We’ve only just rung in the New Year, and Valentine’s Day is suddenly just around the corner. For anyone with a food intolerance, particularly a sucrose (sugar) intolerance, a day filled with candy and sweets can be a nightmare. So much of what is given to celebrate our sweetie is truly not appropriate for those suffering from sucrose intolerance, and the last thing we intend is to cause discomfort, bloating, gas, or frequent bathroom breaks for our special valentine. Furthermore, how does one even begin to discuss these issues on a first date? Well, rather than put either person in that situation, here are some options to choose from that are still intimate, fun, and show your valentine you are thinking of them.
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, so that means the weekends on either side of the date can be potentially busy in restaurants. That being said, it also means that the festivities may be spread over several days. More time to celebrate allows for more time to discuss what kind of food you enjoy eating and what kind of restaurants are suitable. All this “getting to know you” can be accomplished without getting into the specifics of your intolerance if you are uncomfortable doing so.
If a restaurant is in the picture, suggest one you are familiar and comfortable with. If your partner really wants to take you to a special place, call ahead of time to explain your food limitations. Be specific about your food intolerance with the restaurant and ask if they can accommodate you. Knowing what is safe for you to eat and how the food is prepared helps you feel more confident during the date. The symptoms and physical responses associated with sucrose intolerance can be embarrassing and humiliating. The better you communicate about your disease and what kind of food is appropriate, the more likely you’ll enjoy your time together and not feel anxious about the side effects of eating food made with sucrose.
Your Valentine’s Day celebration certainly doesn’t have to revolve around food. Valentine’s Day is a good time to take in a movie or the theater. Plan to eat on your own ahead of time, and then maybe have coffee or tea afterwards for conversation and discussing the film. You can honor the date, honor your needs, and not get too specific about anything you aren’t comfortable revealing about yourself on a first date. If you are looking for a more lively evening, consider a dancing lesson with your Valentine. You have permission to be close, while breaking the ice with laughter and stepping on a few toes. It’s truly a fun option that doesn’t include food if this is a first date or new relationship.
Whatever the time of year, first dates can be a challenge. Living with a food intolerance adds another level of tension to an already anxious event. But with a little bit of planning and a little bit of communication, Valentine’s Day can still be a romantic and enjoyable date night.