“So I know what you get out of cuddles, but what do you get from making me food?” She asks.
Page over at Poly.Land has written about the five love languages before ( https://poly.land/2016/10/25/poly-love-languages-field-guide/ and https://poly.land/2016/09/28/polyamory-and-the-five-love-languages/ ), and cooking qualifies as Acts of Service. I’m not going to go into specifics on that particular love language (I might practice it, but I am not qualified to talk about it).
Making and sharing a meal is one of the most intimate activities we participate in. The kitchen, traditionally, was the center of the home, where you eat with the people you care about the most, your close friends and family. Knowing what those people like to eat, their allergies, the textures and tastes they can’t stand, all of it speaks to a level of vulnerability. They trust you to make something that not only will not kill them outright, but sustain them.
I cook food to make people happy. It’s a form of compersion, I guess. I get happy seeing the people I’m with happy, and I can get that reliably with my skill in the kitchen.
I cook to express myself, to show I care. that I listened, and also the unbridled joy on someone’s face when they bite into something delicious is about as close as I can get to heaven without a pile of puppies to cuddle with.
So why cook for someone? Because it’s a good way to show someone you care without adding pressure for any sort of reciprocity. Because sometimes its about showing love without saying it, or wanting anything in return. Because I’m bad with words but good with a knife and skillet. And at the end of the day, I love food, I love people, and I enjoy cooking, this lets me do everything at once.