People often ask me for tips on how to broach the subject of allergies and intolerances on a first date. After all, there is quite a bit at stake and you don’t want to scare off your potential new soulmate.
I know it’s easier said than done, but my advice is to stay calm. That is precisely the key to happiness. Many of us have been living with our particular situation for a long time. We know exactly what our issues are and we are used to dealing with them. Not so for others. This is why I advise people going on a first date to choose a setting in which they feel comfortable. Give your date a chance to get to know you first, not your restrictions. And by that I don’t mean that you should lie to them when you meet for the first time. Just don’t let your restrictions get in the way of the date. Your personality should be the focus. Your allergies and intolerances are of course part of you and don’t need to be concealed. But if you go straight to the point, you will put too much emphasis on your health problems while you should be getting to know each other. Then you’ll come across as complicated, and this may overwhelm them and put them off. When new people come into your life, take the time to get a sense of one another. Give yourselves a chance to check each other out. There will still be enough time on the second or third date to gradually open up about your restrictions and health issues.
If you know of a place where you feel comfortable, suggest meeting there. If the plan is to meet at a restaurant you don’t know, call ahead. You can then take the time to discuss the menu if it’s a lunch or dinner date and you won’t feel as anxious beforehand. If you would rather not take the risk of eating out, suggest going to a café, where here you can always order just a glass of water.
So there’s need to worry, you can approach dating with confidence. People rarely bond over a health situation. The ‘other’ is interested in you and everything that comes with you, and they will understand. But maybe just not on the first date!
26 January 2016. Author: Stefanie Grauer-Stojanovic