Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Five Ways to Love Dating a Gluten-Eater

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. 

Remember this?
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!


*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link love!*

Would you prefer dating another person with celiac/food allergies? How do you co-exist with the gluten-eaters in your life? Comment below!





6 comments:

  1. Casey, this is a great post, as usual :)
    I have been dating a gluten eater for over five years, we had to make a lot of relationship changes post diagnosis, and there's been a lot of bumps and learning along the way...like, don't kiss me with gluten crumbs or beer breath... your toothbrush trick is handy, but not always feasible! So we either avoid kissing, or I wipe and spit (so attractive :P)
    I wonder how it would be to date someone like me, probably a pain, one is enough :)

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    1. I don't know what's more diffcult - dating as a celiac or changing up a relationship after being diagnosed. And yes, celiac does make us soooo ladylike ;)

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  2. Oh my gosh, your post is amazing and hilarious and very informative! While I am not celiac, I am sensitive to gluten. I don't have to be nearly as strict as you, but eating one piece of "kryptonite" pizza will have my stomach in knots of the next 12 hours. Thank you for sharing - by the way, I am happily married but absolutely love the idea of Netflix as a dating (or friending?) service! You can learn a lot about a person by what they binge watch :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Brandi! My mom is sensitive to gluten so I know that gluten intolerance has its own bundle of issues :) And yes, Netflix is always a good sign of compatibility! :)

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  3. As a non-celiac man who is about to marry a wonderful woman with celiac, I found your article very refreshing. Differing dietary pasts shouldn't keep two people from sharing a life together. In the end, its all about caring for one another. Love is all about respect, kindness, support and compromise. (I know, not super sexy, but that's what lasts) Best of luck to you and anyone who happens to read this post!

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    1. Yours is one of the comments that reminds me why I write. Because I love hearing others stories and connecting with both the celiac and non celiac community. I hope your wedding is wonderful and that marriage is even better. And hey, sexy is as sexy does! And your descriptions of love sound perfect to me! Lots of luck your way too :)

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