Valentine’s Day is coming up, which strikes fear in the hearts of single people everywhere.

An often overlooked aspect of Valentine’s Day is the danger it poses for people with food allergies.

Dating with food allergies is never easy, and the pressure of Valentine’s Day can make it even more challenging. There are a few things to keep in mind to make dating with food allergies a less threatening experience.

Communication is Key

Being up front about your allergies is the key to preserving your health — and the date. While talking about your allergies and emergency plan isn’t the most romantic conversation for a date, neither is being rushed to the hospital in anaphylactic shock or breaking out in hives.

Let your date know about which foods you are allergic to, what your symptoms are, and what to do in an emergency situation. Let your date in on this information in advance, so that he or she can avoid all allergens in the hours leading up to the date.

Don’t Be Ashamed

If your date refuses to understand your allergies and offers excuses for continuing to consume dangerous foods, then he or she isn’t worth your time. Someone who cares for you will care for your allergies too, and will understand that your food choices are not an actual choice but a medical necessity.

You don’t need to apologize for your allergies, but you can offer tangible solutions to allergen-laden foods or restaurants. Most importantly, don’t act as if your allergy is a small issue. Give it the importance it deserves, and so will your date.

Prepping for the Kiss

What would a Valentine’s date be without a kiss? With food allergies, there are some guidelines to remember when kissing your date.

Ask your date to brush his or her teeth, drink some water, floss, and wait at least four hours if he or she has come into contact with any of your allergens. Make sure he or she knows that some cosmetics contain allergens as well.

And remember that you can never be certain. Allergens can cling to clothes, skin and beards, so be sure to carry your epinephrine and teach your date how to use it.

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