Dating with a digestive disorder can be challenging, especially when you’re in the early stages of a relationship. Your tummy troubles are probably the last thing you want to discuss on your first few dates. And you worry that your food sensitivities may lead your date to think you’re a “picky eater” or ruin the mood.
While gastrointestinal issues do mean that you have to make a few adjustments, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid dating–especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.
Here are some of our tried-and-true ways you can prep for your romantic Valentine’s dinner.
How to Date with a Digestive Disorder
Be Honest with Your Date.
Chances are the person you’ve chosen to spend Valentine’s Day with is someone rather special in your life, and maybe they’re already aware of your medical condition. But even if it’s your first date, you should still be upfront to prevent any misunderstanding later if you reject your date’s food choices or suddenly bolt to the bathroom.
To avoid making your condition the focus of the evening, simply state that you have a sensitive stomach and sometimes need quick access to a bathroom. Once you open up about your situation, it may surprise you that your date is already familiar with digestive disorders such as IBS. After all, IBS is very common and affects 10 to 15 percent of people in the U.S.
Do Your Homework
Valentine’s Day is a special event—and one of the busiest times of the year for many restaurants, with many couples booking their reservations months in advance! If you already know the restaurant where you will be dining, study their menu before your date and choose at least three dishes that do not contain any of your food triggers.
Stick to Your Routine
Don’t forget the tried and tested habits that have allowed you to manage your condition. For example, you may have found that it’s better for you to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than the conventional three larger meals. If this is the case, don’t deviate from that on Valentine’s Day simply because you have a special dinner date planned. Instead, eat smaller meals as you usually do and order a light meal during your romantic dinner. And absolutely avoid any “risky” food in the hours before your date.
Be Ready for Emergencies
When you are dating with a digestive disorder, don’t be embarrassed to carry an emergency kit containing medication, a change of clothes and wet wipes. It’s better to have these items on-hand than to be caught unprepared.