Butterflies in your stomach when you are dating is one thing, but cramps, bloating and gas are quite another. If you suffer from a food intolerance or food allergy, you do not have to avoid the dating scene. There are many ways to find love even with digestive issues.
The key to navigating eating out and dating is being proactive in your approach to food choices. By understanding your food intolerance or allergy, you can have a plan to communicate your issues to both your dating partner and your server. The first step to navigating the dating scene is being up front and honest about your condition. Unlike other personal matters, a food intolerance or allergy will likely come into play whether your first meeting takes place over coffee, drinks, or at a nice restaurant. By being up front, your date will know better what to expect and your limitations.
Whenever possible, be familiar with the menu and potential ingredients ahead of time. This might include choosing the restaurant. Certain types of cuisine may be easier to manage for various allergens, such as avoiding candy stores that may be filled with peanut dust. For those with a dairy intolerance, Asian cuisines typically contain little dairy so they may be more enjoyable. If you are not choosing the restaurant or trying a new place, then call ahead. Doing some research to see if the restaurant is willing to accommodate your needs is an essential part of living with a food intolerance or food allergy.
Try eating in. If you are past the first date stage or two, then a good way to control what you eat is by cooking. Although many restaurants offer gluten-free options and menus, sometimes it is best to avoid possible cross-contamination altogether by cooking your own meal. Sharing in food prep is also a good way to get to know your date without the hustle and bustle of a restaurant. This way they can learn more about your dietary needs, food intolerance or food allergy.
Taking a food class that specializes in your food intolerance can also be a good idea. Cooking classes are known romance enhancers and offer the opportunity to share information about your condition, as well as an activity that you can both enjoy.
When possible, also try avoiding food-based dates. Hiking, taking a yoga class or going to a concert can all be enjoyable dates without worrying about what to eat or not eat. Dating is all about getting to know another person, with or without food on the table.