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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free
A great article just in time for Valentine's Day from the NFCA. I've included my own tips and experiences in red font below. Enjoy!

Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free

When you have celiac disease or another gluten-related disorder, dating can be fairly tricky.  With so
much focus on restaurant outings, movie theater snacks and the post-date kiss, people with a glutenrelated disorder have a lot more to think about than just finding the perfect outfit.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) shares these  5 tips for navigating the dating scene while staying gluten-free.

Pick the restaurant yourself. 
Suggest a few restaurants that you trust will serve safe gluten-free food.  Do some research to find a few different options so your date can have a choice, too.  If you’re not comfortable picking the place or bringing up your gluten-free diet on the first date, why not cook at home?  You can always pack a picnic basket for lunch or dinner at a local park so you don’t have to bring up your diet right off the bat.

I have made suggestions of where to eat many times. You don't even have to go into the whole "I can't eat that" conversation with your date if you aren't ready to yet. You can simply order what you know is safe from a restaurant you are comfortable eating at based on previous experiences. 

Be prepared to quickly and simply explain your gluten-free diet. 
You shouldn’t be embarrassed by your gluten-free diet (yes, this even applies to the men out there).  If
your date involves food, you can quickly explain that you can’t eat gluten for medical reasons and if you do, you’ll become very sick.  Don’t feel pressured to give all the details on the first date, and focus on what you can eat. For example: “I can’t split the cake with you, but this place makes fantastic
homemade ice cream. How about we each order a scoop?”

I have to admit, I don't usually like talking about Celiac or being gluten-free on the first date. This is why I choose restaurants that I know are safe and where the staff already knows me. I've also impressed first dates by chatting it up with the manager and chef. :-)

Skip the food. 
Who says a first date has to be all about food?  You can go on a hike, head to a museum or show off
your ice skating skills at the nearest rink.  This way, you don’t have to worry about finding safe options
on the first date and can just have fun and enjoy the company.

I've done this too. Suggest meeting for coffee or going for a walk or a bike ride. This way you don't have to deal with the added stress of eating on a date with someone you don't know. First dates are already stressful enough! 

Be mindful of that kiss.
Use your discretion when it comes time to lean in. Did your date just finish a bowl of pasta? It’s a good
idea to hold off, at least until your date can find his or her way to a toothbrush. If you both shared a day
of gluten-free meals, then you should be all clear for that smooch.

While I don't usually think about this when going on a date with someone that just ate gluten, I have asked a date that just ate shellfish to go brush his teeth and wash his face after eating a shrimp salad. Perhaps I should be more careful! 

Your mind can do incredible things – including make yourself sick from worry.  So relax, have a good
time and plan ahead so you can enjoy the moment!

For more Dating Dos and Don’ts, see NFCA’s article in GREAT U.

Want more information about Sex and the Celiac?  Register for the upcoming free webinar “Sex and the Celiac: A Focus on Reproductive Health” on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PST.

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Blogger ackdavis said...

Good insight. This isn't restricted to dating ('cept maybe the kissing part). It's useful when meeting with a friend you don't know well or just met. The "I can't eat that" can be much shorter if you bring a snack along as well. Fit 2 in with 1 to share. Often I find people are surprised that Gluten-Free tastes so good.

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