6

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Relationships with non-paleo types

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 02, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Can a serious paleo eater have a long-term relationship with a non-paleo?

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 18, 2013
at 03:54 PM

you can always suggest dates that aren't food related, or picnics :) and if you end up being interested in anyone just let them know there are a lot of things you don't eat because of health reasons...you can also always do a little research and find places to eat that make things that would be acceptable for your, definitely don't make your self feel ill eating pastas and pizza for sake of social grace

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 22, 2012
at 03:48 AM

I like your "paleo-agnostic" category! Mine is very similar, but I think it also requires little steps and compromises from each party. I'll make him pasta to go with his chicken, but it's rice pasta because I "forgot" to buy regular pasta. But he gets to eat canola-oil-fried hashbrowns on Saturday morning without me suggesting can't he at LEAST use coconut oil. I just make sure that the rest of the week doesn't include canola oil, and he's none the wiser... just healthier and and not bitter or resentful at his small diet changes.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 22, 2012
at 03:42 AM

I like your "paleo-agnostic" category! Mine is very similary But I've found it also requires little steps and compromises from each party. I'll lie and say that he's having rice pasta with his dinner (and I'm having none, thanks) because I "forgot" to buy regular pasta. He doesn't care- it all tastes good. But he gets to eat canola-oil-fried hashbrowns on Saturday morning without me being b*tchy or suggesting can't he at LEAST use coconut oil. I just make sure that all of the meals (lunches and dinners) I cook him for the rest of the week don't have canola oil, and he's none the wiser. :)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 22, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Hear hear! I feel the same way. Celiac sent me down this whole road - thinking about what I'm doing to the inside of my body, and realizing that it matters.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 20, 2011
at 05:09 PM

You actually might get better results since you'd be "out of the norm". In between all the hate that is... :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 20, 2011
at 06:31 AM

San Francisco seems like vegetarian/vegan dating hell sometimes. People online brag about their veg lifestyles. I've contemplated what the upshot would be if I bragged about my Paleo lifestyle and stipulated meat eaters only. It makes me laugh to think about it. And cry a little too:)

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 03, 2010
at 11:00 PM

I'm usually more laid back. Eat what you want, etc. just don't bug me. However, the vegetarian/vegans I've interacted with in the past have been more "religious" in their views, and usually can't stand me noshing on Bambi...

C959587a8ec1105a3cbe34baaf40562f

on December 03, 2010
at 07:26 PM

I've found the perfect solution for this one. Just tell people you've got a food intolerance. I've started telling people I have a gluten intolerance. You won't be lying either, everyone does have a gluten intolerance to some degree. Same goes with anything else you don't want to eat. Just tell people eating that stuff makes you feel like crap.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 03, 2010
at 06:39 AM

LMAO, not THAT would be a serious hassle!

D4586f8cac3bbbd49c3540f774247256

(270)

on December 03, 2010
at 06:37 AM

If it's because of celiac then there's no question you have to adhere to paleo but... Of course you can work this out with ANY person, it just takes work and imagination, and then maybe some more work and even more imagination, but it's definitely possible! :)

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 03, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Totally get it. If I had to rely upon choice I wouldn't have gone paleo. Celiac was what did it for me too. Eliminated soy then gluten then everything else. If not for my mutant genes on chromosome six I'd be mainlining carbs like the rest of America. I'd like to think I'm strong and enlightened but I'm not so sure. I'm very thankful for the celiac diagnosis, and the allelic variants on chromosome 6 that keep me honest.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 03, 2010
at 12:42 AM

By "ideas" I meant culinary...

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 03, 2010
at 12:41 AM

I guess in my case it's compounded by celiac disease. Can't have gluten or soy in my kitchen. Need to keep it "clean." And plus, I ran out of ideas with my recent Indian (vegetarian) friend. At that point, things kind of died...

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15 Answers

6
Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on February 22, 2012
at 01:55 AM

I think this is only an issue if you're in a long term relationship WITH children and you are not the primary provider of food or grocery shopper.

I see (mostly men) on this site complaining that their wives are not on board with paleo, and one of their main complaints is that these wives are then feeding their children grains, processed foods, etc. They are just pouring cereal for breakfast and making Mac & Cheese for dinner. (Why these men aren't just loading up a CrockPot before they go to work with dinner or getting up early to make breakfast for everyone is beside me... complaining and expecting the wife to change just isn't the right way to go about it.)

I'm the primary food person in our house, and so it's never been an issue. I don't harp on my husband if he gets non-paleo food when he's not here, or if he wants to have a few non-paleo snacks around the house to eat after the kiddos go to bed at night. I do ask that since I make the food, he eat it and that I get to decide what the kids eat. Because I shoulder the burden of food, he's more than happy to let me call the shots.

So if you're just in a relationship, I don't think it's too serious of an issue. But when that relationship begins to involve children, I think you need to have a serious conversation about how you want to raise them, nutritionally speaking. Kids are wonderful, but if their parents aren't on the same page, it can make for some pretty awful circumstances.

5
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 03, 2010
at 02:52 AM

I think it's often easier if your significant other is a guy. Most guys love it if you cook them a steak and a potato slathered with butter. Most of them don't even care if you think it is healthy or not as long as it tastes good! Sure, they may sneak in some pasta at work, but mostly, they just want tasty food. You won't see many guys cry if you cook them bacon and eggs for breakfast. I think they'd rather you stuff them with meat than try to force down rice cakes and other gross tasting carby diet food. Sure, they might slightly miss pancakes, but again, they will just get that when you go out to eat. The only problem would be if you tried to ban stuff from the entire house that they like to eat, like maybe bread or cereal.

5
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on December 02, 2010
at 11:55 PM

Frankly, I think it largely depends on the strength of each party's convictions. For example, my husband is what I call paleo-agnostic, by which I mean that he'll eat anything as long as its filling and tasty. He still has the odd dose of grains - sandwiches bought at work, etc. or sometimes has ice cream that he brings home, but even then he's lost 18 lb. since I went primal (or lacto-paleo) in June. Since he's seen his own weight loss and realizes how much more stable my moods are (and that I've lost some weight), he's supportive!

If a paleo were starting out dating a highly-dedicated low-fat-high-carb-convicted person, it could get much dicier. Pretty much the only thing that would be agreed upon would be veggies and fruit (and since a lot of paleo folks limit fruit somewhat, this leaves vegetables...?). Doable with loads of planning and some compromise, but from what I could imagine still much more tough than if one person is paleo and the other is paleo-agnostic or also some version of low-carb or paleo.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 22, 2012
at 03:48 AM

I like your "paleo-agnostic" category! Mine is very similar, but I think it also requires little steps and compromises from each party. I'll make him pasta to go with his chicken, but it's rice pasta because I "forgot" to buy regular pasta. But he gets to eat canola-oil-fried hashbrowns on Saturday morning without me suggesting can't he at LEAST use coconut oil. I just make sure that the rest of the week doesn't include canola oil, and he's none the wiser... just healthier and and not bitter or resentful at his small diet changes.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 22, 2012
at 03:42 AM

I like your "paleo-agnostic" category! Mine is very similary But I've found it also requires little steps and compromises from each party. I'll lie and say that he's having rice pasta with his dinner (and I'm having none, thanks) because I "forgot" to buy regular pasta. He doesn't care- it all tastes good. But he gets to eat canola-oil-fried hashbrowns on Saturday morning without me being b*tchy or suggesting can't he at LEAST use coconut oil. I just make sure that all of the meals (lunches and dinners) I cook him for the rest of the week don't have canola oil, and he's none the wiser. :)

4
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 03, 2010
at 06:23 AM

Not really concerned about non-paleo. More concerned about vegetarian/vegan.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 03, 2010
at 11:00 PM

I'm usually more laid back. Eat what you want, etc. just don't bug me. However, the vegetarian/vegans I've interacted with in the past have been more "religious" in their views, and usually can't stand me noshing on Bambi...

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 03, 2010
at 06:39 AM

LMAO, not THAT would be a serious hassle!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 20, 2011
at 06:31 AM

San Francisco seems like vegetarian/vegan dating hell sometimes. People online brag about their veg lifestyles. I've contemplated what the upshot would be if I bragged about my Paleo lifestyle and stipulated meat eaters only. It makes me laugh to think about it. And cry a little too:)

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 20, 2011
at 05:09 PM

You actually might get better results since you'd be "out of the norm". In between all the hate that is... :)

4
64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on December 03, 2010
at 02:39 AM

My better 2/3 is not paleo or primal. We have had some days that are tough, regarding what I cook or don't cook. Vice versa. The upside is she is not eating as much fast food because I don't do it. I also include her in any recipes I try. This helps a lot. I've been married 12 years and eating paleo/primal for a year. Yes a relationship works.

4
Ce57a94251224f9696faf47f9ca630a0

(858)

on December 02, 2010
at 11:16 PM

But of course! Since I cook, this really isn't an issue. He is happy to eat all my bacon-y, avocado-y meals, and if he needs some carb goodness, we go out and he gets his pizza or pasta or what have you. So far, so good.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 03, 2010
at 12:41 AM

I guess in my case it's compounded by celiac disease. Can't have gluten or soy in my kitchen. Need to keep it "clean." And plus, I ran out of ideas with my recent Indian (vegetarian) friend. At that point, things kind of died...

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 03, 2010
at 12:42 AM

By "ideas" I meant culinary...

D4586f8cac3bbbd49c3540f774247256

(270)

on December 03, 2010
at 06:37 AM

If it's because of celiac then there's no question you have to adhere to paleo but... Of course you can work this out with ANY person, it just takes work and imagination, and then maybe some more work and even more imagination, but it's definitely possible! :)

3
9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

on February 22, 2012
at 04:21 AM

I've often wondered about this myself. I'm a college student and still live at home, so I have the problem of living with three other people who eat SAD diets. There is always 'food' laying around to tempt me to give in, but in a way it makes you more resilient.

I wouldn't say I would choose to get serious with someone who I know will never eat paleo, similar to how I would (and have) avoid getting into a relationship with someone who isn't of my faith. Beliefs are important, and paleo/primal lifestyle is a belief.

2
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on February 22, 2012
at 03:13 AM

I'm not comfortable with the idea of proselytizing, never been an evangelical paleo. My husband is actually quite happy and healthy with his grain-eating ways. I've known him for fifteen years, we've been married going on six, I've been pretty orthodox paleo for over three years now. I remain convinced that not every diet is for everyone so I cheerfully cook what I can for him when he's in the mood for steak and broccoli (even corn muffins on occasion) and leave him to his own devices when he's not. We both live like bachelors anyway -- separate bedrooms, separate eating and sleeping schedules, we're child-free and blissfully happy with each other.

That said, I tease him for his neo-agricultural ways and he kids me for my hunter-gatherer style. When we intersect in the kitchen it's perfectly peaceful. As long as he keeps his hands off my bacon.

2
0eba2cda101e1ef460ca0291aeb2e975

on February 22, 2012
at 01:18 AM

My boyfriend isn't paleo, but he is a recreational spearfisher which means he catches and cooks me a lot of wild ocean fishies and cos we are both poor we eat fish 3 or more times a week. That doesn't leave too much room for other meals but he gets his pasta sometimes while I find myself something paleo to chow down on. So yes, it is possible.

1
B23318c968ac589b87131d5b489d6e16

(1294)

on February 22, 2012
at 02:09 AM

For me it depends on if they are healthy or not. If they are healthy and happy and have a basic understand of crap food vs. non-crap then I can totally work with that. My partner isn't paleo but is naturally drawn to healthy foods: veggies, meat, nuts, seeds, fruit, raw goatmilk and honey make up 80% of his diet naturally. And he is totally ripped which is really unfair because he never works out, its genetic.

1
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on December 03, 2010
at 01:27 AM

I actually worry about this frequently. I'm 27 and in my prime. I don't have any friends that are paleo, so I don't really get to go out to eat with them anymore, nor do I really want to. It's just a pain asking the waiter what they cook stuff in, etc... plus the food is rubbish compared to what I'm usually making (and more pricey).

If I meet a girl, and she wants to go to pizza, or italian, or any restaurant... sure, I could make an exception, but them I suffer the setbacks, plus trying to power down crap food I don't want to be putting in my body. I could cook, but what if she doesn't eat meat etc..

John Durant had a funny post on his blog a while back where he said Natalie Portman was eliminated from the potential dating marketcause she was a vegetarian or vegan, lol. Funny stuff.

C959587a8ec1105a3cbe34baaf40562f

on December 03, 2010
at 07:26 PM

I've found the perfect solution for this one. Just tell people you've got a food intolerance. I've started telling people I have a gluten intolerance. You won't be lying either, everyone does have a gluten intolerance to some degree. Same goes with anything else you don't want to eat. Just tell people eating that stuff makes you feel like crap.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 18, 2013
at 03:54 PM

you can always suggest dates that aren't food related, or picnics :) and if you end up being interested in anyone just let them know there are a lot of things you don't eat because of health reasons...you can also always do a little research and find places to eat that make things that would be acceptable for your, definitely don't make your self feel ill eating pastas and pizza for sake of social grace

1
E14f0125b66eef4e61505dba0aebb0aa

on December 02, 2010
at 11:21 PM

My take is that it is possible to have a long-term relationship because I have one but it takes work. I am paleo not by "choice" but because of celiac. I say by "choice" because everything in life is a choice... if you do nothing to improve your health that is still a choice. So please do not get upset over word choice. I can not eat any grains or dairy. I found that I reacted to the proteins in dairy because they are similar to the proteins in grains. Several friends, family members and co-workers just think I am odd. They don't understand celiac and social situations can be really uncomfortable for others and the person maintaining a paleo lifestyle. Over time it has gotten easier for me but it takes patience to educate others around you... I can only image how hard it would be for someone paleo by "choice" - what I mean is not having an autoimmune disease as a reason for others to accept your healthy food choices no matter how odd they think it is - there is a medical cause. It can be done!!

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 03, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Totally get it. If I had to rely upon choice I wouldn't have gone paleo. Celiac was what did it for me too. Eliminated soy then gluten then everything else. If not for my mutant genes on chromosome six I'd be mainlining carbs like the rest of America. I'd like to think I'm strong and enlightened but I'm not so sure. I'm very thankful for the celiac diagnosis, and the allelic variants on chromosome 6 that keep me honest.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 22, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Hear hear! I feel the same way. Celiac sent me down this whole road - thinking about what I'm doing to the inside of my body, and realizing that it matters.

0
7b4f3e07f5ad78fa0cc2ee65604d4128

on March 18, 2013
at 03:08 PM

It's been a year since anyone has posted in this thread - but it's something I'm currently going through. I have been paleo just shy of 5 months now, and dating someone just shy of 2 months. He eats significantly healthier than most people I know (is a chef) but still includes sugar, wheat, dairy, other grains. He doesn't knock what I eat, and when we cook at home it's mostly paleo just by default. But going out is another story, same with eating at friends' houses etc. I can fend for myself, but the hard part comes when he doesn't know why he has low energy or is too full or doesn't feel well... I do! But I never want to preach... how do you sit back and watch someone eat bread, beer, and brownies in one day then wonder why they don't feel great? I hope to lead by example and he will want a change in his life, but if not, I fear it will be a limiting factor on the life of this relationship. Anyone else experience anything like this?

0
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:41 AM

I went through a period where all four of us ate different meals. Hubby had to have rice, child #1 didn't like veggies, child #2 didn't like anything, and I didn't like meat. We figured it out, because we love each other a bunch, and we were committed to eating dinner together. I'm the only cook/grocery person, and it seems to work fine. Sometimes, I make a little bit more food (Extra meat, or veg, or something plain for the kids), but it's no big deal. Diet isn't the most important thing in our house, and it doesn't matter to me whether we agree. Interestingly, we've all drifted towards increasingly similar foods, so it's gotten ieasier with time.

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on December 02, 2010
at 11:17 PM

I can't see why not. I is handy to all eat together but it sure isn't a deal killer for me. In fact I doubt I would date anyone who had it as a requirement. I would take it as a sign they took it too seriously.

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