When we first started dating…

Hi! My name is Erika, and I have multiple food allergies and intolerances.

Dating is something that used to worry me. When I was in high-school, I used to wonder how I could possibly have a boyfriend with all the allergies I had. The fear kept me pretty content with my “single” status, because at the time, I couldn’t imagine taking any extra risk.

I always told myself that the right guy would come along at some point. I always thought I would end up in a relationship with a guy who had multiple food allergies. In my mind, it just made so much sense! If we had similar allergies, then he wouldn’t have to change his diet very much, and I wouldn’t be a “burden” on him (whoever the guy might be).  My friends always joked and said that they would find me someone with just as many allergies as me.

I now find myself in a long term relationship with a guy that doesn’t have any allergies or asthma, and I am the happiest I have ever been!

When you have allergies, the thought of entering into a relationship with someone can be scary. It can feel embarrassing to bring up the topic, especially when you’re meeting someone for the first time. But in my experience, it’s important to talk about your allergies and asthma right from the start before the relationship develops further. If you bring it up in conversation, speak with confidence, and discuss the implications, then everything is on the table. It is  important to show that you know how to manage your allergies, and that you are ready to share ideas, suggestions, and tips for them to help you avoid a reaction. If the other person is really interested in you and care about you, they will ask questions and be willing to accommodate! Trust me on this one 🙂

I am extremely lucky, because my boyfriend isn’t a big peanut or nut fan. When we first started dating, I showed him my epinephrine auto-injector and sent him home with a list of all of my major food allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, lentils) and less severe intolerances (dairy, wheat). We mostly cook together, but he also buys groceries and has made me dinner. If he’s not sure about an ingredient or food item, he’ll send me a text or call me. It has grown to be a very strong relationship in a very short period of time, because we have learned to trust one-another.

Communication in any relationship is key! If the guy or girl you are falling for truly cares about you, they will find ways to make it work. And you need to know that you are NOT a burden. That was my biggest challenge!

A boy and girl leaning in for their first kiss

You might not want to “kiss and tell,” but when it comes to allergies, you should always tell before you kiss!

For more on relationships and dating with allergies, check out these great WhyRiskIt? resources:

– Tips for building supportive relationships

– Personal tales of romance

-“First Kiss” video

– Food allergies and dating video

And leave a comment sharing your experiences of romance with allergies!

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