John's eating habits broke me out of my picky shell and freed more than just my palate.
We've all heard the expression "The quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach." But for John and me, food was the quickest way to our first argument. He said I didn't eat enough of it, and he didn't mean portion size.
"How can you live in New York City and not try new foods?" John asked on our fourth date, when we'd gone out for pizza. I told him the city was more than a collection of restaurants to me. "I eat to live," I said frostily. This had always been a good way to shut people up when they said I was too picky. John sighed, "You're really missing out."
Having different palates—mine mostly limited to foods children like, John's overrun with ever-evolving flavors and cuisines—wasn't a dealbreaker. But I know other couples might not agree. People with strict diets often find it hard to date outside of their food preferences. Even with the growing number of vegan and vegetarian options available in restaurants, eating out just isn't as fun when your date doesn't want a bite of your entree or can't share dessert. Our eating habits also come with intellectual and ethical implications. I once went out with a vegan who called my meat and dairy consumption "irresponsible" and "nauseating." I knew that if we continued dating, I'd sneak cheese in to his food out of spite.
Jeff Nimoy, an Emmy Award-winning writer and TV producer, created the dating site SamePlate.com after committing to the strict paleo diet. By eating only food that wouldn've been available to primitive hunters and gatherers, he lost 40 pounds—and a lot of dating prospects.
"I'd tell women about this diet that changed my life, and I'd see their eyes glaze over," Jeff says. "One woman said, 'You know, you sound like a crazy person right now.' I created SamePate.com, because I'm not going to spend the rest of my life cooking two versions of every meal. I want to find a partner who can eat this way with me six days a week."
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