Sunday, August 15, 2010

Unforeseen Celiac Awareness Campaign (OkCupid Edition, Part II)

I won't lie: I looked for gluten-free boys on OkCupid. There are very few, at least locally - and the ones that are in town are just not my type or are way too young.

I should have said: I made it very clear on my profile that I'm open to just ending up friends. It's more of a social experiment and fun end-of-summer diversion. I doubt very much that the online thing will lead to the love of my life. More likely is that I meet a great guy who isn't a good romantic match for me, but who ends up a good friend. As a girl who remains friends with good exes, this is an entirely plausible and acceptable scenario. I just want to find some like-minded people.

(All of the above is basically further explanation/background for the decisions I've made re: disclosing that I'm gluten intolerant while doing the online dating thing.)

After the relative success of my dates, I decided to look at the gf boys again, just to see what they said in their profiles about gluten/celiac - how they presented it. There was quite a range, with some literally saying things like "I'm a freak" to "I don't eat gluten, but it doesn't stop me from eating really well". I decided that the ones presenting themselves as "freaks" because of their dietary restrictions were doing the gluten-free crowd a disservice. At the same time, I realized that some of them may truly feel that way about themselves, especially if newly diagnosed.

Two concrete actions came out of this "research":

(1) I changed my profile to reflect the fact that I'm gluten-free. Added it about halfway down (so they see pics and read some fun things first) and went with the "I don't eat gluten, but it doesn't stop me from eating really well" sort of statement.

(2) I contacted one of the guys who listed himself as a "freak" because of his diet. Chose one who lives far away and sounded like he was recently diagnosed.

Upshot of these two decisions?

(1) No major change in how many people contact me, though the quality has improved. Have only been on less than a week, so who knows what the change it due to.

(2) Dude I contacted WAS recently diagnosed - and grateful for someone to talk to/commiserate with.

Both decisions are new, so details when I have 'em! And I'd love to hear about YOUR experiences in gluten-free dating.

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