Dating is hard. Dating with a food allergy is even harder. It can be so overwhelming for some with food allergies that they simply don’t want to go out at all. But, you don’t have to give up dating just because you have food allergies or sensitivities.
If you are gluten-free or have another food allergy or intolerance, your diet specifications impact every area of your life, including your love life.
Planning a Date
Planning a date, especially a first date, can cause enough stress without the added complications of living with food restrictions. We know dating with Celiac disease or other food allergies can easily be overwhelming and frustrating.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of six tips you can use to help keep your food intolerance or allergy from inhibiting your social life.
1. Be open and honest after you get to know each other.
If you’ve had problems in the past with people not accepting your food sensitivities, you may feel like you need to screen your date from the get-go. We respect that.
However, when you’re on a first date, it’s unnecessary to disclose all the details of your personal life. If you’re planning to go on a dinner date, offer to choose the restaurant.
You know all the good restaurants that cater to your dietary needs, and you probably already know how to order what you want to eat there without it being a big deal. After you break the ice and have gotten to know each other, let your date know that you have dietary restrictions.
That way, they can plan future dates without there being any unexpected hiccups. As you grow in a relationship, you may feel more comfortable disclosing more details.
2. Plan ahead.
If you have dealt with a food allergy for any length of time, this planning ahead isn’t new to you. If you’ll be eating out on your date, call ahead or check the menu online to make sure there is something you can eat.
And, if you have been invited to someone’s home for a group gathering or meal, offer to bring a dish to share. Not only is this is a nice gesture, but it is also a way you can be sure that there will be something you can eat at the get-together.
3. Cook together.
If it is just two of you for dinner, make it fun. Spend time cooking together! By cooking together, you will have more control over the menu and the ingredients.
If you have severe sensitivities, offer to do the grocery shopping yourself to ensure that the ingredients don’t contain anything you can’t eat. If your date insists on cooking for you, be sure they know you have specific diet restrictions.
You don’t have to go into too much detail if you prefer not to, but stress the restrictions are based on medical reasons. This tip helps your date understand your food restrictions aren’t to be taken lightly.
4. Plan non-food events.
It seems like most dates are food-related when you first start seeing each other but making food the center of a date isn’t necessary. Food isn’t what makes a date enjoyable.
The conversation and time you spend with the other person are what makes a date great! Instead of planning dates around food:
- Go on a hike
- Visit a museum
- Go to a concert
- Participate in activities you both enjoy
5. Hold off on the first kiss.
You may want to kiss your date, but there is no reason to tempt fate if your first kiss could actually harm or even kill you. If you have a severe food allergy triggered by eating food cooked in a kitchen that has been cross-contaminated, then you need to hold off on kissing.
For Celiac patients, even some tiny crumbs on the tongue or lip can cause reactions and intestinal damage. Wait on that first kiss until you feel comfortable sharing your food allergy/health issues with your partner. If your allergy is serious enough, before kissing, you should ask them:
- What was the last thing you ate?
- What time did you eat it?
- When was the last time you washed your hands and face?
- When was the last time you brushed your teeth?
This may seem extreme, but it could also save your life.
6. Choose your partner as wisely as you choose the food you eat.
Acceptance of food restrictions can be difficult for many people who have food allergies. Acceptance of food restrictions can be even harder for people who don’t have them. If you are looking for a life partner, then the people you date must accept your food allergies.
If you have dietary restrictions for health or medical reasons, this is non-negotiable. Your health concerns are as much a part of you as your personality and the music you like.
If you can’t comfortably discuss these topics with the person you’re dating, or if the topic sparks arguments between you, move on and find someone who accepts you just the way you are.
Dietary Restrictions Don’t Have to Be a Downer
Dating can be a roller coaster ride packed with ups, downs, thrills, and spills. You can take the ride without compromising your health. And you can have fun in the process! Be confident, be creative, and stay positive.
These attractive traits will help reduce the stress associated with dating with Celiac disease or other severe food allergies and intolerances. Remember, you aren’t just your restrictions. You are whole and beautiful!
We’re Here to Support You!
If you are struggling with living with Celiac disease or adjusting to a lifestyle that now involves food restrictions, we can help.
We understand food allergies affect every part of your life; that is why we have included Health Coaches, Life Coaches, and Counselors in our practice at Living Well Dallas.
We want you to feel supported, so you can live the life of your dreams! Contact us today!