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February 14, 2014

Being Gluten Free & Relationships (From The View Of A Gluten Free Teenage Couple)



Really this is just a topic that I've been thinking about more and more as I've gotten older and have been blogging for a while. Since it's Valentines Day I though this would be a perfect post to do! I'm a teenage guy so I'm of course going to be thinking about girls, or in my case my girlfriend of course. I happily have a girlfriend who I have been dating for almost a year now who I actually met through my blog! This topic is a little personal but I honestly think it's something that should be talked about in the gluten-free community. I feel like sometimes our health problems get in the way of who we truly are and actually ends up affecting our relationships or whether we get in a relationship at all! Maybe it's just me who thinks this since I'm in high school, but getting some  responses on what you think about this topic is something I'd really like to hear.


Being gluten-free:
Most of you reading this are gluten-free and probably remember when you first went gluten-free. It's not just the food that changes, it's your lifestyle too! Being gluten-fee changes a lot of things in your life, but one thing I don't think a lot of people consider is that it changes your relationships too. If you're single, do you feel like what you value in a relationship changed since going gluten-free? If you are in a relationship, do you feel being gluten-free creates more difficulties now compared to when you were not? I personally feel like that being gluten-free changes all of this and unfortunately makes relationships harder and here is exactly why.


Why I think being gluten-free makes relationships harder:
  1. You have to explain your diet and everything you can't have. (This makes me feel high maintenance..)
  2. Picking a restaurant to eat at isn't just a simple task...it becomes a chore.
  3. If you are taken out to dinner, there may not be anything to eat. (I take my girlfriend out to dinner instead of the other way around since I'm a gentleman of course...lol) 
  4. If he/she is not gluten-free you have to worry about cross contamination when kissing. (Sounds funny but it's true..)
  5. If you're living together you might have to buy, eat, and store food separately.

I think the biggest thing that makes it hard to be gluten-free and in relationship is when you go on a first date or meet someone new for the first time. It seems like the gluten-free diet has been categorized as a fad diet or a weight loss diet that can't be taken seriously. A lot of people unfortunately think it's just a trend or a way to lose weight. They don't understand that it's a lifestyle and that a lot of us don't have a choice. I know many people think this way just because of the media but nothing would bother me more than being mistaken for a high maintenance fad dieter. I'd just imagine that that the hardest thing to deal with on a first date would be to explain your diet to someone new and to hope they understand the seriousness of it. Sure dating is never an easy task and being gluten-free only makes it harder. But really it's only as hard as you make it on yourself. You can choose to be reserved and embarrassed by your diet (which is nothing to be embarrassed about)...or you can choose to display your diet and express it as a lifestyle! Be happy and confident about sharing your gluten-free diet! It's just food..it's a part of life! Don't let being gluten-free define who you truly are on a first date or as a person. If you want, it can even become a great topic of conversation! Just a fair warning though, talking about how much you crap when you eat gluten might be a little too much to discuss on a first date...lol.


My bad relationship experience:
My first relationship was luckily the last bad relationship I had since I have been dating my girlfriend, Breann. I'm not going to use the name of the girl I dated in this bad relationship so I'll just call her Random Girl. Random Girl and I dated for 9 months and I ironically can't remember most of these 9 months due to memory loss from my adrenal disorder. However, I do remember the reason she broke up with me which was in her words, "your health is too much for me to deal with and no one would want to put up with it." Now at the time I of course was heart broken because I was young and experienced my first break up. But looking back it did make me realize a lot of things. It began to make me feel like that my health and diet was too much for any person to want to deal with. I truly began to think, "what girl would really want to put up with me every day?" The 2 words I could best use as to what I thought I appeared to others would high maintenance. I always thought I was a pretty good guy and I've always tried my best to be nice to everyone. My health is the one thing that always seemed to get in the way and I honestly started to let it define who I was...Getting in a relationship was not something I planned to do anytime soon and I really just began to feel that I never would. (even though I was still so young) That was until I met Breann and finally found someone who did understand my health and what I dealt with each day.


Breann and I:
I really don't share too much about my personal life on my blog so I thought this would be a good post to share more about my Breann and I's relationship! I deal with a lot each day and she's really the one person I feel lucky to have help me get through it. She lives in South Carolina and I live in Florida (Yep, long distance but we've been making it work!) and we actually met through my blog last April. We've been dating for almost a year now, long distance, which honestly has been hard. But by the end of the day I honestly couldn't be happier with my life than where it is right now with her. We both have Celiac Disease and really deal with a lot of the same medical problems each day. We understand each others health, we understand when one another is feeling bad, and honestly I feel just very fortunate to have someone else my age that I can relate to in so many ways. Even though we don't get to see each other every day, we make the most of it and always find ways to support and make each other feel better. She understands my health unlike anyone else and has been the most amazing girlfriend I could ever ask for....Even though our health is what brought us together, we never let it define us or our relationship. We are just like any other normal couple but trust me...we are far from normal. Lol, I don't want to brag too much because I'm not gunna lie, she's pretty amazing! 


Breann's bad relationship experience:
Hey guys! I’m Breann, Taylor’s girlfriend. I wanted to share a little story about me and my past relationship. I was in the tenth grade and a guy from school asked me out on a date. At the time I was only gluten free for a month or 2 so I wasn't that experienced. He called me up and wanted to talk about going out to eat at a certain restaurant which I of course was worried about. He brought up a bunch of restaurants that we could go to but he didn't quite understand why I couldn't have the type of foods at the restaurant there. He got very upset at me because I couldn't find a place we could eat at and ended up breaking the whole thing off just because of that. I obviously was very upset at the time that someone could be so mean and break up with me over the fact that I just couldn't eat out somewhere. It just goes to show how some people are so uneducated and don’t understand the seriousness of celiac disease. It also shows how uneducated people are about being gluten free and that they just don't understand why we can't have certain types of food. I know it’s difficult for people to understand, but advocating just (like Taylor) is the best thing that he can do to help people like me. That way everybody can see his recipes, his advice on being gluten free, and he can just help people who are gluten free in general which is helpful to everyone.




Taylor and I:
When Taylor and I started going out in April of 2013, we both understood everything about celiac disease and what we had to deal with. Him being dairy free and us both being gluten-free worked out perfectly for us! Together, we could go out to the same restaurant and order the same food that was gluten free and dairy free without having to worry. We got to cook and make a lot of food together which was a lot of fun since we are both able to eat it! I never worry about him leaving me because of the restaurants or the way I ate since we both have celiac. We both understand each other in a completely different way that no one else understands and nobody will ever understand the bond that we have with each other today:)


Final thoughts:
Finding someone who understands your medical problems and diet is something that I think is very important. I'm not saying that if you're in a relationship then it has to be with someone that has Celiac Disease or has the same medical issues that you do. I'm saying that having someone in your life that is supportive and understanding of these problems you deal with each day is an extremely important thing to have. I do believe having Celiac Disease and my Adrenal Disorder made finding a girlfriend much harder. Sure I may appear like a normal guy on the outside, but I'll admit with all my health problems and everything I deal with each day...I feel like a handful. Just because you are gluten-free and have certain medical problems doesn't mean you should let it define who you are as a person. Be yourself, learn about your health, and know who you truly are before you try searching. Relationships are hard, and being gluten-free may only make it harder. I just wanted to share my relationship with Breann to show that you can find someone that understands your health at any age even when you least expect it. I didn't expect to meet Breann at age 16. Even though I'm still so young, I couldn't be happier.


Thank you for reading!
If you want to contact me I'm available anytime. If you want to contact Breann about Hyper POTS or celiac disease, you can email her at jbr14713@gmail.com! Hope you enjoyed the post! 


How has being gluten-free affected your relationships? Has it made it harder or certain situations more difficult? Feel free to share below!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

My son and I are GF DF and my husband is not. Going out to eat is limited at best. My husband feels cheated that he can't eat out at the restaurants he wants to go to but he puts up with it. He doesn't complain. I would love a whopper with french fries but I know if I do, I will pay dearly. I was taking my son to college and I told him that we are much healthier now that we don't eat fast food and so is dad because he doesn't eat fast food hardly ever too. We all have to make sacrifices in our lives, but the one thing you never want to take for granted no matter what is your health. So if someone doesn't understand or accept your lifestyle, it means that person is not meant to be with you anyway.

Taylor Miller said...

I completely agree with you! If the person doesn't accept you for who you are, health conditions and all, then they aren't worth being with you anyways. Great point!

Paint Those Piggies! said...

What a good post! Thankfully I was already married when I got my diagnosis and my husband has been great about the entire transition. He does all the cooking so I am grateful that he is willing to try new recipes, eat the same things as me, and cook things completely separately if they contain allergens.

leahvulic said...

Hi Taylor, I just found your blog after reading about you in Gluten Free Living magazine (my first issue, a gift from my brother and sister-in-law and their family, just arrived yesterday). I agree that relationships can be tougher when you have to be gluten-free, but they can also be stronger. My boyfriend of almost 9 years was not gung-ho on gluten-free when I was first diagnosed a year ago, and after the first couple of gluten-free meals, he even said that he was going to "make his own food" from then on. But now he is my biggest supporter, is always willing to try new recipes, and encourages me to be vocal about my Celiac while we are dining out. I have only read this one post of yours, as well as your about page, but I am so impressed and inspired by your insight and outlook about having Celiac and how it truly changes your life, and the lives of those who are lucky enough to be around you. And I think it's awesome that you and Breann found each other, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day celebration together! I look forward to your future posts and recipes! =) (Also, I am originally from Columbus, Ohio, too!) - See more at: http://glutenaway.blogspot.com/2014/02/being-gluten-free-relationships-from.html?showComment=1392526667278#c2473250006217842868

Anonymous said...

Great post! I don't think many people consider how being gluten-free can affect their relationships but it definitely does. I don't have Celiac's but I am GF sensitive and when I was diagnosed my boyfriend at the time was incredibly unsupportive. He wouldn't even taste the GF foods I was learning to make. Now, five years later, my current boyfriend is more on top of my food being GF than I am at times! And we only go out to eat where he is sure there will be something for me. I hope people with Celiac Disease and gluten allergies realize that they shouldn't settle if someone is making them uncomfortable because of their diet. If being gluten-free makes you a healthier, better version of yourself then live that lifestyle and be around people who support that.

Taylor Miller said...

Thank you all! I appreciate you sharing your stories as well and your experiences. Sounds like someone who is understanding of your health and diet is all you need to be happy. Thanks for commenting!

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