There is something sacred about dining together. The mutual enjoyment of food, drink and conversation is about sharing an experience. In a romantic context, there is often the promise of a different kind of pleasure to follow. Indeed, the table is for a meeting of the minds and also for love and affection. Dining à deux has symbolic value and meaning beyond what is eaten.

Perhaps this is why research shows that sharing meals with an ex-lover sparks significantly more jealousy than meeting with the same person for coffee. The act of breaking bread together is perceived by significant others to involve much more than the physical consumption of calories. The researchers revealed:

We consistently found that meals elicit more jealousy than face-to-face interactions that do not involve eating — such as having coffee. These results are consistent for both men and women.

As the authors conclude, “It’s key to remember that from your spouse’s perspective, it’s not ‘just lunch.’”

With this in mind, keep the peace and order a latte.