Picture this: you’re walking quickly down the street, phone in one hand, smoothie in the other. You’re lookin' fine AF on your way to crush this morning meeting, when suddenly you bump into someone. Your smoothie topples, your phone goes flying. The person you’ve bumped into their stuff goes flying to the ground as well. You both get half an apology out before looking up and - holy hell is he handsome. You help each other pick up the pieces, as you both continue to apologize; you shouldn’t have been texting, he shouldn’t have been reading. You smile shyly and he trips over his words, it’s the perfect ‘meet cute’. A scene straight out of a romantic comedy, the one every girl's watched a thousand times.
You’re about to say goodbye when he asks ‘Do you want to go for coffee sometime?’
You try to keep your composure as you run through the various scenarios in your head. You’ve just met this guy, you’ve known him for all of two minutes- do you tell him about your allergies now, be upfront and go into a long explanation? Do you simply refuse coffee and ask for a movie instead? Do you agree and then explain later at the coffee shop while you’re ordering your bottled water?
Why is it Reese Witherspoon never had to deal with this on screen? At least maybe then there’d a guideline of sorts, but since I’ve never actually seen a person with allergies portrayed on screen, in a non-comedic manner (another article for another time) there isn’t one. I tend to take this scenario on a case by case basis, sometimes I’m upfront with the guy, sometimes I wait until we’ve hung out once or twice. It’s not an exact science.
On top of figuring out when to tell him you have allergies and when to tell him you can’t be spontaneously kissed throughout the evening, you’ve got to figure out where to go. I find most guys aren’t very creative when it comes to planning dates, in fact I plan most of my own. Leave it up to them and it’ll be a movie, or Netflix and chill. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my Netflix but dude that is not a date! I am not getting dressed up to go to your apartment and watch friends on the couch. Likewise a movie is great but it’s got to be paired with something. You can’t exactly chat and get to know someone during a movie.
Dating someone with allergies really doesn’t have to be difficult or boring, in-fact we’re probably the most fun. You can’t take us to a coffee shop or to dinner and movie, you’ve got to actually put some effort in and think outside the box. We’ve got enough anxiety and guilt about telling you all the things listed above, the least you could do is plan an epic evening.
I’ll even give you some examples; take us to an amusement park or a city fair. Hit up a museum or gallery, window shop down Queen West and try on hilariously terrible things. Go to a pop up shop or the Rec room. Try a boat tour in the summer or skating at a city rink in the winter, go check out the Christmas market or take in a Raptors game. If you’re dead set on dinner make us a spread of packaged foods and plastic utensils or offer to buy the ingredients and see if we’d be up to cooking for the evening. Try go karting, or rock climbing, go for a hike or take in a kick boxing class together. See, I told you we’re way more fun than just ‘coffee’.
In all honesty dating with allergies frustrates the hell out of me sometimes. Guys can be incredibly boring when planning dates, I get anxiety about every kiss (see my last article here), it’s awkward and annoying and totally ruins the moment when I have to give them the lengthy explanation about my allergies. Not to mention all the things I’d have to factor in long term, like if we lived together would the house be entirely dairy free or what food and booze would we serve at dinner parties or at our wedding? It’s enough to make me want to give up dating all together some days.
But then the romantic in me remembers how awesome kissing is and all the amazing feelings you get when dating someone new and I know it’s worth it to keep trying. For all my fellow allergy-unicorns out there I’d love to know some of the best dates you’ve been on and how you handle telling your date about your allergies! You can leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @Vaylinaa
Dating with allergies is hard but it isn’t impossible. In every relationship there’s compromise, in mine the compromise just happens to be centered on food.