In honor of Valentine’s Day, The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. published an article called “Sex and the Celiac” with tips for dating. It’s an excellent article and I’m glad these tips are being passed along, as a diagnosis of Celiac Disease can certainly put a damper on your love life, especially in a society that loves to eat! I’ve posted many of the tips in some of my past blogs, but it’s still a good read and can be downloaded here: February_Sex and the Celiac- Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free
I’d like to talk about my FAVORITE tips of theirs in more detail: SKIP THE FOOD!
Dates so frequently revolve around dinner and a movie that it’s practically a cliche. While it can be fun and interesting if done in moderation, I find “dinner and movie nights” to be quite mundane and not terribly interesting. This is just my opinion; I know many people enjoy these low-key nights. But like the NFCA suggests, there are many other fun and interesting dates that don’t have to involve eating, or can involve eating in a safer way than going out to eat. Some of these may depend on how well you know the person, but in general, I find these to be fun dates regardless of how well you know the person.
1) Go for a hike: This is one of the NFCA’s suggestion but I agree! Getting outside, being active, enjoying the fresh air and each others company all make for great date. I’ve had first dates involving hikes, but I also go hiking with my boyfriend of three years. It never gets old and there are always new trails to check out. It’s a perfect opportunity to have good conversation without staring in each others faces awkwardly as you eat food in a restaurant.
2) Go for a bike-ride: Similar to the first one, you’re being active in the great outdoors, enjoying each others company. What’s not to love about that? Plus, if you haven’t gone for a bike ride in a long time, it’s extremely exhilarating and makes you feel like a kid again. Ahhh, carefree love….
3) Have a fancy date-night at home. Plan out a 3 course meal (or 5 course if you’re feeling ambitious) of foods that are safe to consume. Get all dressed up and act like you’re at a fancy restaurant. Clearly, you also need a bottle of wine.
4) Play games. This is good for groups or one-on-one, though some games are clearly better suited to groups. One “game” I like to play with my boyfriend is Table Topics. It’s good for getting to know a new person, but also getting to know your current partner even better. A game I was recently introduced to, thanks to friends, is Cards Against Humanity. This is a hilarious, inappropriate and at times dreadfully awkward game. It’s a definite ice breaker and will have you laughing until you cry in no time. Not appropriate for one-on-one dates, though. I’ve only listed two games, so be creative! There are loads of fun games out there and I’m sure you know of a few yourself.
5) Reserve a museum pass from your local library and go to the museum. You save money and get to do another fun activity which doesn’t revolve around food. Maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two
6) Go to a Rock Gym. I’m no expert rock climber but indoor rock gyms are challenging and SO much fun. It’s a great workout and I, for one, feel extremely accomplished afterward.
7) Pack a GLUTEN FREE picnic and go to a state park to eat it. Okay, so this revolves around food, but you control what goes into your picnic basket, and it’s a bit different than the typical restaurant date. Depending on where you live, this may not happen around Valentine’s Day!
8) Go on a wine-tasting tour. Look for local wineries and see if they offer tours. We’ve gone on a bunch in the past few years and they’re always a fun, nice way to spend the day. If you get a good tour guide, you’ll also leave with some more knowledge about wine.
9) Go to a professional sporting event. I LOVE going to Celtics games with my boyfriend. It’s so much fun, and even though plenty of people are eating, it’s not the focus. Plus, most sports arenas will allow you to bring in a snack if you have food allergies or Celiac Disease.
10) Go kayaking. I only tried kayaking for the first time with my current boyfriend. It was very early on in our dating and we spent the morning running a 5K together. I was a little nervous because I don’t know how to swim, but it was SUCH a great day and I discovered I love kayaking in spite of hating the water and being unable to swim. Trying new things together brings you even closer to one another.
These are just a few ideas but if you’re creative, you can come up with plenty more! Our society does seem to revolve around eating but from my perspective, there is TONS to do that doesn’t involve eating and is way more fun.
What are other fun things to do, which don’t revolve around food?