Dating a Restricted Diet

He’s a vegan; she’s a steak and potatoes kind of girl who dislikes anything leafy or green. Is there any hope for this relationship?

A recent Slashfood post about dating with dietary restrictions inspired a slew of interesting comments—from those with restrictions and those who would, or would not, date them. Here are some of the highlights:

I started dating someone who cannot have milk products about two and a half years ago. At first it was hard to adjust … but it … has actually made me a better thinker in the kitchen—I have to be much more experimental and it has turned out to be great. So I guess it is sort of what you make of it—It would be hard for me to decide that Humboldt Fog is more important than human interaction.

I’m the one with the restrictive diet. I have a horrendous stomach. Luckily my boyfriend has been really great about asking me what he should and shouldn’t put into our dinners. When we eat out, he always looks at the menu for things that I can’t have just to be sure that I don’t order them by mistake. So sweet.

I dated a guy once who pretty much only ate chicken nuggets, steak, fries and vegetables. No bread at all. I couldn’t stand it. It put a real damper on our relationship.

Medically restrictive I can deal with—I can cook around diabetes and GI problems. Learning up-front that he was a vegan/vegetarian? Absolutely a deal-breaker—I’m a deep-south steak & potatoes kind of girl.

I also have a restrictive diet. I am allergic to vegetables and bread. I eat meat. That limits some of the places and it has cost me dates. One guy told me it was not “worth his time” to wrangle around my dietary needs, another just walked away from the table.

I don’t even like to dine with people who cannot enjoy a full range of foods. I guess ordering out in a restaurant is okay, eat what you want, but for a partner, or cooking for other people in your home, very annoying.

Even though I’m now in a serious relationship I cannot nor will I date a vegetarian or a vegan. If you are a picky eater, that is remarkably unsexy and you are gone too. As far as lactose or gluten intolerance, those are things I can work with, but veggies are out of the picture the moment I know they are vegetarian.

When I started dating my current boyfriend, we were both veg. I’ve come back to the dark side with a vengeance and will eat burgers and pork products like no one’s business. He’s not offended by my omnivorousness, and I’m not put out by his not wanting to eat meat. What someone eats or not eats shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

I once dated a man who disliked all vegetables besides potatoes. I dealt with it at the time—but in hindsight I realize it never would have worked. Medical or ethical food decisions I can respect, but it’s no fun to cook for a picky eater.

What do you think? Ever been driven crazy by the dietary restrictions/preferences of a partner—or been the restricted partner yourself?

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