Forget a flick of the hair or a flutter of the eyelashes – if a woman wants to get to know you better she might offer you some of her dessert. Picture: Pexels

London - Forget a flick of the hair or a flutter of the eyelashes – if a woman wants to get to know you better she might offer you some of her dessert.

Couples who fed each other on their first date were more than twice as likely to see each other again as those who stuck to their own meals, a study has found. Women were much more likely to offer to share their food than men – with dessert being the most popular choice.

Leeds University’s Colin Hendrie and one of his students studied 143 episodes of the reality TV series First Dates, in which couples meet for the first time over a meal. They found 58 examples of one diner feeding the other. In 38 of the instances it was the woman who fed the man and in 41 cases dessert was offered.

Interviewed afterwards, 93 percent of the couples said they’d like to meet again – compared with just 43 percent of a group of diners of a similar age who didn’t share food, the journal Appetite reports.

Dr Hendrie said feeding seems to signal a woman’s sexual interest. But it may also have a practical purpose. Some experts believe kissing developed so that germs that are dangerous to unborn babies can be spread through saliva, giving women time to build up immunity before starting a family.

Dr Hendrie said: "The utensil will usually have the female’s saliva on it and when she gives it to the male it will probably transfer some of his saliva, which she will then put back into her mouth. So, they do the equivalent in infection terms to kissing."

Daily Mail