Is your diet killing your sex life?

Could your diet preferences be sabotaging your dating life? (Fotolia)

Could your diet preferences be sabotaging your dating life? (Fotolia)

Simone Paget, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:50 PM ET

Food and dating. I never really considered the connection until I moved from Toronto to the West Coast. When I decided to give online dating a try, I was suddenly thrown into a world where men had user-names like “PaleoGuy4Lyfe” and some went so far as to include diet related disclaimers on their profile, stating that if a potential date had a certain dietary restriction - for example vegan or gluten-free - that they shouldn’t bother contacting them.

Although I don’t want to spend the majority of a date defending my stomach’s disdain for pizza, I accepted the fact that this may be a reality of dating in this day in age.

Diet has become the new deal-breaker - and I’m not the only one who has noticed. Popular online dating website Plenty of Fish recently surveyed the 10 most health conscious cities in North America, looking for insight into how singles view fitness and diet, along with how these lifestyle choices impact their decision-making when it comes to dating.

Plenty of Fish targeted singles in Washington, D.C., Boston, Portland, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and Toronto, and found that 70% of women and 75% of men in these so called “health hubs” don’t want to date someone who is on a gluten-free, low/no carb or vegetarian diet. Figures that suggest that when it comes to finding true love, diet may be way more of dividing factor than many of us thought.

Considering every second dating profile I’ve come across lately is composed of 90% hyphens (Yes, vegan-paleo-gluten-free-bi-sexual-single-dad who loves yoga and crossfit, I’m looking at you), it doesn’t surprise me that Vancouver made the list. However, what’s interesting is that the survey suggests that when it comes to dating and dietary restrictions, Torontonians might be even pickier than their West Coast counterparts.

Compared to Vancouver, almost twice as many Torontonians surveyed are on a gluten-free or low carb diet. Furthermore, 65% of Toronto singles reported that exercise is “extremely important” to them, versus only 45% of Vancouver singles.

Considering 11% of all men surveyed claim have broken up with a woman because they were dissatisfied with her exercise habits - if hitting the gym isn’t your style, notoriously healthy Vancouver may actually prove to be a better dating terrain for you.

This isn’t to say that two people with different diet and exercise habits can’t find happiness. Crystal Higgins is a registered dietician in Vancouver and as she explains, “It all comes down to finding the things you both enjoy and making them together.” For couples with different dietary restrictions, she says “creating lots of different side dishes is a great option” or going on a date to a restaurant where the menu can accommodate both people’s needs. It’s all about finding that happy middle ground.

As Higgins explains, “food brings people together.” Although what you eat together is important - it’s more about the connection and conversation that occurs through a shared experience - something to keep in mind, statistics and dietary labels be damned.

Diet &Dating

Who do people want to date? According to the recent survey conducted by Plenty of Fish, many singles surveyed prefer to date someone with similar dietary restrictions.

Vegan: 57% want to date a vegetarian

Paleo: 72% want to date another person on the Paleo diet

Gluten-Free: 64% want to date a person on a gluten-free or low/no carb diet

Low/No Carb: 70% want to date someone on a low/no carb diet

Vegetarian: 61% want to date another vegetarian. 46% want to date someone who doesn’t follow any of these diets

No dietary restrictions: 87% want to date someone who doesn’t follow any diet


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