Disclaimer for our post on dating with food restrictions: We are not doctors, nutritionists, or really have any reliable knowledge. This is just based on our experiences. More info here.
What you’re eating may not be at the forefront of your mind when you’re dating new people.
In fact, it’s probably not the first thing you think about when you go on a date. But, if you have food allergies, intolerances, follow a specific diet based on physician orders, avoid meat for moral reasons, etc., then food is something you have to take into consideration when you go out.
Dating with food restrictions can require more thought, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dating.
I’ve had food restrictions since I was about 9, so I’m pretty used to it. If you hadn’t gathered by the fact that we have a gluten-free category of posts in the blog, I live a gluten free lifestyle. I also avoid shrimp because I have either an intolerance or possible allergy to it. Evan may be intolerant to chocolate. We’re still trying to figure that out. Food restrictions are something we’ve communicated about since we started dating.
So, first, if you’re planning on going on a date with someone to a restaurant, bar, or somewhere else where there’s food and beverages, plan ahead a bit. Give suggestions of places where you know they have options that fit your dietary restrictions.
If you don’t know where you’re going, it helps to have a list in your head of types of places you can usually find food that works for you. I’m not as sensitive to gluten as I used to be, so usually I’m able to find something to eat anywhere. If you have celiac, then you avoid gluten much more than I do. Your options are more limited and require a little more thought ahead of time.
The motif throughout this post will be to communicate. Don’t be shy about what you can and can’t eat. Just explain to whoever you’re going out with that you can’t eat certain things. They aren’t going to react poorly. If for some odd reason they do, then you should probably cancel the date or leave, honestly. Diet shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
We haven’t had any issues regarding my food restrictions, but mine are less complicated than many out there. It really just comes down to talking about it, planning, and advocating for your needs.
Ok, so you’ve made it past the dating with food restrictions part, and you’re moving in with your significant other. Now food is going to matter more. You’ll be together more, so cooking and going out for food will probably be occurring more frequently than when you were just dating.
Evan and I make it work pretty easily. Everything we cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is gluten-free. Evan’s snacks are not always gluten-free, so he still gets to enjoy gluten-full foods. Also, when we go out for food, he’ll get regular stuff and I’ll get food without gluten. Again, my diet is easy to work around, but if you have more restrictions, it’ll take more communication and effort to have food that works for both of you.
If your food restrictions are due to allergies, the easiest thing to do is probably just see if your partner will adopt your diet. Then you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination in your home. Lifestyle choices like going vegan or doing the keto diet (for non-medical reasons) may be a little bit harder for your significant other to agree to do, just because those cut so many food options out. But, even if they don’t take up your diet, it’s easier than allergies simply because it’s not life-threatening to you.
Since we already live together, being married won’t make a difference in how we deal with food. However, there are a few things we plan to do in the future that will require advanced planning about food.
The first one is our wedding. We’re planning on keeping it pretty small, so we’ll probably have mainly gluten-free foods. If it was larger, the most cost effective decision would probably be to just get gluten-free stuff for other gluten-free guests and me rather than a majority of gluten-free items. I’m assuming our wedding cake will not be gluten-free and I’ll have a separate little cake because wedding cakes are extremely expensive to begin with. Adding a full-sized gluten-free wedding cake would probably double the cost.
The second thing we’re planning on doing which will affect our diets is competing in bodybuilding shows. For a few months and especially in the few weeks leading up to the show, you have to cut down on your body mass significantly. Your diet will be very restricted. We’re both planning on competing eventually. The easiest way to manage cutting down will be to compete at the same time. That way we’ll both be dieting simultaneously. Otherwise, one of us would be eating tons of carbs and our regular meals, while the other would be living off of rice cakes and chicken. That just sounds like a rough time. Doing things together makes it easier.
Talk to your dating partner about your food restrictions. Cooperate with your live-in significant other to find a way to incorporate your food restrictions into you life together in a way that keeps you both happy. Plan out any potential future food issues so that they do not become points of conflict. So, as with most relationship advice, communication is really at the center of it all, even with something as small as dating with food restrictions.