Dating a picky eater is not easy

It’s only your first date, but as she coyly orders a BLT, you think she could be the girl of your dreams.

Until you hear her follow-up line:

“Hold the bacon and tomatoes. Oh, and can I get nine-grain bread instead of sourdough? No crusts, please.”

Ouch. She’s one of those people.

Picky eaters.

They innocently fly under the dating radar, navigating your first few conversations so easily that you can’t help wondering if your romantic connection is too perfect to be true.

It is.

The realization comes unexpectedly, perhaps during an intimate gourmet dinner.

Nothing kills the mood like having to publicly describe a tortellini and prosciutto dish as “just like macaroni and cheese.”

By no means does a picky eating habit doom a relationship. It’s merely a quirk, one that hardly rivals selfishness or infidelity.

Still, daters brave enough to pursue a connection with a picky eater deserve credit. They tolerate hardships often overlooked in typical relationships.

Those sacrifices are especially apparent during food-centered holidays like Thanksgiving.

Most couples have the freedom to enjoy turkey marinated in an exotic array of spices, paired with side dishes dominated by unpronounceable cheeses.

Meanwhile, a lonely cook tries to get her discriminating husband to eat a piece of pumpkin pie, promising, “It’s just orange cheesecake.”

For the initiated — those who have never had the pleasure of calling capers “miniature pickles” — picky eaters generally fall into one of two categories.

There is the unadventurous breed, the ones whose extreme culinary simplicity never exceeds two-syllable entrees. With one exception: chili-cheese dogs.

Then, there is the opposite end of the spectrum — the dater who is perhaps too adventurous for his or her own good.

Don’t know if you’re dating this variety? Take your girlfriend to Buffalo Wild Wings and see if she inquires about the restaurant’s organic selections.

For all its required sacrifices, dating a picky eater can be a character-building experience.

You develop a closer relationship with service industry professionals.

You know, the kind of relationship that comes from voicing “I’m sorry” to your waiter after your boyfriend complains the savory sauce on his steak is a far cry from ranch dressing.

More importantly, tolerating somebody’s eating habits is a sign you’ll be able to cope with more serious relationship differences.

So simply shrug your shoulders when your girlfriend orders a BLT sans bacon and tomato. Hopefully, all your relationship fears will dissolve over dessert.

Assuming you can find somewhere that sells imported chocolates with organic fruit filling.

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