Food Allergies And Dating: Recipe For Disaster?

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A woman with a wheat allergy explains what it's like dating someone who just doesn't get it.

Men of the world, in case you missed the memo detailing all of the things you should understand about women, let me give you a refresher on item # 503: Food is just as important, if not more important, to [most of] us as love – oh, and we often use one as a substitute for the other.  It is just as important to me that we are compatible at the dinner table as we are in the bedroom. At the end of the day, I'm just looking for someone to eat with. If you want to date me, there will always be someone else on my mind. If you want to work your way into my heart, accept my other lover – food. Acknowledge me, acknowledge my food allergies. Love me, love my delicate palette. Understand me, understand that I eat olives with every meal. Really want to find out what makes me tick? Share a meal with me. The Frisky: 10 Rules About The Way Men And Women Eat

Food critic Frank Bruni, in his insightful New York Times article "What They Brought to the Table," says that dining with others has "given him a special vantage point onto people's temperaments and tics, especially in regard to eating and food." He goes on to explain that dining with others has given him more than a culinary knowledge – it has also provided a first-rate education about psychology, sociology, and anthropology as well. Frank knows what I know. Before I can fall in love with you, I must eat with you. The Frisky: Do You Eat Dude Food? Does Your Guy Like Chick Drinks?

Jack and I knew each other in college and had a mutual crush, but never dated. When he found me on Facebook and we started communicating again after all of that time, our reunion at a local coffee shop was euphoric. We mooned and drooled over lattes, talked and held hands over tea. Jack and I decided we wanted to get to know each other again – like seriously know each other. He had so many great qualities – funny, unique, intelligent, successful. We had deep conversation, lots of laughter, amazing e-chemistry and in-person chemistry. I was thinking he was a dreamboat until our first dinner date. The Frisky: The comedy of online dating in an original video series

"Let's go to Olive Garden in Times Square," he suggested.

"Shut up! You're hilarious," I laughed.

"You don't like Olive Garden?" he asked disappointed.

"No. Do you? For real?"

"Yeah," he replied. "I love Olive Garden. McDonald's is a close second."

"McDonald's?" I said. "Gross! Not me ... I guess I'm kind of a food snob." I thought he got my not-so-subtle message.

"So meet me at Olive Garden at 8?" he asked.

"Umm ... OK ... sure." I can compromise, I thought.

When we arrived at Olive Garden, he neglected to tell me that eight of his closest dude friends would be joining us on our third date.

"Hope you don't mind that my friends came," Jack said. "They're like family to me and I want them to meet you."

"When you're here, you're family," I quoted, resigned to my fate.

"Is something wrong with you?" he asked.

"Yeah. I'm starving and my blood sugar is crashing," I snapped. "When that happens, I turn into a total bitch."

"Oh my god! Me too!" Jack exclaimed, high-fiving me. "We have so much in common." Then he passed me a menu and kissed me on the cheek.

I stared at the menu for a really long time wondering what I was actually willing to eat.  "Soup, salad with no onions, and breadsticks without the breadsticks," I told the kind young waiter in the khakis and the smock covered with faux Italian flair.

"You're not hungry?" Jack looked at me confused.

"No, I'm starving. I'm just allergic to wheat ... and most everything here has wheat in it," I explained.

"Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot." He took a huge bite of his pasta, grabbed my hand and continued to talk about music and UFC wrestling with the guys. "Want a bite or something?" he offered.

"No I'm allergic to wheat," I repeated, starring at the vinyl-checkered tablecloth while all of the tattooed, burping dudes on my group date finished their shrimp, lobster, and pork-stuffed-breaded-three cheese-encrusted ravioli. Now I know how "The Bachelorette"'s Jillian Harris must have felt living with all those frat boys. I resolved to let it go.

About a week later I spent the night at Jack's place for the first time. "Mind if we stay in and watch TV?" he suggested.

"Sure," I said, pretending to be as excited as I was about him a couple of weeks earlier. My stomach started to growl. "I'm hungry, though."

"Help yourself," Jack said, pointing to the fridge. "I'm not really hungry."

I found a yogurt and ate it alone. And then we went to sleep, without having sex.

When I woke up in the morning, Jack was in the kitchen. "I made breakfast for us!" he was beaming.

"Great!" I exclaimed. Jack was starting to regain some of his previous glow. "I love breakfast! Ohmigod you cooked for me? That's so hot! What is it?"

"Wheat toast with peanut butter!"

I looked at him, maybe even glared. "Are you trying to kill me?" I shook my head sadly. I knew what needed to happen next. I hightailed it out of Jack's apartment, my other lover on my mind, and looked forward to my usual lunch of brown rice, salmon sushi and a side of olives.

Written by Ami Angelowicz for The Frisky.

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