The budding stages of figuring out romantic relationships are already complicated and overwhelming so when adding the factor of food allergies into the swirling mind of a hopeless romantic, you could say that complicated takes on a new meaning.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a love struck daydreamer and thinking of all the ways the perfect first kiss with someone could look like is not running through my mind when I meet someone I am infatuated with. Maybe it would pan out like a romantic movie where we would gaze into each other's eyes, he would brush a piece of hair from my face, and smile before pressing his lips to mine but maybe not. What if it turns out to be an awkward, uncomfortable turn of my cheek and a "hey, I actually have multiple anaphylactic food allergies and can't kiss right now..even though I really want to...I just..have you eaten..I mean...what did you eat last?". Ugh, way to kill a moment right? The truth is, I would rather kill a romantic moment than risk killing myself from a kiss.
I am still figuring out how to handle situations like this and have come to realize that planning the perfect things to say and the "correct way" to bring up my food allergies to the guy I like, doesn't work because there is no right way. Talking about food allergies and what that means in terms of relationships was never something I felt was taboo. I have had countless conversation with my parents, mostly my mom as you can imagine why, and have asked medical questions to my allergist but there is a definite lack of advice for young adults by young adults. With the online food allergy community populating with more and more content creators, the space for advice around this subject is more available. It is important, for me, to convey honesty to the person I am with whether it be that I am confident with myself and managing my food allergies which helps them to feel comfortable or that a certain situation is making me feel really anxious. Bringing up concerns or questions to either my parents, doctors, or the guy himself, no matter how small or embarrassing they may seem, is crucial for a healthy relationship.
Never being in a serious relationship at 21 years old has me searching for my person - for someone who accepts and loves me for me. I am hopeful that I will find someone who is understanding and kind about my food allergies, the whole idea of switching his PB&J to SunButtter&J, and is honest with me when he eats my allergens because he doesn't want to hurt me. Someone who I can cook dinner with and trust enough to cook for me some nights. That's when I'll know I've found the one.
My point is, there is no rulebook when it comes to "normal" relationships and a relationship with someone who has food allergies is no different. If the person you are with really likes you, chances are they will be willing to make some life adjustments to keep you safe. And if they don't, they are not the person you want to be with. First kisses and relationships are messy, awkward, and overwhelming but they are also kind of beautiful. Don't be afraid to talk about it whatever it is.