Dating is about getting to know one another, seeing how you fit together and learning to give and take. Dating with food allergies is no different.
A budding relationship takes time and thoughtfulness especially if you manage food allergies.
We have asked some of our friends to share a memorable, or better yet embarrassing dating story that involved their food allergies. By sharing these experiences, we hope you can see that yes, dating with food allergies can be an adventure and there is always something to learn.
Our takeaways from dating with food allergies tales
- Don’t be shy about your food allergies! In fact, many uncomfortable experiences can be avoided if food allergies are talked about early on during the courtship. Clarifying your needs around food allergies will make communication easier and help set up expectations for you and your partner.
- If your date does not take your needs into consideration, maybe it is time to reconsider why you are with them.
- Not all allergy-related events (even the bad ones) will scare a date away.
Planning gets an F-
“I once went on a double date so ill-suited to my food allergies that I had to question why I was dating that person at all.
It started out at a dessert cafe where every menu item contained nuts or dairy or BOTH! The waitress nervously deposited before me a cup of lukewarm black coffee with a doily underneath.
We then went to a shisha bar (these were very popular in my area) where confusion ensued as I was not willing to share a mouthpiece with my evening companions who had just enjoyed hot plates of crepes.
Although that relationship did not work out, it taught me a crucial lesson about what I value in a partner. I like to look back at that night now and laugh – how ridiculous!”
– From Amanda Orlando
More stories from Amanda @everydayallergenfree
Kissing with food allergies: first kiss dodging
“I went on a first date with a guy who booked us dinner at an Italian restaurant, which is normally okay for my allergies. When we sat down I explained that he is dating someone with a shellfish allergy and he still got the shellfish linguine.
At the end of the date, we were saying good night. He came in for the kiss, and I swerved. Later, he told me that he didn’t think I liked him because I swerved. But, I replied back that If I kissed him that night we would end up in the hospital. That was the last time I didn’t mention cross-contamination or kissing with my food allergies.”
– From Lindiwe
An unexpected hunt for oatmeal
“I’ll never forget. It was my freshman year at Illinois State University. I was navigating everything new, from adjusting moving two hours away from home to representing the Redbirds as a walk-on football player.
Naturally slender, I stood out among my bulkier teammates. So, I worked to “get my weight up” fast, using protein shakes to bulk up. One night, I had a movie date at the dorm. I was going on and on about my “gains” due to these protein shakes.
Then, something peculiar started to happen. My skin started to itch. The lightweight shirt that I carefully picked out for this date suddenly felt like a scratchy wool sweater. I was lucky that my reaction to the whey protein in those shakes didn’t extend beyond the itchiness of the skin.
The night ended with my date confusingly searching for oatmeal to relieve my symptoms. I eventually had to go to the dorm shower to apply oatmeal to my skin. Nice date, right? I cannot make this up! The lesson here: ALWAYS read the label!”
– Javier Evelyn, CEO of Alerje
Twigs and leaves
“I didn’t tell my ex about my allergies until we were serious. When we were newly dating, I would only order salads and sometimes fries at restaurants as my safe go-to option. They would tease me and say I “ate twigs”.
– From Steph
Dating someone with a food allergy: a fairy tale ending
Kortney’s first date with her now-husband ended in an ambulance ride and a phone call to her parents! We will leave you with Kortney’s horror of a first date. For those of you dating someone with a food allergy, at least there is a happy ending because now they are married! Happy endings exist after all!
Kortney is your typical atopic triad who manages asthma, eczema and multiple food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!