Diets and Dating: How Food Restrictions Can Affect Your Love Life

Relationships are tricky enough without adding eating issues of a special diet into the mix. These tips, from the authors of a new book about dating while vegan, show you how to handle the potential roadblocks.

Special diets can certainly add a layer of complexity when you're in a relationship or starting to date. Authors Ayindé Howell and Zöe Eisenberg, who penned the book The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and the People Who Love Them, provide some helpful advice. Similar challenges could arise if your diet is gluten-free, dairy-free, or Paleo.

Howell and Eisenberg suggest discussing your dietary restrictions as early as possible, especially if food gets brought up or if you're on a dinner date. Howell mentioned that women often wonder if he's dieting when he orders tofu. To avoid feeling self-conscious or being seen as high maintenance, it's best to be upfront about your diet.

If you're the one with the dietary restriction, choosing the restaurant can help keep things simple. When asked why you chose the location, it provides a natural opportunity to discuss your dietary needs.

When choosing where to eat, ethnic restaurants are often a good choice because they tend to have something for everyone. Howell suggests doing some research ahead of time to see what vegan options a restaurant offers. It's a thoughtful gesture that will surely impress your date.

However, dietary restrictions can potentially become a deal breaker if you cannot have a respectful discussion about your differing eating habits. If disagreements over food signal deeper issues, it might be indicative of more significant problems later on. Decisions about children's diets can also become contentious.

When introducing your vegan partner to your parents, communication is key. Make sure to inform the cook about any dietary restrictions and offer to bring a dish you know you can eat. Assisting in the kitchen not only earns you brownie points but also ensures you know exactly what went into each dish.

Remember, understanding and respect are fundamental elements in navigating through these challenges.

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