If you’ve found the love of your life before you found out you had Celiac Disease and needed to be gluten free…lucky you! For the rest of us, the dating scene might as well be an epic dance of trying to find the balance of being known as the ‘celiac’ or ‘picky-eater’ and safely dining out while still trying to find the right moment to spill the beans about the reason why you always ask “if the salad comes with croutons” and never let the waitress set the bread on your side of the table.
In an effort to share my own experiences of dating in New York City with Celiac Disease, I’ve rounded up the five relationship milestones that you go through when you’re gluten-free:
1. Trying to order off the menu without admitting to the waitress that you have Celiac Disease or inconspicuously cornering her as she goes back to the kitchen to tell about your dietary restrictions.
Hey, the dating scene in New York is cut throat. You don’t want to admit your problems on your first date and be ‘eliminated’ by your potential to contaminate the family gene pool, do you?
2. Always ordering a glass of wine at the dive bar instead of a $1 beer.
What does this girl like to order the most expensive thing on the menu? Drinks in New York aren’t cheap. Getting a house glass of wine is typically $10 or more. When you skip the $1 draft special for a $10 glass of wine, it can bring leave them wondering if you think you’re on the Millionaire Matchmaker…
3. The revelation that you’re not just a picky-eater or food snob, but in fact you have Celiac Disease.
When you drop the ‘I have Celiac Disease Bomb’ and tell them that means you can only eat gluten free food or else you’ll get really sick, it’s like seeing everything in your relationship making sense for the first time. If they accept it – he or she is a keeper. If they don’t – their loss! Yes, I’ve actually dated someone that thought I was an inconvenience because I had Celiac Disease and had to eat gluten free. Needless to say, I am much better off now. 😉
4. When the waitress brings you a salad with a big piece of bread laying across it even after you told her you had Celiac Disease, have to eat gluten free and can’t have any bread.
Your date’s reaction to this is key. Do they tell you to just ‘eat around it’ or ‘take it off and eat it anyway’ because they will be embarrassed if you send it back. Or do they call out the problem to the waitress telling her that she needs to complete remake the salad and alert the manager that you won’t be able to eat it if they just take the bread off because of cross contamination and the bread crumbs that will still be floating in the salad?
5. Taking the leap of faith of letting your significant other order for you at the restaurant while you’re not sitting at the table…
When you return to the table and discover, not only did he order your food correctly, find out if anything has gluten ingredients, but he also alerted the chef and the manager about your gluten free diet. Wow, you found a keeper!