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Bantock’s experience speaks to the common fear that food allergies or celiac disease will be a dating deal-breaker.“Dating is hard for everyone, and when you have food allergies it adds another layer,” says social worker and food allergy counselor Samara Carroll.
She explains that what brings the site’s users together is a mutual understanding of necessities like label reading and restaurant precautions.
When the Illinois resident clicks with someone and they decide to go on a first date, her mind goes into overdrive thinking: “Gosh I hope he’s as nerdy as I am. We’re going to have to talk about my allergies today.” Wiley is severely allergic to wheat and shellfish, but prefers to avoid having food allergies “become the entire conversation on a first date.” Toward that end, she typically suggests the date activity or a restaurant, such as Chicago’s Little Goat Diner, that she knows is accommodating of her allergies.
Yet Sloane Miller, a New York-based psychotherapist who specializes in food allergy management, reminds singles of the importance of “the talk,” and that it doesn’t need to be a big sit-down lecture.
Miller advises that these conversations should not be a one-time event.
For instance, when a previous boyfriend offered to make her dinner, she noticed that he wasn’t washing the produce.