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moose07

Problems With Dating Because Of Celiacs

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and this is embarrassing for me to ask about but I am wondering if other people have had problems with dating because of having Celiacs?

I found out I had Celiacs about a year and a half ago at the time I was going through a divorce. I think my illness contributed to the divorce. I never thought I would have to date again but now that I am I find it difficult. I've had a a couple of short lived relationships since getting divorced but I do think part of the reason people don't want to date me is because of Celiacs. I've actually had guys tell me they can't date me because of the hassle of my disease. I know being divorced isn't the most desirable choice in a dating partner in the first place but I don't feel like having Celiacs should not be a reason for people not to date me.

On top of that I found that often planning dates is awkward because they places I can eat at are limited and there is always the chance of contamination even if the restaurants have a gluten free menu. It's hard to explain that there are certain places I can't go because of it. I've also been called high maintenance because of having celiacs, which I guess is true but not by choice. This has been one of the harder things for me to deal with after being diagnosed. Any ideas on how to make to approach this would be helpful. Thanks!

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Sorry to hear that, moose07 :(

I don't think that celiac disease would be the reason many don't want to date you; if it were, they're really not worth knowing in my opinion. Celiacs is minor compared to many other health conditions and others should be grateful for their good health. I'm sure you are. :)

All that being said, it is tough. Perhaps you could call some of your local restaurants and ask if they offer gluten free options. The gluten free menu isn't the be all or end all. More expensive dining venues tend to be a better choice for celiacs for many reasons.

Make a list of places that you know offer gluten free options. If you plan on going somewhere, call them about 24 hours in advance (generally at a less busy time of day) and perhaps ask to speak to the manager. Be polite, have a positive attitude and try to ask the right questions (i.e. Chips cooked in the same oil?, Separate utensils used?, Clean Grlll?). :unsure:

The good news, I find, is that many (after having been on a strict, gluten free diet for more than 4-5 years) can tolerate the occasional outing and not have to worry about the odd amount of cross contamination. :mellow:

Also remember that if your partner doesn't respect your needs (remember the gluten free diet is a need - not just a food preference), he or she really isn't worth knowing. Even my friends are understanding when socially awkward situations arise when eating out. ;)

Hope this helps. :)

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That's interesting. I was lucky enough to be married when my symptoms started getting really bad, so my wife saw how sick I was all the time. Since you are single you are dealing with the general public who think gluten free is the newest fad diet and don't take it seriously. Just this week at the grocery store the checker said, "I don't get this wheat free diet, I thought wheat was good for you?" My wife told him that I have a medical issue and I was actually really sick for a while. So, my advice would be a combination of humor and education. When you first meet the guy, try to have a sense of humor about it. I always tell people if I wasn't a big enough of a nerd with my asthma, job in finance, and collection of Sci Fi movies, now add food allergies to it. I have embraced my inner nerd and some people think nerds are cute. Then maybe after a date or two, try to explain to them what Celiac disease means. Not just trips to the bathroom, but other physical, emotional, and neurological isses as well. My Dad at first would always say, "Just have one beer, just have one meal, will that really hurt you?" When I explained my anxiety symptoms and the effects of gluten on the brain, that got his attention. As someone who hasn't been single in 10 years and had no game before then, I hope this helps.

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I've found that with dating, how they respond to celiacs is sort of a screen. Luckily most guys have been really understanding about it, and always checking with me first about food etc. If they don't respond well then they are losers and will need to be chucked anyway (they will be insensitive in other ways I am sure). When it comes to first dates, etc, I try to avoid restaurants but if they are unavoidable I explain that I have some food allergies and use that to wiggle out information for whatever restaurant we plan to go to and then I do my due diligence beforehand. Luckily now (as opposed to 8 years ago) awareness and acceptance of the food service industry is better. I try not to talk about it or make too big a deal about it (with the guy - I MAKE the restaurant people understand when i get in touch beforehand), but i do stick to my guns at all times. Then as things go on I explain that it's really more than a food allergy. When I approach it like that they seem to be more accepting and understanding than if I throw the whole thing in all it's seriousness up front right away. It takes a long time to explain and i don't want to be defined by my uncooperative intestines. It's kind of intimidating, you know? But to emphasize, i stick to my guns AT ALL times about avoiding the things I need to avoid. Usually I am not pressed much anyway. And, to add, I have been diagnosed for 8 years and dating on and off the whole time. Celiacs was never the deal breaker. And now, I've landed this *fantastic* catch of a guy. So there are happy chapters. :D

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The good news, I find, is that many (after having been on a strict, gluten free diet for more than 4-5 years) can tolerate the occasional outing and not have to worry about the odd amount of cross contamination. :mellow:

There are many of us who do remain sensitive to cross contamination even after years on the diet. I would never go on a first date to a restaurant. Dating can be a tough issue but there are lots of things we can do that do not involve food. Eating at a restaurant isn't the only choice or IMHO a good one for the first or second date. I would rather go to a museum, for a walk by the lake, go shoot pool, go to an art gallery or a fair or any number of things that don't involve dining. Personally I don't even know if I would mention celiac until I got to know someone a bit. What someone can or cannot eat is only a small part of who they are and I would rather they get to know me as me not as 'that celiac chick' at first. A person who knows and likes you is going to be willing to put up with the bit of extra care we need to take dining out if they are worth being with.

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With food being such an issue for us, I'd work on making food NOT an issue on any dates you try for. What do you like to do for fun? Hobbies, sports, entertainment?

You could join clubs and classes for hobbies and sports and meet people through that. Things like mountain climbing, hiking, choir, sewing classes, historical societies, scuba diving, animal rescue, book clubs, melodrama, whatever. None of those involve eating at all, so you don't even have to address the issue for quite a while. And you can get to know a person well enough to know if you want to go any further.

Or you could join any local groups that DO have food as an issue, so you'll know that the person you are with has an understanding of your issues and it won't BE an issue. Celiac support groups, food allergy support groups, that sort of thing.

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Or you could join any local groups that DO have food as an issue, so you'll know that the person you are with has an understanding of your issues and it won't BE an issue. Celiac support groups, food allergy support groups, that sort of thing.

I believe there's an allergy dating website out there for those who are interested in finding their 'true' allergy-free loves out there :unsure:

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When I was dating not too awfully long ago, I decided to go on dates either not involving food (and pack some emergency food with me just in case) or go on a picnic which I offer to bring all the goodies--especially for the first few dates. I used an online dating service and right in my profile I listed severe gluten intolerance.

I couldn't keep myself from saying nothing at all about the gluten issue, however I tried to keep it low key. Sometime I was successful with this, sometimes not.

One guy I went out with thought it was sexy that I could only kiss him after he had brushed his teeth and washed his face. Lots of pash without kissing. Ok he was Asian and holding back while going forth for him was a turn on...

Ironically I ended up going out with a friend of mine who just thought he was slightly gluten intolerant. After he got to know me better he cleaned up his act so i wouldn't get sick from being over at his place, and low and behold the migraines he had since he was a kid plus the ADD all went away, except when he gets cross contaminated with gluten.

Yeah he is the guy I have been going with now for a year and a half. A keeper, not just because of the shared gluten issue. We are compatible in so many other more important ways. I just got lucky I guess. After giving up and thinking like you I never would meet anyone who was really my soul mate, especially with this severe gluten intolerance issue.

I think the idea of pursuing your hobbies meanwhile is a good key. It actually is how I met my boyfriend. We are both poets plus I like hanging out with musicians (i.e., him) and he likes to hang with visual artists (i.e., the likes of me).

Bea

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