Single, Looking and Don’t Know How To Cook: No Wonder You Don’t Have A Man

November 8, 2011  |  

Over the last couple of years or so, I have rediscovered, and basically began to appreciate the art of cooking. No, not the dance made possible by Lil’ B the Base God but the actual process by which we’re able to nourish our bodies. Why? Well because I love food and I love to eat, so I figured that I might as well learn to cook.

In my younger years, I never really knew how to cook. Sure, I knew how to heat up some Ramen Noodles and Hot Pockets but when it came to preparing meals, which required multiple seasonings and steps, I was lost in the sauce. In fact, I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t learn how to fry chicken properly until I was in my mid-twenties. I’ll never forget the day when my mother came over to my house and saved me from crying over four unfolded chicken wings swimming in a pan of lukewarm grease. “Why won’t they fry? *sob, sob* and why won’t the wing tip fold over the drummette?”  True story.

After several years of trying I can say that today I have a few culinary notches on my belt. I credit my newfound catering skills to my weekly ritual of using Sundays as my default cooking day. I spend as much time as I want in my kitchen for some serious experimentation. In fact, planning for a dish, or two, usually becomes an all day thing for me.  It starts in the morning with me scouring the internet, looking for the perfect and tasty recipe to try my hands at. Then it is time to head off the supermarket, usually more than one to seek out the fresh ingredients and herbs the recipe calls for. And then comes the main event, where I turn on the music, throw on the apron, light up the stove and get down to work, mixing, sautéing and pureeing various concoctions to make my meat, vegetables, starches and dessert more delectable. I even make more than one meal so that I have something special to eat for lunch and am not wasting money during the week.

While many women spend their downtime at work, looking at pictures of Christian Louboutins shoes or the newest LV bag on the Internet, I am on Amazon, drooling over stainless steel Faberware and adding Tajines to my wish list (seriously, if anyone was considering a Christmas or Kwanzaa gift, I would certainly appreciate a beautiful crafted Tajine). Through my newfound love of cooking, I have learned to respect the power of ginger and cumin; learned not to fear messing up expensive cuts of meat and have even learned how to make Brussels sprouts not only tolerable but also desirable.  And more importantly, I have learned that why it is easy and time-conscious to crank open a can, order from the Chinese takeout or microwave something, it is not always the healthiest, cheapest or even more self appreciating alternative.  Because nothing says self-love more than cooking for yourself.

However, outside of a few friends, I am somewhat shocked to discover that not that many women today really enjoy cooking. In fact, not that many women actually know how to cook.  Okay, I have a few girlfriends that are on Top Chef-status and can really – and I mean really – thrown down in the kitchen. However, I also know of quite a few girlfriends, who can’t even figure out how to turn on the stove properly let alone boil a pot of water. And who could blame them? Especially with the wealth of fast food, deli and frozen packaged food, upscale restaurants that now do deliveries, why go through the trouble of learning to cook at home?  Unless of course you are trying to snag a man and if that is the case, than you might be in trouble.

It may sound like I am just perpetuating the male dominated patriarchal culture but as many guys will tell you, and believe me I asked a bunch,there is nothing worse than dating a woman who doesn’t know her way around the kitchen. I don’t care how physically bad or astute you are in your sexual prowess, a woman who doesn’t know how to burn it up in the kitchen is a definite turnoff.  As my friend and fellow writer Ricardo Hazell said, “Charing, that country thickness would make me think she could cook in the first place. I would be sick if she had “cakes” and “cookies” and didn’t know how to bake real ones. NO! Cooking is a top 5 quality for wifey.” And that, ladies is a hard truth coming straight from the horse’s mouth.

Sure there are many men, who enjoy cooking just as much as some women. And sure if she was on Halle Berry or Beyonce status, a man might be willing to overlook it – at least for a short time period. However, for men, the idea that a woman without culinary skills sparks an instinctual impression that she might be selfish, not very independent and less than nurturing, which is a deal-breaker for any man looking for a relationship of the long-term value.  As the old saying goes, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It may sound cliché but at the bases of any formula is a universal truth.

So yeah, if you are among the single ladies out there, scratching their heads and wondering why you are having trouble keeping a man longer than a few months, perhaps it is your inability to perform in the kitchen, which is scaring them away. Perhaps if you invested as much attention and time in a cooking class as you have shopping for new Louboutins, he might think you worthy of more than a good-time gal. If not for the potential him in your life than for yourself because if you can’t manage to take care of yourself the way you deserve, why should you expect anybody else?

Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.

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  • I’msilly

    At least I know I wouldn’t want to date that guy anyway. “Wifey” lol. He’s not married.

  • Kayla

    No i don’t think a woman should learn how to cook to get a man I think she should learn so she won’t starve to death. point blank.

  • Krush

    just find a white chick, problem solved…

  • I think that a woman should for sure know how to cook, in that manner I am very traditional. When I get married and have children I want to be able to provide nutritious yummy meals for my family. I think most guys would want a woman who can be domestic. I want to be able to work but also hold things down at home for my family too.

  • Likewaterforchoc

    Sorry, but as a woman who is smart, educated and can BURN in the kitchen, I disagree with this article. Trivializing single womanhood by stating that if we cook, we’ll no longer be single is a bunch of hooey. Because, I have too many friends who are married and cannot cook. I was raised in rural SC where every girl know how to cook by the age of 15 (and I am in my early 30’s). I have never met a man who states that knowing how to cook is a prerequisite to dating a woman, because women don’t cook like that anymore. They are usually impressed that I even know how to cook due to my appearance (I am not a big girl and work out 4-5 times a week).

  • Make no mistake, cooking is a great skill to have. However, a good relationship shouldn’t be held hostage for it. Rather a good man to find is one that is not looking for his own private waitstaff/chef.

  • ivy41989

    I am not a traditional woman and I don’t subscribe to so called traditional roles.  Therefore if a man who’s top 5 qualities includes a woman who can “burn it up” in the kitchen then we are not compatible plain and simple.  There are too many cooking classes and too many books out there for one to use (man or woman) to get a meal, but for someone to say that it’s my “role” to cook…no ma’am.  Frankly I want a man who can cook and it’s not because I don’t know how but because I am happy to hear my man say “baby what would you like for dinner tonite” just out of the blue, not because he feels I am stressed or anything other than he just feels like cooking up a meal.  Its just not who I am and will be glad for the day to come when people will evolve and understand that it’s crazy to expect women to be regulated to so called tradition when we dont live in a traditional society.

  • sweettea

    I don’t think a woman should learn to cook to keep a man or get a man. Learn because it’s healthier and tastes better. When i got married i was 21 and raised by vegetarian non cooking mom. I couldn’t cook at all. My husband was a trooper and ate every experimental dish i made. Now I’m a pretty good cook. Not a lot of leftovers at my house

  • Vee

    I had to step my cooking game up to new heights since living alone. So i expect my woman to be able to at least cook for me every now and then.

    • brooklyn

      I like this post!!  A man who can cook, made an effort to step up his cooking game and expects his woman to do too every now and then because he too can cook!!  Not expecting that it is her job to do so.  It is mutual people we are no longer in the 1940s and 50s.  Back then we were just housewives!

      • Likewaterforchoc

        Sorry, but bw were never “just housewives”. You are referring to white women before the feminist movement. Black women have always worked and filled domestic roles simultaneously.

        • brooklyn

          I was not referring to any particular ethnic group of women but women in general in those eras and our roles back then.  

  • sholla21

    Do you have an explanation for all the married women who can’t cook? I didn’t think so.

  • Femaleguest24

    cooking to keep a man.  Yeah right, stop spreading false information

    • brooklyn

      Everyone who loves food so much should be able to cook it man or woman!!

  • Prissy

    Whatever. Everyone I know that is married or has a man can’t cook and make jokes about them not being able to know how to cook. Men are idiots. They say one thing then “wife” up the other. 

    • Valentinhovon

      yeah, it s always the men who are idiots, never the women.

  • Guest

    Well what about all the women I see that can’t cook and men are marrying them left and right? I know three women who have gotten married within this past year and the best they can do is burn boiled eggs. What about the ones who do know how to cook but men look them over?

  • Tcleckley

    I truly enjoyed your article….I just came back from visiting my son, daughter in law & 5 year old daughter. I was a bit upset to see the amount of fast food that they eat….They could save so much money if someone in the family cooked! I am 49 yrs old & I am an average cook…However, since I do want to get married again, I would like to surprise my future husband with a few culinary skills. I think everything just moves so fast in our society that people have forgotten basics.

  • I’m guilty!!  I can’t cook a lick.  I can follow a recipe but I don’t know how to adjust it to suit my tastes.  I do need to get on the ball and learn how to cook.  I don’t want my family eating take out and junk food. 😉

  • Mchishimba

    There is nothing like a delightful home cooked meal. It is not only cost effective, but healthier. Cooking for my husband and the people I love is a great feeling. Nothing like having them fight over my Oxtails 😉

  • SoTrue

    I actually find it very sad that so many women cannot cook. I am 20 years old and proud to say that I can a lot of meals very well, including Nigerian food.

    People are truly losing sight… It’s not about being sexist; it’s about God giving men certain roles and God giving women certain roles. Women SHOULD cook, in the same way that men should automatically fix things in the house (e.g. change light bulbs, unclog a blocked drain etc.)

    Major side-eye should be given to women who claim to not know how to cook. Smh… as if there aren’t 19359048094869 recipe books out there already. If women spent as much time complaining that they “don’t know how to cook” as they did on learning how to cook, this would not be an issue – it’s almost become fashionable for women to say they can’t cook.


    • Girliusmaximus

      Not being mean but I wasn’t trying to like your response I was aiming for the reply button.

      No one should get the side eye for not having a certain skill set if their life does not call for it. This coming from a woman who can cook and does it for the love of food and not for another dude. I disagree with your post mainly because not everyone believes in God first and foremost so gender roles handed out by The Almighty don’t mean a hill of beans to both men and women. Second, in this day and age we live in, society is such that you take on what ever role works for you, not to get someone else to be in your life. If a man doesn’t want to be with me because of lack of culinary skills then that man isn’t for me plain and simple. No one should have to learn how to cook just to keep a boyfriend/spouse. If you want to be able to cook then that should be a personal decision made for yourself.

      Think about women who didn’t grow up in large families, or had families where cooking wasn’t a big deal or had hired help doing things for them….. Women come from all walks of life and I think it’s judgmental to stigmatize a woman who doesn’t cook. Maybe she just doesn’t want to, maybe a woman wants her man to cook.

      And how do you account for all the women who can cook but aren’t in relationships, and the married women who can’t cook? Exactly.

      On a side note, this article does not take into account same sex relationships so that’s a double strike for a woman learning how to cook just for a man.

      • SoTrue

        The fact that you couldn’t even click the “reply” button makes me question your cooking skills LOL –> that was a joke!

        I never said that anyone should learn how to cook to keep keep a boyfriend/ spouse; I said that women and men have certain roles. Personally, I don’t care if it’s year 3000, as far as I am concerned there are certain traditions in life that should be kept and women cooking is one of them.

        This article is about SINGLE women who say they can’t cook and wonder why they don’t have a man so no I cannot account and do no care for married women who can’t cook.

        On a side note, I think that a significant number of women who want their man to cook because “they can’t cook” are the same women who will later be complaining that their man is “too soft”.

        I appreciate your response to my post, but at the same time I’m sticking with my belief that I think it’s a woman’s role to cook. That’s not to say that the man cannot cook once in a while.

        • Girliusmaximus

          No but you did say that women who claim they can’t cook should get the side eye. I would love to see the exchange that goes down between you and a woman you give the side eye to because she can’t cook. I’ll just stand out of the line of fire.

    • t.wilson

      My husband does all the cooking and he’s amazing at it. I don’t enjoy cooking so I don’t do it often. I think it’s ridiculous to say that because I am a woman I have to cook.  

    • t.wilson

      My husband does all the cooking and he’s amazing at it. I don’t enjoy cooking so I don’t do it often. I think it’s ridiculous to say that because I am a woman I have to cook.  

    • t.wilson

      My husband does all the cooking and he’s amazing at it. I don’t enjoy cooking so I don’t do it often. I think it’s ridiculous to say that because I am a woman I have to cook.