Should picky eating be a deal breaker?

A friend of mine just came back from a Tinder date that she was really excited about before she met him. Post date, her only feedback was, “He doesn’t eat sushi. Deal breaker!” Um, really? He doesn’t eat one type of cuisine and you’re out? For her, the answer was yes. For you, I’m hoping the answer is it depends. And here’s what it should depend on.

The attitude

In my experience, there are two types of picky eaters – chill ones and judgy ones. The chill ones don’t eat what they don’t eat, but don’t make a big deal of it. They don’t expect special treatment and don’t judge you for eating the way you do. Those picky eater are alright by me. But the judgy ones, that’s a different story. They’re the type of picky eaters who call your food gross or want heaven and earth and brunch plans moved to accommodate them. Not cool in my book. I wouldn’t be OK dating someone who poked fun of every meal I had or made social and family plans tough on everyone. To me, the picky eating isn’t the main issue. It’s the eater’s attitude about it.

The barriers

Think about what your passions are. Could you still do them if you were partnered with this picky eater? For example, if you’re a food critic who specializes in sushi and you need to spend six months a year in Japan discovering the newest fish trends, someone who doesn’t eat sushi could be problematic. (For the record, that wasn’t the case with my friend. She’s a lawyer who eats sushi once a week.) Is this person such a picky eater that you couldn’t travel anymore? Couldn’t hike anymore? Couldn’t do whatever it is that love anymore? My guess is no to all of those questions. The barrier picky eating creates likely isn’t as big as you’re making it out to be. Put it in perspective before you make a final call.

The sharing

One thing picky eating is likely to change is sharing food with your boo. Personally, I love sharing dishes when I go out to eat. But, it’s not the only thing I like about going out. Whenever I’m with a picky eater, I try to reframe my love of sharing. Instead of thinking, “Crap, I can’t share food now,” I try to make myself think, “Great! I get this dish I love all to myself.” I started coaching myself into thinking like this when I was dating a dude who didn’t eat chocolate, which is my all time fave. When I complained to a friend about it, she was like, “Girl, marry him. You’ll never have to share dessert again!” And you know what? That’s a way more positive spin on the situation and just as true as my bummer point of view. If you can open your mind a bit about sharing, I think you can work around this eating stuff.

Look, I’m a food lover and I’m a lover a love. I think shared love is more important than a shared love of the same food. I hope you feel the same!