Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dating Gluten-Free

Pretty much everyone I know who reads this blog is neither dating, nor a glutard, but I thought I'd throw two cents at this topic anyway. Dating can be particularly tricky since many dates involve food and you may or may not feel like talking to strangers about your dietary regimen. Remember, it is ALWAYS up to you if you want to tell others about your food allergy, and it is up to you if you trust other people to prepare food for you.

I usually tell dates about my gluten intolerance. This way they understand why I am so picky about restaurants and food. While this has generally worked well for me, I have encountered some guys who could not deal with it. One guy did not want to go on a second date with me because he did not want to be part of this lifestyle. Fine, I understand that it is both difficult and intimidating. A different guy asked me an inappropriate question that I won't repeat here. That was just weirdsies. Sometimes I just didn't feel like talking about it, so I didn't tell the guy and was just secretly vigilant about my food. Most guys just ask a lot of questions and look a little terrified. This is normal and shouldn't freak YOU out. ...After all, most guys exists on pizza and beer alone for the majority of their 20s. If nothing else, a gluten sensitivity gives you something to talk about and you can educate another person. The more people we educate, the more people may be equipped to feed us! 

If you don't want to disclose your food allergy but still want to eat, you have a few options: (1) Obviously, you could offer to pick the restaurant. I tend to do this, since I know more than novices do about gluten intolerance (and most things. I'm a Dr, you know :P). I've also been accidentally poisoned so many times that I am kind of a control freak about my food. (2) You could do some sleuthing in advance by calling a restaurant and asking them if they can accommodate you and what they recommend. Both strategies spare you some of the questioning that typically happens when trying a restaurant you know nothing about. (3) You could also do non-food stuff, like coffee, or bowling, or trampoline dodgeball (which is apparently a thing). (4) If you're feeling lucky (and I am not the type of person that is inclined to hit that Google button), you can arm your date with some info and let them choose. This is risky, but I've done this before and it has been okay. ...But usually after I've known someone for more than a date or two. 

Bottom line, because I have to rush to catch my bus: If anyone gives you shit about your allergy, they ain't worth your time. Find someone who is willing to learn and who'll learn to deal, because you're worth it. There are plenty of good guys (and gals!) out there. 

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