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kimis

Explaining It To People

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How do you all deal with that uncomfortable situation when you need to explain why you can't eat the food? This is getting rediculous for me. I went on a few dates recently and it was unbearable trying to get through the conversation without looking like a freak! Most people have never even heard of Celiac or gluten....and I think it a real turn off giving someone a medical lesson so you don't look like you have an eating disorder. Then, to go a step futher, explaining what cross contamination is. We all know the basics here and we all walk in each other's shoes, but I am feeling so anxious about he next I need to explain this long complicated health issue.

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How do you all deal with that uncomfortable situation when you need to explain why you can't eat the food? This is getting rediculous for me. I went on a few dates recently and it was unbearable trying to get through the conversation without looking like a freak! Most people have never even heard of Celiac or gluten....and I think it a real turn off giving someone a medical lesson so you don't look like you have an eating disorder. Then, to go a step futher, explaining what cross contamination is. We all know the basics here and we all walk in each other's shoes, but I am feeling so anxious about he next I need to explain this long complicated health issue.

For me, it's easiest to just say........."I have food allergies" and if they ask - say "wheat,rye and barley...and it's in more than you'd imagine"

I prefer to pick the restaurant or just meet for drinks.

Olive Garden is my restaurant of choice and a Rum and Coke or wine fits the bill just fine.

Don't wear yourself out - that can come later.........and they'll start trying to accomodate your allergies.

My BF is a cook for the hospital - and they already HAVE to do specifics like wear gloves when preparing their meals to Celiacs......and have a specified grill too.

It's not as hard as you think - just don't detail your issue and they won't be turned off.

The kissing is the hard part tho.........my dates would bring a toothbrush once they understood after a few dates.

It shouldn't be that complicated - but then, it tells you who you're dealing with and that determines more dates - or no more dates.

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For me, it's easiest to just say........."I have food allergies" and if they ask - say "wheat,rye and barley...and it's in more than you'd imagine"

Me too. Everyone understands allergies. Then I suggest a restaurant like Outback or PF Chang, or a favorite sushi joint where I can eat without appearing too high-maintenance. No guy wants to make his date sick.

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I also say food allergies. If they ask for specifics, I tell them. Most people just say "oh" and that's the end of it.

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kimis -

keep it simple. i just say "i don't eat gluten because i can't digest it and it makes me sick" and i move on. i don't spend any more time than that on it. i see no need to give long lectures, medical terminology, in-depth reviews of bowel movements etc. to people who are probably going to be unsupportive anyway. if they really want to help me and want to listen i will talk to them about it, but otherwise they are wasting my time, time that could be spent eating yummy gluten-free food or otherwise enjoying myself. why give them so much of our energy? if you are going on a date with someone new why not go to a movie or a museum, or do something like bowling that doesn't involve food at all? let them get to know you as a person first and then talk about being celiac. after all, you are more than just your disease, right?

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Maybe it would help if you did not think of yourself as a person with an eating disorder but as a person with this genetic difference from people without this genetic characteristic. If this society had not become so dependent of gluten grains for nourishment you would not have this problem. You and I are in the same situation as Asians who lack the ability to make lactase. Neither you nor I, nor the Asians are defective. When the Asians learn about their inability to digest lactose and we learn not to eat gluten we have just made an adjustment to the real world around us which is different than the world of our far back ancestors who carried these genetic traits. Everybody has to learn ways to be careful. Tall people who don't learn keep banging their heads on door frames. When we avoid gluten we are healthier and safer but we don't restrict other people's choices in casual relationships and we expect their respect for our choices.

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I guess I'm going to sound old school, but it wouldn't bother me in the least if the guy I was dating had issues with food. (Have you met my husband? He never met a green food he liked.) ;) So I'm not sure why you'd spend more than two seconds with someone who was bothered with your food issues. Use it as your litmus test. When the time presents itself, see what the guy's response is. If he's warm and understanding about it, he just might be a keeper! I know it's not easy...but just to give you an idea...I knew my husband was a keeper when on the second date, he moved all my furniture for me without even attempting to kiss me at the end of the date. A man who would do hard labor AND not make a move on me like he deserved it?! Hello, baby! And he's the best man I've ever known.

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