Let's face it, the holidays are all about eating. And it can be a lonely time when family and friends are far away -- or if you're spending the season in single-mode. But it can be even lonelier when you're single and, say, gluten-free.
For all those weird dietary restrictions out there today -- from the allergy prone and paleo people, to raw vegans and vegetarians -- it makes sense that if you could pick a partner who shares your same needs (or extreme passion for dining out), things just might be a little easier.
To help you begin the search for your soul food soulmate, here's a list of some truly awesome diet-related dating sites that specifically cater to food lovers so you can start breaking bread with a potential partner.
Farmers only, please. Why? Because "city folks just don't get it," according to the online dating service FarmersOnly.com, designed to help couples get more out of the harvest season than just a good crop. Launched in 2005, it quickly became the place for farmers and ranchers to meet like-minded people. In the last 9 years, membership went from 2,000 to well over 1 million members. Farmers -- or anyone else that lives the rural lifestyle -- can sign up and find other farmers or rural community members for free on this dating site, and are not required to fill out much of a profile to get started. However, making connections requires a paid membership.
Are you celiac and sexy? Adventurous and dairy-free? Then you might want to check out a website for singles with food allergies. If you're someone that suffers from severe food allergies it can be tough to be in a social situation that involves food you can't really eat. Based on the information you fill out in your SinglesWithFoodAllergies.com profile, you can match with a love interest who not only shares your allergy, but also shares your interests, as well.
A website just for Paleo people does exactly what it states: connects paleos -- those committed to eating a natural, grain-free diet. Paleoconnect.com is there for people looking to bond over the pale lifestyle -- which includes primal, low-carb, and Crossfit addictions. The process for contacting other members is easy (and free), but you might also find your next running buddy or just a friend to talk about your favorite recipe with.
Looking for a vegetarian, fruitarian, or even someone that cares about their carbon footprint? Sites like PlanetEarthSingles.com and MyVegetarianDating.com can help. Free to join, the MVD website allows you to fill out a detailed profile and tailor searches to your dietary preference, while PES gives more options, extending into not just diet, but also an eco-conscious way of life. So find that person who values a healthy lifestyle, buying locally grown, organic food, are into gardening, spiritual growth, conservation, sustainability, and alternative power just as much as you do.
Nothing ruins a date faster than celiac disease-induced gastrointestinal bloating. Whether you are gluten-intolerant, or just abstaining from gluten by choice, GlutenFreeSingles.com is a great website to use to meet other dietary specific singles. Unlike other "free" dating sites, however, with Gluten-Free singles all potential daters can do is view the profile; you can't interact with any of the search matches unless you sign up for a paying membership.
If you're drinking solo and your idea of love revolves around hops, yeast, and grain -- or maybe you have an addiction to craft beer -- then the 2LoveBeer.com is the perfect service. Sign-up is free, and once you're a member you can also access the site's beer event calendar to make planning that first date easy and painless. This dating site has a unique feature, as well: a voice recording option, so you can see and hear what your future beer mate is all about. Here's to the many late-night discussions of your favorite brews.
Wine-lovers everywhere can rejoice over this WineDatingClub.com, which aims to connect those who love wine so much, they can't stand the thought of dating someone who doesn't appreciate the subtle nuances between a California pinot noir and a Washington varietal. Ready to build your next relationship over a glass of wine?
What about people that just really, really, really love to eat? If food is your favorite past-time, and you're looking to meet someone who can match your ability to dine out daily, then maybe SamePlate.com or HiDine.com is the place for you. But, fair warning: it's not exactly feminist friendly. At HiDine, they believe in old-fashioned chivalry. In other words: men pay for first dates. Your first date offer is based upon your food interests, and you'll be set up with a dinner date that reflects your mutual taste. But the man paying for the meal has all of the cards; women can only "wink" at suitors they are interested in, and can't initiate a date. Ladies, if you're in the mood to be wined and dined, enjoy your favorite food with a like-minded community of successful, attractive, and fun-loving people -- people who won't ask you to split the check at the end of the night.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.