Stealing food off your partner’s plate may actually mean you have a good relationship

A new study has shown that stealing food off someone’s plate is actually a sign of affection and can mean you have a good relationship with your partner.

Let’s be honest, we all do it – especially when there are great smelling chips on the other side of the table.

Whether you’re suffering from the very real struggle of food envy (‘no one told you to order a salad’) or just fancy a little snack mid meal, stealing food off someone else’s plate is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

But if you’ve ever been accused of being greedy, you’ll be glad to know that science has given us the perfect excuse to steal all the chips we want.

In a new study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, researchers say that stealing food off someone’s plate is actually a sign of affection.

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The conclusion came from the fact that they registered higher levels of oxytocin – dubbed as the ‘love hormone’ – in wild chimpanzees after they shared food.

This in turn encouraged co-operation and bonding between those who aren’t related such as – you guessed it – a romantic partner.

The study read: ‘Recent studies show that, in addition to humans, other social mammals form cooperative relationships between unrelated adults, which can last over months or years.

‘Crucially, there is evidence that individuals who maintain such cooperative relationships have more offspring than those who do not.

‘Long-lasting cooperative relationships have also been referred to as strong social bonds, which are characterised by high rates of cooperative behaviours, such as grooming and food sharing.’

Applying their results directly to our species, the researchers added that the link they found between food sharing and oxytocin in chimpanzees can also be relevant to humans ‘where pro-social behaviour has often been linked to food sharing and provisioning’.

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Someone should really tell Joey Tribbiani…

Do you steal food off your partner’s plate or do they do this to you? Let us know in the comments!