Single & Celiac

Twenty-something. Gluten-free everything.

Guilt Free

I dated two men this summer: One with celiac disease and one without.

It was an interesting dating experience, being with someone equally as gluten-free as me. I can't say I didn't see it as a huge advantage to him as a potential mate – and vice versa. Our celiac-ness added a level of benefit and convenience that I'm glad I got to experience.

But it didn't work out. And it had nothing to do with having celiac. 

The other was kind, attentive, compassionate, and considerate about my GF needs. Inquisitive, but not too much. Considerate, but didn't make a big deal out of it. Flexible, but never made my needs feel like a burden. These are all qualities I look for when I'm measuring someone on my GF-needs scale.

But it didn't work out. And it had nothing to do with having celiac. 

My point is: Sometimes how someone handles celiac disease – even if it's really well – has nothing to do with a relationship's success.

This seems like an obvious statement, really. But I don't know that it always has been for me. When I've been treated poorly for my celiac disease, it's definitely been a determinant to relationship termination. Don't want me to bake with GF flour? Bye. Tell me to chill out about bread on my plate? Later bro. But when it's gone well? When someone has been considerate and respectful? Hell, when he even HAS the damn disease himself? It doesn't have an equal and opposite effect. It can't be added in equal value like it is subtracted when the situation is reversed. 

Don't get me wrong – a respectful understanding of my celiac disease is huge. 100% necessary! It allows the relationship's focus to be on each other, not on what each other has and how it has to be accommodated. But that should baseline. The norm. Something that should be fundamental in a relationship with me. Not the thing that tips me into exalted, over-the-moon, can't-live-without-you, put-babies-in-me-forever love.

So, now that I know... now that I know that the "celiac factor" can be a non-issue in relationships and they still may not work out, I'm done with the guilt. I'm done with the guilt of having this disease and how it may impact whoever I end up with. Because it shouldn't matter. My GF needs should be a given. Any I don't ever expect to date a celiac again – heck, I never expected it in the first place – but to have my GF needs met and understood by someone like me, followed up by dating a non-celiac where my GF needs were met and understood... I now know it can be done. Without guilt. 

A rant to the universe, simply because I need to