Dating is a prevalent part of all our lives. Children seem to be fascinated with the idea of love and companionship from a very early age. Given this, whether we are dating ourselves or parents of children dating, navigating new relationships with food allergies can be a big part of our lives. And with so much dating and courtship surrounding new foods and experiences, we must know how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe while we date new people.
For many singles with food allergies, there is anxiety around telling their date about their allergies. Many fear that their date will think they are too much effort, not understand or be inconsiderate. However, the basis of every good relationship is trust and honesty. While it doesn’t have the center of the night’s conversation or the first thing you bring up when you meet them, you must be open about your food allergies. Give people a chance to be considerate, and they might surprise you.
If you know your food allergies, you likely also know which restaurants are safe for you to eat. Take the initiative and invite your date to your favorite safe spot. Not only will this rid you of any unnecessary pre-date stress, but it could also be a great way to bring up your food allergies and get the conversation rolling.
It may be hard to remember at times, but you could be the first person your partner has met with food allergies. Allow your partner the time they need to understand the situation, and don’t be embarrassed to jump in with helpful tips and advice. Remember, oftentimes, your partner will want to be considerate but simply doesn’t know-how.
It may take some of the romance out of the moment, but kissing doesn’t get to be spontaneous when living with life-threatening food allergies. Before you lean in at the end of that first date, make sure you know exactly what your partner has eaten in the last few hours. Studies have found that people with food allergies have experienced allergic reactions from kissing a partner that had eaten their allergen hours earlier. For some, this means their partner cutting out their allergen completely. For others, it simply means brushing their teeth. Make sure to discuss with your partner and doctor the best route for you.
The last thing your partner wants to feel is useless – especially if you are experiencing an allergic reaction. Build a plan with your partner: teach them to use your Epi-Pen and show them where you keep the Benadryl. Your partner will be looking for ways to help you, and having a plan in place for the worst-case scenario can help keep you safe.
While traditional dating includes wining and dining, allergy-free dating can include bowling and movies. Having a food-free option can help you stay safe while still enjoying a fun night out. There’s no reason you need to make yourself worried to have a fun time with so many exciting things to do.
When trying to stay worry-free while dating, a great option is to cook for your partner, not only can this be an exciting experience for the two of you, but it can also introduce your partner to some of the foods that are safe for you while allowing you to know that your meal is completely safe.
For so many with food allergies, worrying is second nature. They have spent their years double-checking every aspect of their lives, that it is only natural they apply the same feelings to their dating world. However, dating is a game of trust, and sometimes you need to trust that the person sitting opposite you isn’t looking for a way out. Force away those feelings of insufficiency and being a burden. It may be hard to hear, but if you are too worried people won’t love you, you may be pushing them away.
The allergy community has come a long way and has built an excellent foundation in the past few years. Today, there are full dating apps and websites completely geared towards people with food allergies. Hundreds of online forums and chat rooms exist just for this purpose. While dating someone with food allergies isn’t your only option, sometimes it’s easier to relate to someone who knows the stress involved with reading every label and double-checking every recipe.
Dating is a hard world to navigate, no matter who you are. However, when adding the stress of life-threatening allergies into the mix, it just gets that much more difficult. That said, your allergy doesn’t have to control your life. With some quick creativity, smart planning, and the right person, your dating life can be just as exciting and adventurous as anyone else’s!
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.