The New Realist returns with a reality check, and a serious lesson for all daters.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Although by no means a physical incapacity, I have had my fair share of dating disasters thanks to my very own disability.
Yes I know being a lesbian and being allergic to nuts is more than ironic!
If I had a pound for everytime I heard “so it’s ALL nuts then?!” I would be a millionaire by now, but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
I could never comprehend living with a physical disability or imagine how it would affect the dreaded dating cycle. I have however experienced the god awful annoying view on food allergies.
In terms of disabilities, my allergy seems minor in the whole league of things but there is a reason I am writing about it.
I am severely allergic to nuts and as much as we laugh and joke about the fact I’m a lesbian who cant eat nuts, there is a much more serious side to this blog post. From a very young age I remember being taken away from any situation that could be dangerous. I had to inform friends and parents of my allergy at all times and even when it came to choosing my high school my parents and teachers had to fight for me to attend a mainstream establishment and not a school for the disabled.
In this day and age, that may seem ludicrous, but when I was 10 years old, food allergies were so rare that less than 1% of the population of the UK had one. To any normal person I was going to be difficult to care for. Luckily for me I had a fantastic school and the best parents I could ask for and so was able to attend the school I wanted.
You may be thinking what the hell as this got to do with dating but actually it has affected every person I have ever dated, kissed, slept with or had a relationship with.
I remember as a young teenager attending a day session held by the Anaphylaxis Campaign. These were held to help children and young people come to terms with their allergies and to learn how to safely live life day to day. In amongst the mundane classes about injections and ingredients there was a session on clubbing. Being the cool, hip kid I was (hahaha I wish) I thought I best take note here, as this would soon be me.
I have never been so scared to go out in all my life!
First off we were taught how to speak to bouncers and door staff because we were carrying needles. Then we were taught about the dangers of kissing someone who had eaten something we were allergic to. CERTAIN DEATH!!
Obviously certain death wasn’t the answer, but this is all I remembered, and in all honesty after various reactions over the last few years from simply touching the bar top or leaning where nuts had been previously placed, I’m glad it scared the hell out of me!
So this brings me to my dating experience.
At what point do you bring up this kind of information?
Originally I left it out, and would bring it up within the first week of chatting online or over text. Over time there were occasions when this was an issue because whoever I was chatting to was trying to arrange a date but I couldn’t agree to go due to the limited number of places I could actually eat.
And so I figured that I should go ahead and tell people straight away.
This didn’t go down very well either, as when I tried to explain why I couldn’t eat nuts I sounded a little easy, expecting a kiss on the first date. Not something I wanted to portray.
I eventually decided to put it straight on my POF profile as a bit of joke, but then at least they weren’t surprised when I brought it up.
I once went on night out with a girl I was in a relationship with and some friends, and hid outside while she partied on in a club to hide the fact my lip was twice the size it had been an hour ago. As soon as they saw me, my friends noticed my fat lip, and forced me to leave, with my other half dragging her heels.
For some people, having to leave a night out because of your girlfriend’s inconvenient allergy may seem like a drag, but I was appalled. My own girlfriend was aware of my allergies and the severity of them, and yet treated the situation as if I’d had too many to drink by 8pm and needed to go home. It is safe to say we didn’t last much longer and my friends had their own well spoken opinions on the matter too.
Even to this day, my fiancée (oooh that sounds good) loves nuts! I mean peanut butter, Nutella, Toblerone you name it! Luckily for me she also loves me dearly and is more than willing to give up the nuts for me 🙂
I do however allow her to have a little snack whenever I go away for more than 2 days so she isn’t completely deprived. (There is a window for nuts being out of your system)
But for those of you out there that are feeling a little put out by someone else’s food or restaurant preferences give a little thought for those who have very little choice.
Many people think that the timeframe for eating nuts and being with an allergy sufferer is unimportant but I would ask you all to think again!
You could be putting your date in grave danger.
Right … serious conversation over … let’s get back to the ball jokes 😉