There is sharing food and there is spreading germs. But they aren't the same thing.
I have a simple litmus test, and it is almost 100% accurate. Will you eat off my plate? More specifically, how soon after meeting me will you either eat off my plate or offer me something from yours? If we have consumed food together twice without sharing, chances are you are not the person I want dating my friends, or working with me, or planning a play date with our children. You just lack a kindness of spirit, and you clearly can't hang and will drown in the sea of sharing that is my life, because we share everything from HBO GO passwords to gynecologists.
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Before you start judging me--as I have already judged you--I do not mean double dipping with total strangers or putting 10,000 hands in the communal pretzel jar at work. Also, I'm not saying that we should use the same fork. I get it; germs pass from person to person through hands and mouths. (I have a toddler--the third bout of shared strep throat was a wakeup call to stop sharing a single piece of toast in the morning.) But it's food. If I like it, and I like you, why would I not want to share it with you?
I grew up in a family where food sharing was taken to an extreme. We literally ate out of the same salad bowl, and my father insisted on gnawing the bones of whatever pork chop was left unfinished. It may be gross to the outsider (and has been to every one of my and my siblings' chosen life partners), but it was a sign of our closeness--and it was nothing compared to what I've seen elsewhere. I once had a job that required eating dinner at work once a week, and without fail our boss, with fingers he literally would have just pulled out of his nose or ear, would grab food from the serving bowls! But that isn't sharing, that is contaminating. Who does that? Those people lack an awareness that they aren't the center of the universe and not only should they not be dating my friends, but also they should go back to the barn they were raised in.
But fear has no place among friends. If you are more concerned with what germs you may give me than with what fun we can have from a shared experience, something is wrong. Why are you guarded? What are you holding back?
There is also a practical aspect when it comes to sharing food. I can't possibly eat everything that interests me on a menu, but I sure would love a bite of whatever you ordered (because hell no, we are not ordering the same thing). It's just more efficient.
Also, no one likes food waste. If I am not going to finish but you are still hungry, please go for it (a new boyfriend of my college roommate was fully accepted once he reached over and finished her mother's lunch). I don't always know if I will like some new beer--so yes, please, can I have a sip of yours before I spend $12? If you enjoy my company, why would you want me to spend $12 on beer I might not like?
Please, take your fork (not mine) and grab a piece of something from the opposite side of the plate where I am eating and taste it if it looks good to you. Don't be afraid. I'm clean, I'm fun, and I've been housebroken for years. Also, the salad I ordered is pretty darn tasty. Don't you want some?
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