Cooking Fights Most Couples Have

July 9, 2019  |  
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When my partner and I get together with a group of couples, there is always one topic that can get us all going for an hour: cooking together as a couple. This is something it seems all couples struggle with. Every week, we get the “fun” idea of making a meal together and every week, when we sit down to eat that meal, we do so mostly in silence, only breaking that silence to recap all of the ways we wronged each other during the cooking process. You know that saying, “There are too many cooks in the kitchen?” Well, I think couples inspired it. I don’t have these issues when I cook with a friend or with my mom—just with my partner. We just can’t get through making a meal without arguing every second over how it’s done. Maybe I can see why so many couples just choose to eat out for date night. Here are arguments I find most couples have when cooking.

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Somebody is being too bossy

In my relationship, that would be my partner. When he says that we should make a meal together, what he clearly means is that he will be head chef, and I will be the sous chef who just takes orders and has no input. The moment I try to make a suggestion he’ll say, “I actually already have this all figured out so won’t be needing feedback.” Oh. I see.

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While somebody else won’t take direction

I, meanwhile, become infuriated that my comments go in my partner’s ear and out the other. He thinks it’s rude that I’m making suggestions while I think it’s rude that he isn’t taking them. I’ll say, “You should use the canola oil instead of the olive oil for cooking—it burns away slower” and then I’ll just watch the olive oil go into the pan. Now it’s really on.

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You bought the wrong ingredient

I’ll often notice my boyfriend buys a different ingredient than I said we needed, and it will turn out that was no accident—he just thought his ingredient was a better idea, and did it on purpose. So nobody consulted me, huh?

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You bought the expensive ingredient

My boyfriend argues that when I do the grocery shopping, I always buy the ingredients that are too expensive. But it’s really just a difference of a few dollars for a premium ingredient over a crappy one. I want the small, sweet, organic Roma tomatoes and he wants the big, watery, genetically modified ones because they’re cheaper.

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Everyone needs more real estate

We just keep bumping into each other in the kitchen, throwing each other daggers through our eyes as if to say, “Do you really need to spread out like that just to chop an onion?” I eventually retreat to doing my job at the kitchen table instead of the counter, but I’m not happy about it.

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One person gets distracted

That person may be me. Hey—I’ve basically been kicked out of the kitchen because I was “taking up too much room” or “doing everything wrong.” So now I’m folding laundry or answering emails, and suddenly I’m accused of “getting distracted.” He had it coming!

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One person skews unhealthy

My partner wants to add bacon grease to everything—potatoes, pasta, chicken breasts, you name it. And his preferred way of cooking vegetables is just adding them raw to tons of hot oil, and adding more and more oil until they soften aka fry.

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And the other is trying to stay trim

I want to steam our vegetables. I don’t want bacon grease at every meal. I want the brown rice pasta for the fiber, but he says it breaks apart too easily. I want the lean red meat cut, but he says it’s too expensive and not tasty enough. We have to make a dozen little compromises in the health department when we make a meal.

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The undercooked/overcooked dilemma

We cannot agree when the fish is cooked through or when the pasta is ready. One will insist it stay in for another two minutes, then it will come out overcooked, and the other person will complain the whole meal that the fish is rock hard or the pasta is too mushy. There are a lot of, “I told you so’s” thrown around.

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To clean dishes now or later?

My boyfriend will usually try to start cleaning dishes while I’m cooking to get it over with. But I need the sink to rinse vegetables, strain pasta, wash my hands after handling raw meat and many other things and it’s annoying that he’s monopolizing it, sponging down a bowl.

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Everyone has his or her own methods

We each have our ideas on the best way to make something, from how small to dice onions to whether or not you add salt to boiling pasta. And whatever the other is doing, we claim it is “All wrong” and cannot concede that it may just be a matter of opinion.

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Who used the raw meat knife on the veggies?!

At some point, somebody will use the knife that was used on the raw meat to cut vegetables and we have to throw those veggies out and start all over. This will usually spark the old you weren’t listening argument because I did tell him not to use that knife on vegetables.

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One wants to follow a recipe

I’m a stickler for a recipe. We have recipes for a reason. Somebody else has already tried to make this dish, hammered out the mistakes, and perfected it. If we aren’t familiar with this food, we cannot afford to take creative risks.

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The other wants to wing it

My boyfriend, meanwhile, sees recipes as “just guidelines” and likes to stray. I’ll frantically watch him start tossing in spices that were nowhere to be found in the recipe and substituting things that really don’t belong in there. If I say something, I’m apparently “stifling his creative work.”

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One person feels she did all the work

In the end, I feel like I did most of the work and that he should do the dishes, and he feels the complete opposite. So we get into a standoff where we leave dirty pots around for hours—or days—hoping the other will give in.

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