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I love to eat. Ask anyone who knows anything about me and they will emphatically confirm that. So it should come as no surprise that I, along with most men in the world, love a woman who can cook. There is just something so attractive and wonderful about a women who can create all the things that your stomach craves (and look good doing it).

Having expressed my love for women who cook, let me say I have nothing against those women who can’t cook. They’re alright with me. I highly doubt that, given two identical women, the only difference being their culinary abilities, that any man would choose the one who can’t cook. If you would choose the non-cooker, I must ask, “What is wrong with you? Do you not like to eat?”

(By the way, any woman tells you that she “doesn’t” cook, can’t cook. I’ve heard many a woman say, “Well, I could cook if I wanted to.” Sorry, I’m not buying that. Who doesn’t want to cook? If you could cook, you would, but since you “don’t” cook, I’m left to believe that you can’t cook.)

Why do men love women who can cook? Why do they prefer them over women who can’t? Is it because we like to eat? Yes. Is it because the cliché saying that, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” is true? Definitely. Is it because a woman who can cook reminds them of their mom? Sure. But at the core of all those truths lies something simpler — men love women who can cook because it means that their family will be taken care of.

To say that men are simple creatures surprises no one — least of all women. But it’s true. We can be very instinctual and simple in our thinking. Men are designed to protect and provide. When it comes to our families (or future families), we want to make sure that our children have the basic necessities — food, water, shelter, etc. Oh, and love too. At an instinctual level, providing these things shows our love.

Think about a caveman — he goes out into the land to go hunt and provide his family with food and shelter and clothing. When he gets back home, he doesn’t want to have to call up the local Chinese spot and order some dinner because his wife can’t do anything with the buffalo he just dragged back. He feels comforted knowing that his wife can take care of their children by cooking a meal for them, providing nourishment for them so that they’ll grow into strong little cavemen and women.

Doesn’t the whole “woman in the kitchen” idea just perpetuate the male dominated patriarchal culture in which we live? It sure does. But that’s a discussion for another day; I’m simply presenting the idea that men, given the choice, will always choose a woman who can cook over one who can’t, and explaining why that is.

But isn’t it hypocritical to demand something of someone else that you can’t do yourself? Absolutely. I’m in no way suggesting that men demand that their spouses can cook (unless, of course, they can cook). I wholeheartedly believe that you should never make your mate (or potential mate) live up to any expectation that you don’t. Having said that, both men and women, if you don’t know how to cook, learn!

[Written by Stuart McDonald for For more from Stuart, check out his all NEW personal blog, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.]

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