Dating a person with food allergies requires a whole different set of guidelines. When that goodnight kiss runs the risk of hospitalizing your sweetheart, you better know how what to do. Better yet, you need to know how to avoid that situation.

When boy meets girl meets peanut

The person with the food allergy will likely let you know early on in the relationship. He or she will tell you which foods trigger a reaction and what needs to be done. Pay attention. Ask questions. Especially ask questions if the allergy is severe and life-threatening.

Plan activities appropriately

The first few dates should be away from food. Try an activity at a park, a picnic or sunset sail. A sports event is a good option. You could offer to cook a meal at home – your home if it’s cleared of allergens, or your date’s home if that’s a better option.

Keeping yourself allergen-free

Stay away from the allergen prior to your date. For severe allergies, that’s 24 to 48 hours. Less for milder reactions. Make sure your clothes are freshly laundered.

Sometimes a good toothbrushing and some mouth wash will be enough, but for severe allergies, the allergen needs to clear body tissues completely – that means the oils in your skin. Brushing won’t be enough.

Be prepared

It doesn’t hurt to keep Benadryl handy: in the glove box, at home, and in your back pack or purse. It’s a very considerate thing and could salvage a date. Ask how to use an epinephrine auto-injector, and find out where he or she keeps it.

Be responsible

Alcohol will lower your inhibitions and your thoughtfulness. Try not to drink or you might start pressuring for short cuts. Also, never joke about a food allergy. It’s likely that your guy or girl has been teased his or her whole life. Don’t be part of the problem; food allergies are a serious health concern.

Finally, know yourself well enough to know if accommodating a food allergy is not going to work for you. He might be a great guy, but if you’re not happy to make these sacrifices, then this is not the relationship for you.

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