Being gluten free in social situations can definitely have its perk. For instance, if you’re trying to eat fewer desserts you don’t have to feel bad for turning down cake at a birthday party. No one is going to think you’re being too good for cake if you’re allergic to it! But most of the times being gluten free in social situation can get quite awkward. Here’s how I deal with some awkward social situations.
Awkward Social Situation #1 - Dinner Parties
Are you one of those people that gets invited to dinner parties all the time? I’m not! But occasionally I do get invited to one of those parties and my preparations always start the minute I accept the invitation. If the dinner is at a friend’s house I usually contact my friend a few days in advance to kindly remind them that I can't eat gluten and ask what’s being served for dinner, just to make sure that it’s something I can eat. At first I felt really annoying for doing this, but so far it has only been appreciated! Even if the friend already thought of me it’s a nice reminder to pay a little extra attention to allergies. When I get invited to a dinner party where I don’t know the host I tell the person that invited me about my allergies so they can pass it on to the host.
The day of the dinner party I usually eat a big breakfast and lunch, just in case the host forgot they were hosting a gluten free guest and decided to serve only bread and pasta for dinner. It could happen you know! When dinner is served (or right before) I ask the host what I can eat just to double check that I don’t eat anything I’m not supposed to.
Another great tip is to offer to bring dessert. Because even if your friend forgot and served only bread, you can at least have delicious dessert!
Awkward Social Situation #2 – Eating Out With Friends
Eating out with friends shouldn’t really be awkward, because your friend isn’t the one serving the food, the restaurant is. But imagine this: You and your friends go to a nice restaurant, you sit down, order drinks, you casually ask the waiter what's gluten free on the menu, and they reply “I’m sorry we don’t have anything gluten free.” At this point you can be pretty sure that all of your friends are moving uncomfortably in their chairs as they realize you’re not going to be able to eat anything and they have already mentally started eating whatever they were about to order. It’s awkward! What I do to avoid this is to first of all make sure my friends know I’m gluten free so they don’t get upset if we can’t go to a certain restaurant, and second of all I check the menu before we decide on a restaurant so we don’t have that awkward moment when we have to leave right after ordering our drinks.
As an extra measure, bring one of our allergy cards to make the restaurant experience easier!
Awkward Social Situation #3 – Dating
Dating with celiac is no joke. It can get awkward!! From my experience, for some reason my date often feels embarrassed for taking me somewhere where I can’t eat every item on the menu (like that ever happens anyways?). So I have three ways of taking the awkwardness out of this.
1. If your date asks you ahead of time what kind of food you like just reply “Anything that’s gluten free!” It’s a nice casual way of letting them know about your allergy. The struggle of them having to find someplace gluten free is a whole other thing. Let's ignore that for now.
2. The second solution is to find out where your date is taking you for dinner to then look at the menu online or contact the restaurant before you go so you get an idea of what you can order once you get there, or if you realize they have a really bad selection you can suggest another restaurant.
3. The third solution is to simply suggest restaurants that you know are good for your allergies: “Would you like to go to dinner with me?” “I’d love to! I know this great place […]” Simple as that!
What are your best tips for these (usually) awkward social situations? Tell us on Facebook!