Navigating Dinner Dates with Food Allergies
Last updated: September 2022
The famous dinner date. We have all been there or soon will be there. You get asked on a date to dinner, and not only do you have to deal with all the butterflies of just that invitation alone, but you have food allergies. Yikes!
The questions you might ask yourself
When do you tell the other person about your food allergies? Should you not tell them at all? Should you suggest a restaurant you know well, or would that be awkward since they initiated the invitation? Should you even go? What if you have an allergic reaction? Oh, the dilemma.
Don't let allergies hold you back
Well, I say go! I don't think you should ever let food allergies get in the way of living your life. Of course, I express this within reason. If you have a severe allergy that can threaten your life and feel unsafe going to a particular place, then, by all means, don't go or suggest cooking something at your home.
But if your food allergy is manageable, go for it. So, if you decide to go on a dinner date, the following tips might help you navigate the date successfully.
Tips for dating with food allergies
For example, I think it's best, to be honest from the beginning. If this is the first dinner date and the person doesn't know you very well, I suggest mentioning your food allergies immediately. Just be honest, and don't make it a big deal.
Disclose your allergies
If you said yes to the date, follow up with: "I have a food allergy to [specific allergens], so I need to be mindful of where we go out. I'm happy to suggest a restaurant if you need help." You can also mention the safe foods that will be options for you if they're on the menu.
Saying something of this nature is helpful because, firstly, you tell the person you have food allergies and what the food allergies are. Secondly, you offer to help pick a restaurant if they get overwhelmed. And lastly, you give them an option of what you can eat, so if they choose to pick a place on their own, they know what will match your food allergy criteria.
Offer to choose the restaurant
And as mentioned above, it is valuable to have a restaurant you can name to help guide that person. For example, you can say something similar to: "If you need help with options, I know [restaurant name] is a safe place for me to eat."
Preview the menu
Once the restaurant is selected, it's a good idea to look at the menu online before the date. Sometimes menus change, so familiarize yourself with the most up-to-date menu and select options that work for you so you aren't stressed choosing at the moment while on the date.
Enjoy your date!
Lastly, if you plan to accommodate your allergies, and know what you are ordering, have peace of mind that you will be fine and enjoy your date! Now, you need to focus on the actual date. Be in the present, and rest assured that all will go smoothly regarding food.
Any tips you'd like to share about dinner dates? Share below!
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?