Ask a Health Coach: Primal Dating
Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Erin Power is here to answer your questions about Primal dating. If you’re wondering when and how to “break the news,” we’ve got strategies, tips, and backup! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.
“I’ve been Primal for a year and honestly never felt better! It was hard at first but now comes naturally and makes me feel so much lighter. I also lost 10 pounds, which doesn’t hurt! The problem: I’m newly single and on dating apps. I don’t want to turn guys off by being high maintenance. Do I mention I’m Primal in my profile? Or wait until the first date? Or wait to see how things go? Help!”
First, congrats on your year of Primal eating and living, Cara! How wonderful that you feel lighter and better. Huge recognition as well for exploring this question and considering how eating and lifestyle plays a role in dating and relationships. Feeling healthy and more confident and comfortable in one’s body can be so attractive. It creates the sort of compelling radiance that goes beyond “objective” indicators like body weight or beauty.
Not only that, but a little boost of confidence goes a long way as you enter the dating pool. Anyway, onto the matter at hand: how to navigate declaring your Primal status to would-be suitors.
Ask and Tell. Or… Don’t.
These days, it’s far more common for people to ask about and mention their “eating identities” or preferences when sharing a meal with someone for the first time. While we’re focused on dating here, this applies to new friends, acquaintances, and colleagues too. The point is, choosing to eat a particular way is hardly unusual these days. That said, I totally get how navigating conversations around food and lifestyle can be tricky in any relationship—perhaps all the more so when newly dating.
The good news is, you’re arriving with a blank slate and fresh start. As a Primal Health Coach, I work with many clients who are making changes and struggle to explain their new Primal ways to partners, friends, and family members. If it’s important to you, you’ll want to share this aspect of yourself with acquaintances, new and old.
But there’s another option here: Just don’t say anything at all. At least, not right away. It may not be necessary.
The person you’re out on a date with probably won’t notice anything is amiss with your eating habits. If you order a big ass salad, a delicious steak, or a low-sugar cocktail at a restaurant, it’s not going to raise any red flags. Decide to forgo the bread basket? No problem: avoiding or limiting bread is becoming increasingly common in non-Primal circles too.
Priorities and Values
Beyond that, you likely want to be with someone whose priorities and values are similar to your own. This doesn’t mean that they have to embrace the 10 Primal Blueprint Rules (though if they do, what a catch!). It does mean that you may want to consider whether they, like you, are interested in a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating. If they balk at a few healthy food choices, that could be a sign that they aren’t the right match for you.
Whatever you do, don’t enter into a new relationship with expectations of changing how the other person eats. Accept where they are and, if it’s not aligned with a Primal lifestyle, decide whether that’s okay for you or a dealbreaker. Also know that modeling healthy eating without pressure or judgement is probably the best approach to encouraging changes and getting folks to give Primal a try.
Eating and living in ways that make you feel your best is NOT high maintenance, by the way. It’s one of the most important, most impactful forms of self-care. Plus, in supporting your own vitality and longevity, you’re better able to show up for others. Primal Eating is obviously working for you. It’d be a shame to let that slide for the sake of seeming “low maintenance.” Don’t waiver on your own values.
Primal Dating Basics and Strategies
To sum up the basics:
- Own up to it right away as you would with any other important, telling aspect of your character OR go with the flow and honor your Primal-ness without feeling the need to announce it at all.
- Don’t try or expect to change anyone else.
- Decide whether your prospect’s priorities and values align closely enough with your own.
I know sometimes it can seem easiest just to “go along” rather than explain what you eat and why. And, to be clear, don’t feel as though you have to explain anything! Still, leaning into the above basics makes for a good policy. It will likely increase your chances of finding a perfect match…and the chances of it lasting.
Along with the above, make it easier on yourself! Try these 3 simple tips:
1. Eat out.
If newly dating means eating out, make sure you have strategies in place. The free Primal and Keto Guide to Eating Out is a great start. In addition, suggest restaurants or food trucks that have Primal options you’ll enjoy. Being able to order separately removes the pressure of needing to eat the same thing as your companion.
2. Pack a picnic.
Alternatively, offer to cook dinner at home or pack a picnic! This provides a perfect opportunity to ask about the other person’s preferences and mention your own. It also ensures you’ll have tasty Primal food to enjoy, regardless of how the date turns out.
3. Find a Primal date.
Beyond declaring your nutritional preferences in your online dating profile, also consider places where Paleo and Primal ideologies are more widespread. Seek out groups and events (whether online or in real life) that feature topics such as keto, intermittent fasting, functional medicine, and biohacking.
Conferences like KetoCon or the Metabolic Health Summit are examples of larger scale health conferences where you’re sure to find some Primal-aligned allies. Gyms and Facebook groups are a fantastic starting place, too.
For Primal backup navigating the dating pool while staying true to your wellness goals, I recommend hiring a coach. External accountability truly is a game changer, and we can help you troubleshoot your specific circumstances and tricky social situations. Working with a coach for even a month or two can help you put solid strategies in place for staying Primal while dating or hanging with family and friends. Visit myprimalcoach.com to learn more and get started!
Do you come out as Primal when first meeting someone? Have any Primal dating tips to share? Let us know and drop other questions for me in the comments!
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