Cooking Together = New Relationship Goal

Grab your partner, because it’s quiz time! Go to your fridge. Open your vegetable drawer and reach in. Did you emerge with: a vegetable? (Noooo?) Did you emerge with: fistfuls of duck sauce packets? (Yep.) Now open your pantry. Does it contain: food? Or does it contain: all of the empty takeout containers that you and your partner have been “saving” for when you “cook food on a Sunday” and “bring it to work”? If you answered the latter to both of the above, it might mean that you have yet to master the art of cooking for two.

And it’s OK! All couples fall into routines. That’s why you’re together, after all: you like spending time with each other, and you like doing a lot of the same activities, frequently. But you might realize that your idea of “date night” has become a little generous when you’re balancing a box of pizza on your lap while watching Netflix in complete silence.

We love you, so we want you to do better.

That’s why we’ve partnered with ingredient delivery service Plated to shake up your night-in routine. Need more convincing? Here are four reasons why the couples that cook together, stay together.

Plated lets you choose chef-designed, foolproof recipes made up of top-quality ingredients. Plan out your week, or sit back and they will surprise you! Your subscription is flexible and you can skip deliveries anytime. Click here to get your first four plates free.

Because Happy Couples Share Chores (And Know How To Talk About Them)

In a study of 32 families between 2001 and 2004, UCLA researchers found that household chores were a frequent source of resentment and tension. Many unhappy couples bickered over the balance of responsibilities in the household, but the satisfied ones found ways to share responsibilities in a clear-cut, communicative way. By cooking together, you’re not only creating a happy experience out of what could be a chore, you’re setting the stage for more productive conversations in the future. (“Hey, do you want to cook something delicious, or should I do that tonight?”)

Because Plated Means You Never Have To Say You're Sorry (For Forgetting A Crucial Ingredient)

The secret to long-lasting love seems like a no-brainer: doing stuff together! When researchers at Stony Brook University studied the experts -- couples who reported being “intensely in love” after a decade of marriage -- they discovered some not-so-surprising secrets. Long-term love depends on physical affection, expressing appreciation for your partner, and sharing novel experiences, which can be as simple as (yep!) cooking together.

That's where services like Plated come in: with minimal fuss, you can tackle a brand-new recipe as a team, creating what the Scientific American called “a shared thread of life experiences” and what we call "awesome memories involving delicious food.”

Because It’s A Time To Slow Down (And Slow Jam)

Another reason to cook: it’s the perfect opportunity to turn up the slow jams! The process of planning, cooking, and eating a meal allows you to slow down, pay attention to your partner, and actually, you know, enjoy his or her company. It sounds obvious, but being mindful about your meal allows you to be mindful about communicating with your partner, aka your sous chef in life.

According to psychologist John Gottman, couples frequently give each other verbal and nonverbal signals for attention, and relationship success lies in whether you're on the same page. He found that happy couples “get the hint” a vast majority (86 percent) of the time, whereas unhappy couples largely do not. So slow down, pay attention, and enjoy unwinding with one another. In the words of Run D.M.C., “Slow and low / That is the tempo.”

Because It’s Just Better For You

Anecdotally, we know that being in a relationship affects your eating habits. It's fun to go out with your partner, even if we know that it's healthier to cook most of your meals at home. When you share food, you share each other’s habits, for better and worse. Why not cook together and settle your differences?

This piece is sponsored by Plated. Click here to get your first four plates free.

Images: Giphy (5)