I have Celiac’s Disease. Though I’ve been living the gluten-free life for 4 years now, it still can be tough. I am so thankful for my wonderful boyfriend, Anthony, who has sought understanding since our friendship began and has made my day on numerous occasions as he’s helped me in this gluten-free journey. I wanted to share with you 10 things that I’ve learned make a HUGE difference to a girl like me. These are ways you can be a total WINNER at dating a gluten-free girl. (Ladies, feel free to share this if you’d like some fellas to take notes! 😉 )
1. REMEMBER she’s gluten-free.
It will take you awhile to get used to the fact that she’s gluten-free and I’m sure you’ll slip up at least a few times and that’s ok. But really try hard to remember. From my experience, hardly anyone remembers and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten the start of a question “Would you like a chocolate chip cook–oh! Sorry!” The less slip ups, the more she’ll appreciate you and feel safe around you.
2. Bring her a gluten-free dessert every so often. The NICE kind.
When gluten-free is so expensive, we cannot afford desserts all the time and would rarely ever buy ourselves the even more expensive “good kind.” Trust me, you will make her WEEK if you buy her something delicious and gluten-free. It’s like DIAMONDS! *drools*
3. Communicate with your family.
If you’re planning on having a meal with your family, especially for the first time, YOU talk to your family and help make the arrangements so she can eat. It’s so incredibly awkward to discuss with anyone that you have certain diet restrictions, but especially when it’s your boyfriend’s family who has invited you over! Take care of it for her since it’ll be much easier coming from you to your own family. You will put her at such ease!
4. Do your research before taking her on a date.
Don’t just assume she can eat somewhere and create the awkward moment of her having to choose to eat something she doesn’t like (or limited to a plain little burger without a bun or a salad with literally nothing on it) or having to ask you to take her somewhere else. DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST! Find what places have gluten-free options and even menus. Make sure she’ll be safe where you take her so that she doesn’t have worry about it. This will show her you care and it will build her trust in you BIG TIME!
5. If she seems hesitant to ask the waiter about gluten-free options, ask for her.
Sometimes we just get tired of explaining things or taking risks or getting embarrassed. Don’t take charge all of the time, but if she seems nervous or not in the mood to ask, kindly ask for her. Learn the language so that you can effectively get the information you need from the waitress. Bonus points if you ask in general (as if you’re asking for youself) instead of pointing her out.
6. Always be on her side when eating out with friends.
At least whenever you know she can’t eat at the place your friends have suggested. It can be a an awkward situation when most of your friends are wanting to go to a place you can’t eat. If she’s like me, she’ll feel bad to bring up her disease and make anyone feel like they have to choose a lesser place to eat. Don’t work against her (unless if you want her to starve and dump you after the meal is done). Show her you’re thinking of her and that you care by taking her side. Help her by offering other suggestions to your friends (where you know she can eat). If the friends won’t change their minds, pull her aside and offer to take her somewhere else and perhaps you can meet up with your friends again later or some other time.
7. Change the subject when she seems embarrassed or irritated by answering naive questions for the umpteenth time.
We get asked a lot of questions. “So what happens if you eat gluten?” “Will you die?” “Can’t you just take one bite?” “Do you miss bread?” “I could never do it. I’d totally die without the things you can’t eat! Do you miss these oh-so-yummy doughnuts?” Some questions make us want to cry. Some are just completely inappropriate or just awkward to answer. Or it could have just been a day that 5 people happened to ask almost back to back and we’re just tired of reflecting upon our loss and how different we are from you. Or we want to be able to eat our food without someone insulting it and making us wish we could eat something else.
If you see her in this situation, help her out by changing the subject. Suddenly come up with an urgent question you need to ask her or bring up a topic you’ll know the other person will latch onto without noticing the switching of topics. She will be so grateful!
8. When sharing gluten-free food, let her have the biggest piece or the leftovers.
This is just an uber kind gesture that shows her you understand that gluten-free food is expensive and that it’s harder for her to find food she can eat like you can.
9. Surprise her by taking her to a dedicated gluten-free restaurant or bakery.
Trust me, dude, she will go NUTS! When you’re used to not being able to eat anything or being limited to only 1 or 2 choices off of a menu, her jaw will drop and there will probably even be some high pitched squee-ing and fierce tackle hugs and smooches (you’re welcome) as she reacts like a kid in the Disneyland of puppies and candy stores. Let her take her time in deciding (it might take her a lot longer than you think). Let her have her moment.
10. Cook with her.
Sometimes cooking gluten-free can become a chore, especially in the beginning as she’s learning how-in-the-world to even cook gluten-free! Cooking is always more fun with good help and company! Make it enjoyable for her. Help her to embrace and make good memories of cooking gluten-free.
There’s give and take in any relationship. Because she’s gluten-free doesn’t mean she always has to have her 1st pick (as long as you take care of her and make sure she can confidently order and eat). But I wanted to share these 10 things to help the fellas out there know how they can totally make their GF GF (gluten-free girlfriend) smile and feel so crazy cared for!
My gluten-free ladies, what has your special fella done that totally made your day?
Fellas, you can feel free to share a moment, too, of when you know you had a big win with your GF honey! 🙂