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One in three women has been on a date not in pursuit of a possible relationship – but just to get a free meal.

In the current digital world, dating has been brought to the palms of men and women.

No long distance walks or drives to meet up a crush or new prospect. For men, social media has made the hunting game even sexier – drooling at photos and finally going for the kill.

But that has given rise to a new trend. Once the relationship goes offline, it ends up at a restaurant for a face-to-face talk.

More often than not the man foots the bill. Ladies, out to milk more from the infatuation period, have turned meetings into the art of squeezing free meals from lustful men.

According to recent research, one in three women has been on a date not in pursuit of a possible relationship – but just to get a free meal!

The researches branded it a ‘foodie call’ and it involves a person setting up a date with someone they are not romantically interested in just to be wined and dined.

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A foodie call is a slang term, which has become increasingly popular as the trend develops for people to go on dates exclusively for the meal. It gets its name from the common phrase, ‘booty call’.

This means calling someone up for casual sex. It is thought foodie calls have become more common as the world of online dating becomes more prevalent.

Two online studies by psychologists in the UK found that 23% to 33% of women said they’ve engaged in a ‘foodie call’.

In Kenya, foodie calls are normal

The proportion could be higher in Kenya, where the majority of people live in poverty and many ladies are not economically empowered. in Kenyan urban centres, ladies will even go the extra mile of inviting a friend to come along for the free meal.

Even in cases where a woman can’t make it for the date, she will try to get the man to send the lunch, dinner or coffee in the form of mobile cash. With the current hard economic times in Kenya – and the cost of living ever rising – there are must be plenty of ‘foodie calls’ going round in Kenya.

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Foodie calls may cut across social status but the notorious perpetrators are often students and those still looking for jobs. Working ladies – single and married – out to save a coin find ‘foodie calls’ quite irresistible.

Out to project a great first impression, men pay up, only for the lady to go cold after the dinner or lunch date.

Lucky ones may get another foodie call after a few days or weeks. Women who have perfected this brag about how they don’t spend a shilling on food as they have lined up different men to ‘foodie call’ at different times of the day.

foodie calls could occur in many types of relationships, and could be perpetrated by men as well as women.

The research says women who believe in traditional gender roles – for example that men should be breadwinners and women should be housewives – were also more likely to make ‘foodie calls’.

In the first study, 820 women were recruited, with 40% reporting they were single, 33%, and 27% in  committed relationships. The women answered a series of questions that measured their personality traits, beliefs about gender roles, and their ‘foodie call’ history.

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They were also asked if they thought a foodie call was socially acceptable. Almost a quarter (23%) of women in the first group revealed they had engaged in a foodie call, the Daily Mail reports.

Although women who had engaged in a foodie call believed it was more acceptable, most women believed foodie calls were unacceptable. The second study, also published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, analysed a similar set of questions of 357 heterosexual women and found 33% had engaged in a foodie call.

Deceptive and exploitative

The study was co-author by Dr Brian Collisson (CORRECT), associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Azusa Pacific University

It said several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behaviour in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures. He said he and his colleagues became interested in the subject of foodie calls after reading about the phenomenon in the news.

The researchers also noted that foodie calls could occur in many types of relationships, and could be perpetrated by men as well as women.

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