5 "Easy" Steps on How to Date with Allergies
Dating can be hard enough, but adding allergies to the mix can somewhat be complicated! All of us have been there. We feel like allergies are a burden as if telling someone we can’t eat a type of food is out of the ordinary. But do not fear! These tips will help you A LOT. They have for sure helped me!
Step 1:Be honest and open about your allergies!
This should be one of the first things you should communicate with your partner, allergies are part of your identity and no one should make you feel any less because of them. Having an open conversation about what you are allergic to and how severe allergies are is the first step. Being a significant other of someone who has allergies is a responsibility and it is not something that should be taken lightly. If this is something your partner does not feel engaged in or important some things need to be put on pause right away! Sometimes we forget and no one is perfect out of the 2 or 10 allergies you may have. Your partner could forget one and that can be scary. Some things I found helpful is to have them create a new folder in the “notes” app on a phone and you type in your allergies. Do not let them find out about your allergies “by accident”.
Step 2: Teach them how to use the EpiPen!
Once you have had an open conversation about the ins and outs of allergies, they need to learn how to use something that could save your life. That's right, the EpiPen! No, do not have them stab you with your EpiPen, you should receive a trainer or you can order one online teach them how to use it and make sure they are confident with this skill as well you never know when you may need it or who could be around you! However, make sure you know how to administer the EpiPen as well because it can be scary putting your life in the hands of your partner.
Step 3: Brief them on the kissing rule!
We all feel awkward when it comes to this. About 32 million people in America have allergies, that is a lot of people, so you're not alone! Your safety comes first as people with allergies we are always alert and on top of our game when it comes to things that go inside our mouths, however, kissing is not excused from the table. This is not a myth! You can experience an allergic reaction from kissing someone who has just eaten something you are allergic to! Make sure your significant other knows exactly what they ate throughout the day and even right before your date. Only kiss if you feel comfortable kissing. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) President, allergist Sami Bahna, MD, said:
“If you have food allergies, having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken oral medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual. But some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating. It turns out that their partners’ saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body.”
Know yourself and do not let yourself be in a situation where you do not feel comfortable!
Step 4: Show them what you love!
Both people in the relationship must do their part, however, your partner may have never had experience with an allergy, but you can make it easy on them. Show them snacks that you love and eat all the time! Teach them how to look for labels such as “gluten-free” or “nut-free’ in addition to having them look out for specific ingredients that can be hidden sometimes such as maltodextrin, lactic acid, or whey. Come up with your own rules such as allergen-free dates or going to restaurants you know can accommodate you. Always carry your EpiPen on dates and do not feel afraid to speak up!
Step 5: Have fun!
Wow, we made it! You have learned all the steps that can help you achieve a less stressful and open relationship! The most important thing is to remember to have fun! Do not let your allergies define you. Worrying is always part of the equation with allergies but you can make it a lot less stressful if you place yourself in a safe and open environment. Remember we are all in this together and your partner is there to support you no matter what!