No, contrary to what you might be thinking this is not a clever ploy to get me a date; however, if that were to actually happen – BONUS!!! Also, if you are currently ‘attached’ that doesn’t mean that this little article doesn’t hold some great gems of information (or at least some free entertainment) for you – DO NOT stop reading. Are you still with me??
Okay, on to the point (yes, there is one; although, it may not be very sharp…). Let’s start with the single crowd (the one I’m most familiar with). This dating thing is SO OVER RATED – and if it isn’t hard enough to find a ‘match’ on a dot com or otherwise, being paleo just makes things even rougher. It’s like putting a sign on your head that reads WEIRDO or FUN HATER. First off, depending on where you live and who you socialize with, the term paleo may well be Swahili – no one has any idea what it means, or why for the love of Grok anyone would willingly subject themselves to a beer and pizza free life. Also, we ‘paleo weirdos’ tend to want to find a partner in crime that also cares as much as we do about health and what gets put into our bodies; so, we’re a little picky. Now, it’s not necessarily a ‘deal breaker’ if a potential love interest isn’t paleo or is unwilling to be converted but it does complicate things making it much more difficult to maintain your lifestyle. Peer pressure does not go away after junior high and damn, those French fries smell so good… Seriously, when the offer of sharing dessert is on the table – who are we to refuse, right?
This same sort of situation can happen in currently ‘coupled’ and/or ‘trapped’ pairs. I know that more than one of you reading this now is either dating, living with or married to someone that defines paleo as ‘prison camp torture’. Eating together is downright painful and going out almost always ends in an argument or an unhappy compromise. You’ve also got two separate shelves in the refrigerator – meat and veggies on one side; leftover pizza and Dr. Pepper on the other. Nothing like bringing the temptation home…
Since I happen to be on the ‘chronically’ (READ: painfully) single side of the fence, I’ve been brainstorming ways to increase my odds of meeting someone that’s either a paleo believer or paleo curious. I’ve also been thinking about ways to make a non-paleo partnership work. Being the generous, kind person that I am, I have decided to share my epiphanies with you… (I know. You can’t believe your incredibly great luck!) Now, granted; none of these have actually been tested for validity or success at this time. I will, however; be employing them when and (oh, please for the love of Grok) if the occasion (EVER) arises. So, humor me and feel free to test any and all of these regardless of if you’re in the ‘chronically single’ or the ‘hopelessly devoted’ camp. **WARNING: some of these may not be in your best interest if you have hopes of staying in your current relationship.**
Potential Ways To Get (or stay) ‘Coupled’ When You’re Paleo
The obvious: Hang out with likeminded (and if you’re lucky) paleo people. Lots of cities have paleo meet-ups or social groups. If you’re fortunate enough to have one of these where you live then why not shop in the specialty store? If that’s not an option try the gym or join an activity group or coed sports team. Granted, you do run the risk of picking up one of these or these, but even so the odds are pretty good you’ll find someone that cares about their health and will likely be open to listening to your paleo ideas.
So now you’ve landed a date (or you’ve got one with your current hottie): Now this is where it really starts getting tricky. In my world, inviting you over for dinner right out of the gate is just a little too forward (unless of course you happen to be , say for example, Ryan Reynolds…) – this means it’s time to pick a restaurant because it seems mandatory that all dates need to involve food (who made these rules anyway…). If your potential (or current) mate is a big fan of the Olive Garden, Spaghetti Warehouse, or Vegan Village odds are things aren’t going to work out real well… If on the other hand, the Outback, BBQ joint or the Rodizio Grill make the list of suggested options – SCORE!! You may have found a keeper. Move on to date #2. In any case don’t be the person that when asked “Where would you like to go?” says, “Surprise me.” or “Why don’t you decide?” Take an active role in the selection process.
So, let’s say that the first date leads to a second, and you get to the point where coming over for dinner feels like a good idea (I’m still waiting for this one to happen – Ryan Reynolds, Where are you??). This is your chance to show off your mad paleo cooking skills. This is a win-win regardless of if your co-diner is or isn’t paleo. Think about it – let’s say the date is a fellow meat and veggie fanatic, you score MAJOR points with your culinary genius (or really easy, no fail recipe). If you’re not entertaining one of the same tribe, you still totally awe them with a delicious, healthy, paleo meal and it may be a great time to start a conversation about the virtues of paleo. Who knows this could be the day that this lucky son (or daughter)-of-a-gun gives paleo a chance. If this little adventure in dining turns out well put up the idea of cooking together for your next romantic rendezvous. **Note to any potential suitors (not that I’m looking for one…): I am a complete sucker for a guy that can cook – feel free to use this to your advantage…**
Things are getting serious. Now you’ve combined households… During my pre-paleo days there was this guy, and we shacked up for about four years (yeah, he didn’t put a ring on it…) – this is a story for another time, but let me tell you – it is a doozey. Anyway, as I was the grocery-getter in the relationship I happen to know that if you (as the shopper) don’t bring home the Doritos, well then odds are they ain’t gonna make an appearance at all. So, my paleo solution is to bring home only the foods that fit your lifestyle. Now, I’m not saying that you should only buy food for yourself; buy enough for both of you but only buy the good stuff. If your partner wants the other stuff then he/she is going to have to go and get it themselves. Harsh? Not when you think about it… I mean, it’s not like they’re offering to get groceries with you (at least this was true in my case). This also applies to meal prep. If you are the one doing the cooking, you decide what gets served. Like my mom used to tell us, “This isn’t a damn restaurant.” If beef and Brussels sprouts are what you’re having then cooking pasta is not something you need to be doing. If you are boiling noodles, this is something referred to as ‘enabling’ – it’s a problem. Get help. If you happen to find yourself on the other side of this coin (meaning you’re not bringing home or cooking the food) – Um, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself here. Seriously, if you want to do this and make it work you are going to have to take an ACTIVE role. By active role, I am not referring to sitting on the couch watching NASCAR while the groceries are bought and meals are prepared. (This is a totally fictitious scenario…) Go to the store together – at least that way you’ll be able to get the foods you need to be successful. Plan and prepare meals together. If you sit around complaining about the way things are but don’t do anything to change the situation you’ll just keep getting more of the same – whether it be Spaghetti-o’s or scrambled tofu…
Alright, there you have it – these are my top ideas and thoughts about being paleo and having or being in a relationship. For those of you that are chronically single, don’t give up. I still haven’t lost hope and you know what, regardless of how badly you may want to meet the paleo prince or princess of your dreams; it’s better to be single than miserable. And if you find or have found the perfect match except for the paleo part, it doesn’t mean you should throw it all away. Just move through the 3 C’s: 1. Compromise – Small victories are still victories. Usually dinner for your mate is spaghetti and garlic bread; start by getting him/her to trade the bread for a salad. BABY STEPS!! 2. Coach – Let your partner know why you’re doing what you’re doing and why it’s important to you. Help him/her start making healthy changes. 3. Convert (them, not you… ) – It’s highly likely that when they see how good you feel, how great your food looks and how committed you are the ‘eggs to your bacon’ will jump on board too and if they don’t; love them anyway – but don’t give up your commitment to health!
-CSPF seeking CSPM
**CSPF = Chronically Single Paleo Female
**CSPM = Chronically Single Paleo Male