How many times have you watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before? 3? 10? I just watched it for the fifth time, and I'm still so in love with everything about it. I don't think it'll ever get old. PK is no longer just a character from a novel, he is now a type of boyfriend that just melts your damn heart. As I was reading through tweets from women who are thirsting for Peter Kavinsky, I came to realize that I married one.
He kept a toothbrush handy on our wedding day so that he could kiss me as much as he wanted.
Dating is one of the areas I am most often asked about by other people with allergies and by allergy parents alike. There's a lot of worry about whether having food allergies is a turn-off, if it makes one shy about dating, if the logistical impacts of it will break up a relationship. I've spent countless hours talking with people in our community about these very topics. Many have asked me how I managed to find a guy who is so caring, and now I know the answer. He's a PK.
He has repeatedly said that everything we do is shared, so my allergies are his allergies too. How could that not make my heart explode into a thousand pieces?
In my experience, some of the most important qualities I have looked for in a mate in regards to my allergies include consideration, self confidence, and empathy.
Being considerate of one another when it comes to allergies means that your partner doesn't put you in positions that make you unsafe or uncomfortable. They think about and learn to anticipate your needs. They ensure you are always included. They take time to understand your allergies and the impact they have on your life.
He bought a BBQ for us to use twice while on vacation, because he felt I wasn't eating substantially enough and that I must be hungry. Then he found an organic butcher and grilled my meals himself.
As we've discussed many times, building your own self confidence is so important for the management of your allergies. But it's also important for your partner to be confident about your allergies too. After all, they have to stand up to a lot of the same scrutiny and struggles that you do! They need to take your allergies seriously and convey that to others. A partner that shy's away or is embarrassed by your allergies is not someone who can stand up for you, or help you stand up for yourself.
Empathy should not be confused with sympathy or pity. The worst thing, in my opinion, would be to date someone who feels bad for you. You got this, and YOU DO YOU. You don't need anyone to make you feel lesser than, or disadvantaged, because you live with food allergies. It's just one small part of what makes you who you are, and there are a million other qualities that make you incredible and unique. A partner that empathizes is one who puts themselves in your position so they can understand what you are experiencing. They look for ways to help you, to make your journey smoother, to lift you up.
We were once having a stupid spat while standing in line at a pizzeria. Some hot cheese flung onto me and my skin bubbled up with hives. Even though he was mad and we were still arguing, he silently and angrily marched across the street and bought a pack of wet wipes, then scrubbed my leg down until there was no cheese left.
Finding a PK means finding a partner who cares. What qualities do you look for in a mate?