Valentine’s Day with Food Allergies

allergy friendly chocolate hearts

Valentine’s day is about giving and showing your love and affection towards that special person in your life. To the food allergic date, this day is very much like any other special day or holiday when we need to step up ou game. We need to be more conscious about our allergies, especially when chocolates and other various candy are given out, perhaps in school or amongst friends.

This is my second Valentine’s day with someone special in my life and I am not the least bit worried because we stay away from the chocolates and candies. Instead, we will have a nice dinner, perhaps by candlelight and an evening together. And I have a hunch I’ll be getting roses… 🙂

What will you be doing? Will you be going out or staying in? If you are going out, stay alert. Remember that you can be as safe as you want, however your date will need to be the same if a Valentine’s day kiss is in the evening plan. That’s why I say a nice evening in with safe food makes this day even more special. In my mind, the only thing nicer than a dinner for two at home is a dinner for two In a fancy suite in Paris.

If your friends are handing out cinnamon hearts and chocolate at school and you are not so sure about the ingredients, just say “thanks but no thanks” and grab yourself a few chocolates on your way home!

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!