Cooking For Your Date’s Personality Type

In my previous article, Can Your Dateability Be Written All Over Your Face?, I discuss underlying biological processes and how they influence appearance and behavior. I found that testosterone and estrogen play major roles in facial feature development and how it affects personality traits. Dr. Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist, labeled individuals with high levels of testosterone as “Directors” and those with high levels of estrogen “Negotiators.” In this article, we introduce two more personality types; the “Explorer” driven by the dopamine neurohormone, and the “Builder” driven by the serotonin neurohormone. 


This article is a guide on how to cook for your date’s personality type, based on Dr. Fisher’s 4 personality types model: Explorer, Builder, Director, or Negotiator. I outline Fisher’s descriptions for each personality type so you can decipher your date’s cooking preference, then provide favorite foods and cooking recipes to get you started!


EXPLORERS (dopamine)


Traits: Seek novelty, risk taking, spontaneity, energy, curiosity, creativity, optimism, enthusiasm, flexibility, spontaneous generosity, autonomy, liberal, untraditional, irreverent, get bored easily, adaptable, many interests. 


Words: 'Adventure' is the word most often used by Explorers as they describe themselves and what they are looking for in a mate.  The other nine of their top ten most-used words (in descending order) are: venture, spontaneity/ spontaneous, energy, new, fun, travelling, outgoing, passion and active.  


Foods:  Spicy Foods: Mexican, Indian, Barbecue. Exotic foods:  Indonesian, Ethiopian. Sugary foods: candy, chocolate. The body changes protein into tyrosine and then dopamine.  The sources for building blocks for dopamine include:  Apples, beets, blue-green algae, celery, chicken, cucumber, fish, leafy green vegetables, honey, cheese, sweet peppers, tofu, watermelon, almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. Alcohol, sugar and caffeine all reduce dopamine. 


If I were cooking a meal for a group of Explorers I would try to make it somewhat exotic, highly flavoured, untraditional, colourful and varied. 


I might cook Moroccan beef stew, with couscous, Indian relishes, yogurt, and dark chocolate, figs and candied fruits for desert, with plenty of exotic liquors.  


Recipe suggestion: Lamb and Couscous Tagine




BUILDERS (serotonin)


Traits:  Cautious but not fearful, calm, social, popular, networking, conventional, traditional, guardians, managerial, loyal, persistent, literal, fact oriented, fond of rules and schedules, orderly, conscientious, community oriented.  


Words: 'Family' is the most-used word by Builders.  Following this: honesty, caring, moral/morals, respect, loyal, trust, values, loving and trustworthy.  Friends: Social crowd.  


Food: Rice, potatoes, pasta, breads, crackers, cereal and fruit, all of which produce serotonin. Builders probably also like to eat turkey and other poultry, milk, cottage cheese, eggs and nuts, especially almonds.  All loaded with tryptophan, the building block of serotonin.  Other serotonin promoting foods include: avocados, bananas, eggplant, pineapples, plums, tomatoes and walnuts. For dessert, cakes and pies and lots of milk fats.  


If I were cooking a meal for Builders I would make it very conventional, such as roast chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, and cake. 


Recipe suggestion: Chicken Marsala 




DIRECTORS (testosterone)


Traits: Direct, decisive, focused, analytical, logical, tough-minded, exacting, emotionally-contained and good at strategic thinking.  They get to the point.  Many are bold and competitive. They excel at figuring out machines, mathematical formulae or other rule-based systems. Many are good at understanding the structure of music. 


Words: Intelligent and intelligence together top the list of words used by Directors.  Also intellectual, debate, geek, nerd/nerdy, ambition/ ambitious, driven, politics, challenge/challenging and real. 


Foods: Usually raise testosterone: beef, pork, beef liver, lamb, turkey, chicken, garlic and olive oil.  Nuts also raise testosterone levels, particularly peanuts and peanut butter. They probably also gravitate to Oysters because these are a source of zinc (which is used to make testosterone), as well as beans which also give a powerful shot of zinc, including green beans, lima beans and baked beans.  Directors probably also particularly like eggs, as the proteins in eggs allow the adrenal glands to keep levels of bodily testosterone steady too. Broccoli, cabbage and sprouts also seem to enhance levels of testosterone. Orange juice can trigger testosterone. Directors should probably eat less meat, or supplement their diet with non-animal proteins, such as beans, brown rice, seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  


If I were cooking a meal for Directors, I might do a mixed grill of three kinds of meats, baked beans, oysters Rockefeller and garlic bread. For desert I might serve ice cream sundaes.  


Recipe suggestion: Filet of Beef with Oysters & Wild Mushrooms




NEGOTIATORS (estrogen)


Traits: See the big picture, they connect disparate facts to think contextually and holistically, 'web thinking', imaginative, superior verbal skills and people skills, excel at reading postures, gestures, facial expressions and tones of voice, 'executive social skills', intuitive, sympathetic, nurturing, mentally flexible, agreeable, idealistic, altruistic and emotionally expressive. 


Words: 'Passion' and 'passionate', also real, heart, kind/kindness, sensitive, read/reader, sweet, learning. 


Foods: Salads, fruits, vegetables, tofu. Less meat. I suspect negotiators are the most likely to be vegetarians and vegans. Estrogenic foods include:  Soy beans, apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat and yams, flax, fish oil, tofu, bean sprouts, meat, apples, barley, beets, carrots, cherries, chickpeas,  black-eyed peas, cucumbers, dairy foods, dates, eggs, eggplant, liquorice, oats, olive oil, olives, papaya, peas, peppers, plums, pomegranates, pumpkins, red beans, rhubarb, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes. Negotiators should probably eat more meat. 


If I were cooking a meal for Negotiators, I might make a big salad with lettuce, tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, apples, onions and peppers, along with some chicken salad and some eggplant. Dessert might be fresh fruit and an array of very sweet cookies.   


Recipe suggestion: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps