and treat the problem behaviors.