A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
Two girls catching up after months apart. Thirty minutes of friendly gossip, from college antics to my new love life. One surprise statement: "I'd be surprised if you didn't end up marrying another celiac."
Honestly, I've mentally flirted with the idea before. I know bloggers in a committed relationship with a significant other and a shared food allergy/celiac diagnosis. I even blogged ages ago about the dating site for gluten free eaters only.
But, as many of you know, I'm six-months-taken by (insert gasp here) a gluten-eater. And, despite the few glutening kisses we shared when I didn't realize cross contamination applies to more than cutting boards, I don't have any plans of conversion. How do I survive?
1. First, I got everything out in the open. Fast. Truth be told, I was spared the awkward "I can't eat gluten" confession since, as my classmate freshman year, he'd already heard of my swag celiac life. But, when we went on our first date (thank you Chipotle!), I willingly answered any other questions.
Sums it up pretty well!
Others with celiac may think differently, but I don't mind honest curiosity. Of course, asking, "What can you eat?" will always lead to better results than, "Can you eat anything?" but I'll accept baby steps. And once celiac popped into the conversation, we could move onto to more interesting topics of debate - like why I'd never seen "Forest Gump" or "Batman." Watching the latter of which turned into date number two.
2. Next, find other common interests besides food. On a night I was particularly desperate for procrastination sources, I ended up scrolling Cosmo's latest online articles. And one of the top ones? "Signs for a Successful Relationship" - number 10 of which (yes, I'm embarrassed to have read that far) states "having the same diet."
Food, Neftlix, and sunsets...life at PLNU!
I only have to glance at my sweet potato sliders and the boy's salad with french fries to know that clone meals is off our dating to-do list. But what do we both love? Ending a long day of classes and essay anguish with some "comforting" Walking Dead episodes. Taking walks around campus to look at the ocean. Randomly checking out Asian markets that we spot on our drive back to school.
And, in my mind, common experiences > common foods every time.
3. But when we do eat, the celiac (aka me!) picks. Laughable or not, probably 9/10 of our dates end up in the line at Chipotle. It's close. It's college-level cheap. And it's "not-kill-Casey" approved. Plus the boy doesn't mind "suffering" through his over-stuffed burrito bowl too terribly much.
Gluten free, girlfriend, go fetch...so many "GF" options!
Also on the food list, though? Adventures! Thanks to the Find me Gluten Free (or, as the boy jokes, "find my girlfriend") app, I've added a nearby pancake haven, pizza place, and burger bar to the list of future date night locations. And if he hears of a place that's supposedly GF-friendly? If the Internet agrees, I'm down! Dating is all about that balance - during meals and otherwise!
4. All the jokes, all the time. I'm never overly embarrassed or quiet about my celiac - being diagnosed the week of my senior prom and getting glutened on my first date tend to do that to a gal. I commonly pull out my toothbrush kissing requirements as joke material with new friends - and the boy does the same.
Toothbrush jokes, puns, and silly faces...
He has asthma, and, as he put it one night when friends were contemplating our survival rate if a zombie apocalypse hit, "I can't breathe and she can't eat bread. Yeah, we'll be totally fine." Food allergies or celiac can have their (many) un-fun and awkward moments. But when your gluten-eater's learned the art of laughing without poking fun at said limitations, you know you've snagged a keeper.
5. Finally - don't go the Romeo and Juliet route and expect the worse! Honestly, I'd be open to dating someone with celiac. It'd definitely widen the kissing opportunities. And being glutened after a date? That'd turn into a (gastrointestinal) party for two.
If this is the compromise between the two, I suppose I'll survive!
But, I'm just as open to dating someone who regularly eats my version of kryptonite. (Maybe there's only room for one superhero in a relationship?) Long term, that could mean potential kids with less chance of joining the celiac family. And short term? As long as my significant other respects and tries to understand my celiac self, boasts great dental hygiene and doesn't mind choking (more like scarfing!) down gluten free cake on my birthday, it doesn't make a difference to me!
I don't know what my future love life holds. Heck, I'm just trying to survive the last four weeks of sophomore year! I wouldn't be surprised if I married a celiac...but I wouldn't be surprised if a gluten-eater won my heart either!