You & Me + My Food Allergies
"It’s important to find someone who takes your food allergies just as seriously as you do."
Guest post by Kendra Chapman
This post was reprinted from Kendra's blog, Nope Can't Eat That Either.
Food allergies can have this nagging tendency to be all-consuming. Before every bite, we have to check and double-check to make sure that what we’re about to eat poses no threat to our well-being. Now, add in your mate or date. If they are like my boyfriend, they probably have no known food allergies and grew up eating the very things you need to avoid. In a lot of instances, this could cause some problems in the relationship, but fortunately, we have both used this as an opportunity to learn and educate others.
Over the course of our ten-month relationship, we have had many conversations about food allergies — it’s our third wheel of sorts. Before me, my boyfriend had never personally known anyone with food allergies. So, of course, he’s never had to think about what he was eating before he ate it. But since day one, he has been quite supportive, and hasn’t once made me feel guilty about the sacrifices he has to make in order to keep me safe. I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t feel guilty sometimes, but I do understand how lucky I am. Unfortunately, if you want to be in a relationship with someone who has food allergies, some adjustments are going to have to be made and it’s going to be a process.
There are a lot of people who don’t work to understand how to navigate food allergies, and those people can be dangerous to be in a relationship with. So, it’s important to find someone who takes your food allergies just as seriously as you do. Take the time to educate them about your food allergies and the best ways to manage them. And, most importantly, establish a plan, in case the worst happens. This includes training them on how to identify the signs of an allergic reaction, how to administer an EpiPen, and giving them contact info for your emergency contact. None of these are easy conversations to have, but they’re necessary.
Because there are so many people like us — navigating a relationship with food allergies — we decided to make a video to share our experience. Check it out to see how things have been going!