Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

Dating with Food Allergies: Q & A, Part 2

TAG members were recently asked to post questions on the FAAN Teen Facebook page for each other and provide advice for one another about dating with food allergies. Last month we featured Part I of the Dating with Food Allergies series. Here’s Part II.

Have you told your date in advance that he/she has to have taken precautions before kissing you, or have you told him/her when they try to kiss you? – Emily

I have always told my date/boyfriend in advance that I have a serious food allergy and that they would have to take precautions.  I have always wanted to talk to them about it beforehand to make sure they understand how serious it is. It can also be another topic to talk about on a date when we are getting to know each other. In my personal experience, it hasn’t gone too well to spring it upon them right before they try to get a kiss, and it can be awkward to then have to explain at that moment. Also, if you talk about it beforehand and they seem to not understand, then you will know to be extra cautious and if they are weirded out by it, then they might not be the person you want to be with. – Mei

I’ve done both. Telling them before is better, if they know you and already know about your allergies,  that’s even better. The one time I didn’t tell a guy before we kissed, I ended up freaking out when he went to kiss me and turned so he got my cheek, at which point my friend ran over screaming “She’s allergic to nuts -- have you eaten nuts today?!” It was funny, but not an experience I’d like to repeat. – Leah

I have a question for those of you who have dated. Does your boyfriend/girlfriend eat the thing(s) you’re allergic to when you’re not around or does he/she follow your diet? – Claire

Thus far, I haven’t had a girlfriend actually change her diet for me.  However, all of the girlfriends I have had were very cautious about eating the foods that I am allergic to.  If we had made plans then they wouldn’t eat the things I am allergic to that day.  If by chance they did eat something that I am allergic to, then they would just brush their teeth before we got together. – Adam

Depending on what your allergies are, I think it may be unrealistic to think that your boyfriend/girlfriend would eat only food that is safe for you. Since I have multiple food allergies, I feel that it would be too much to ask a guy to completely transform his diet. Everything would be so much easier and less stressful, but I don’t think that it’s a realistic expectation, at least in my case. However, if you only have one food allergy that is somewhat easy to avoid, I think it would be great of your boyfriend/girlfriend to change their diet for you. – Melissa

Has anyone ever dated anyone who also has food allergies?  Was it an easier experience, or more difficult because both of your allergies varied? – Nick

I’ve never dated anyone with food allergies, but I hypothetically believe it would be more difficult. On an emotional or intellectual level, I think it would be easier to connect and relate and sympathize with your date. On a logistical level, I think it would be harder. I’m allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, legumes, and berries, so if I was dating a boy with different allergies, we would both have to limit our already limited diets. However, if we had the same allergies, it would definitely seem to make life easier. But if that situation ever actually happens to me, I’ll let you know! – Emily

I also have never actually dated someone with food allergies, but I did like a guy who was allergic to about 75% of my allergens. My friends used to joke about how perfect we would be together because it would make it easier. I think if you and the other person had the same allergies or partially overlapping allergies it could be fairly easy - both of you know how to deal with your allergies and understand the severity. I think theoretically if you were to date someone with different allergies, it could work, but it could be challenging. Especially if the majority of your/their diet was based on foods the other one couldn’t eat. Possible, yes;  easy, no, but then again, dating with food allergies in general isn’t necessarily the easiest thing. – Leah

I have not dated anyone with food allergies. From my point of view, it might/might not be as easy as other relationships. If your date has the same allergies, sure! But if you don’t, it might just make it more difficult than a regular relationship, as you both have to watch out for each other’s allergies. It’s certainly possible, and it’s a great idea if it would work out. – Morgan

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