Finding a love match is filled with ups and downs, with tried and failed Internet dating site connections and blind dates set up by well-meaning friends. Food restrictions simply add an important extra aspect to finding the right personal chemistry. Having food restrictions can add some challenges to dating and relationships. When you're dating someone new it can be hard to find the right time and way to bring it up. If you have Celiac Disease, a food allergy, an intolerance or are on a specific diet (like the Paleo Diet) it can be a delicate subject in the dating world. When you're dating someone new and they arent prepared to learn and understand your food restriction/s then they aren't ready to be a part of your life. As someone with Celiac Disease and multiple life threatening food allergies I've learned how to balance my food restrictions and dating. It can be scary to put yourself out there and face possible judgement and rejection because of your restriction but with these tips you can successfully date without fear.
Tip # 1 Have the "Big Talk"
When you're on a date and you feel like it's the right time to bring up your food restriction then focus on keeping it positive while still addressing the seriousness. This talk is better done at or near the beginning of a date. In the case of allergy, you have to show a date where you keep emergency numbers, your epinephrine auto-injector, and you have to demonstrate how to use that auto-injector. When you’re out for a first time with someone and giving him instructions on how to use an auto-injector, that may not be romantic, but neither is being rushed to hospital. If you have Celiac Disease, an intolerance or another food restriction you don't have to go into detail what happens when you eat the actual food (ex. talking about diarrhea/ cramps/ bloating usually isn't sexy) but make a point to get across the importance of avoiding the food. Having a short speech ready can lessen your nerves for when the time comes.
Tip # 2 Be Positive
The key to communicating your allergies or restrictions is to be open and positive and always suggest alternatives. Focus on what you can do and eat more then focusing on what you can. If you seem negative about your restrictions then you are suggesting to your date that they should have negative feelings about them as well.
Tip # 3 Kiss with Caution
With kissing it's all about being upfront. If you wait until right before the kiss it may ruin the moment. If you suspect a kiss may be a possibility later on in the date find a way to bring it up. If your date is eating something with the allergen or restriction try saying, if you eat that pie for example, then unfortunately we can't kiss later. It may seem awkward at the time but it's less awkward then then right before the kiss. There have been studies that have proven that food particles can stay on a persons lips for up to 4 hours after they've eaten the food, so it's important to take it seriously.
Tip # 4 Have a Plan B
Having a few back up plans in mind while dating is always smart to prevent awkward moments. If your date suggests a restaurant of activity you can't do then have a few fun alternatives ready to go just in case. That way you can enjoy the date without trying to figure out what to do last minute.
Tip # 5 Be Gracious
On the other end it can be difficult dating someone with food restrictions, so be understanding and appreciative towards them when they make the effort. For example if your date brings you chocolates you could say, "Thank you, you are so kind, but I'm afraid I can't eat those because of my allergy/intolerance/ restriction, why don't we make dessert together?". Showing them you're thankful for the thought they put in while still protecting yourself is key to dating with food restrictions.
Dating can be scary enough as it is, adding something on top of everything makes it harder but using these tips above should help. Remember to not let the fear keep you from living the life you want. Dating is fun and restrictions on your diet don't have to change that.