Is his diet a problem for you?

Or is yours a problem for him?

In past postings, I’ve explored how the way a man eats can be problematic (eats salad with his fingers, chews with his mouth full, picks up pork chops with his hands in a nice restaurant). But we’ve not discussed how what he eats — or doesn’t eat — may be a problem, too.

Generally, I’m for being as forgiving, understanding and tolerant as you can possibly be about minor mismatches. “So,” you may be asking, “what do I care what he eats as long as we match in other areas? Aren’t we being a bit petty here?”

Yes, for many it doesn’t really matter. And if you’ve only dated men who eat generally what you eat, then you don’t see how this might be a challenge.

Wendy’sHere’s where it becomes dicey — you only eat healthy fare — fish and vegetables, maybe organic chicken. He is a fast-food king. Yes, you can get salads and grilled chicken at most fast food places, and fish, albeit typically fried. So while you don’t mind eating a Wendy’s salad once in a while, it’s not your preference. But if he nearly always prefers fast food, you can see the argument coming.

While the above can be a true challenge, it’s not really restaurant eating that tests your relationship’s mettle. You can generally get something both of you will eat, even if you have to order something not on the menu.

While you would think cooking at home would be even easier, it isn’t always. My ex dabbled in vegetarianism over the years and I supported his choice by cooking along his preferences. If I wanted a chicken breast or occasional steak, I’d cook one. Not that this was a big problem, but if I wanted to roast a whole chicken, I ate it for a week, or invited friends over to share, or froze some.

But when we ate out, previously we’d often share an entree, wanting to be mindful of our waistlines. So when he was vegetarian, I was my making more modifications to my preferences, not him. When you love someone you learn to make compromises. But in this area, it seemed I was the one who was making the compromises, not him.

pastaOne man decided he was going to lose 50 pounds soon after we began dating. He stopped eating anything white, so when I went to his house, we didn’t eat pasta, rice, or sourdough bread. I know this is a healthy way to eat and went along with it as I, too, would love to lose weight. But I wasn’t as committed to it as he was (he had heart problems and was highly motivated), although I know it would have been good for me. But I longed for some of the forbidden whites, even in small portions.

I dated a vegan for a while and finding dinner solutions that we could both enjoy became a challenge. So we’d fix separate things, or I’d supplement the meager salad with a chicken breast or cheese. And darn, we didn’t go together long enough for me to lose weight on this spartan diet!

What if he’s said he wants to lose weight and yet he continues to eat high-fat, fried, unhealthy food? You can say something and he might see your trying to help as nagging. No one likes food police.

Or what if you want to lose weight or eat healthily and he continues to serve you high-calorie okrafoods or suggest going to unhealthy restaurants? I remember visiting a friend in New Orleans and he took me to his favorite restaurant. I scrutinized the menu, trying to find something that wasn’t deep-fat fried. I finally asked that the fried salmon be broiled instead. My friend’s order was delivered — a foot-high fried-food mountain of shrimp, crawdads, catfish, okra, French fries, and other Louisiana fare. It was hard for me to watch, especially knowing he had health challenges.

Or what if you have developed a sophisticated palate and enjoy fine foods and wine? But your guy is a beer and pizza aficionado. Unless you both realize you have to compromise a bit, or agree to only go to your very favorite places with friends who share your tastes, this will be a problem.

Have you experienced any food polarity problems with your dates? If so, how have you worked it out?

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,,, , , , ,

Got a topic on dating after 40 you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to




4 responses to “Is his diet a problem for you?”

  1. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    Interesting post. I never had this problem in the past, (I was one of those annoying people who could eat anything and everything in sight, no food allergies, no diets, etc., etc). I especially loved anything spicy, plus chocolate, doughnuts, cookies, all the better things. 🙂

    And then about a year ago I developed IBS-C. Now I can only eat certain foods and it has become a real challenge for me to find healthy foods that I enjoy eating and that won’t irritate my insides. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever start dating again. I guess I’ll have to stick to coffee dates til I get close enough to the guy to let him know about my illness and then see if he’s amenable to eating at restaurants that serve foods I can eat.

    On the plus side, I guess this will help me to see the depths of the man, (i.e., whether or not he’s willing to compromise and also if he can tolerate being with someone with a chronic illness). Well, they do say every dark cloud has a silver lining…

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  2. Mitsy Avatar

    No, but I am beginning to have an aversion to men who are opposed to recycling. It seems every man I date or get involved with is obstinate about recycling. I’m a huge environmentalist. I used to threaten to put in my online profile that the guy MUST like to recycle or at least not be against it. It’s almost like they are rebelling because so few places have a mandate on it. I remember having more than one argument with my now ex-boyfriend about it. I firmly believe he didn’t do it just to tick me off. Well, that was just one of the reasons things didn’t work out between he and I. :0

  3. butterflygirl Avatar

    I agree Misty. Food is just one aspect of lifestyle. Healty eating, exercise, the environment are all together and reflect how that person lives. there is always a little room for trying new things but I feel if you completely opposite food issues it’s less likely to work. Maybe I’m kinda picky about my food, but try to eat healty for the most part.

  4. citysquirrel Avatar

    heh. I’ve got one of those problems with my guy right now. About six years ago I lost 50 pounds, and kept it off without a whole lot of trouble. Then I started dating a man whose idea of a pick-up dinner was a three-star restaurant. in a year I’d gained 15 pounds back.

    No, he didn’t hassle me at all. He just offered me all this great food, and I didn’t allow for it the rest of the time. I’ve finally lost about 10 of those extra pounds, and from now on I’ll be more careful. But damn, those are some good meals he’s offering me. 🙂