How To Make Your ‘Mixed-Diet’ Relationship Work

Above: Dating someone who follows a different diet than you do (Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock)
Above: Dating someone who follows a different diet than you do (Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock)

Nowadays, it’s almost more common to follow some sort of restricted diet than to not. So it’s very possible that you will end up dating (or are already in a relationship) with someone who follows a different diet than you do. So how to make it work? It adds an extra element to have to contend with in a relationship, but with effort on both your parts, you can have a happy union when your diets differ.

Respect each other’s diet choices

No matter what the reason is for your dietary choices, whether it’s religious, ethical or medical, first and foremost you have to have respect for your partner’s diet. This means no scrunching up your face in disgust as you look at their lunch, or making jabs about how if only they’d eat some meat they wouldn’t be so tired. At the same time, neither of you should ever put yourself on a pedestal for having the healthier diet and force your views on about how much healthier or ethical your way of eating is.

Talk about how to make it work

An open discussion laying out how to make eating together work is an absolute must. You need to know if your vegetarian girlfriend is ok with you eating a steak at home in front of her. When it comes to groceries, are you each fine with picking up the foods you each need or will you buy (and even store) them separately? When it comes to cooking and eating, how will those duties be divided? Just playing things by ear could be a recipe for things blowing up into an argument. It’s better to lay down the ground rules so you each are clear on the expectations rather than risk hurting her feelings when you dive into that juicy burger in front of her.

Compromise for each other

If you’ve gone gluten-free, and your girlfriend is happy to skip gluten most of the time, you should be willing to allow her that bowl of pasta she craves once a week. When dining out, try to find restaurants that serve fare you can both enjoy. And, so that you can each eat at the spots you want to but perhaps your partner isn’t so keen on, make plans to try those places with your friends who do follow the same diet as you. Why force her to go to a raw restaurant when you can go with your coworker who’s keen to?

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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