Spring Fever: The Date My Allergies Ruined

Peanuts, wheat, cologne and latex. Any of these seemingly harmless items can be a recipe for a disastrous date. Read how allergies have affected these 12 women’s love lives. Some of them got lucky, even with a puffy face.

“I went to a local steakhouse that keeps peanuts in huge barrels that they place on tables while you’re waiting for the food. I have a severe allergy to peanut dust, and after about five minutes at the table, I had a disgusting sneezing fit and then a severe asthma attack.” — Lisa, Austin

“I am very sensitive to some perfumes and colognes. Many of my dates started out fine but would end up with my eyes nearly swollen shut, nose red and me feeling very self-conscious and upset. Few guys called back. But one date turned out to be a very handsome man. I was smitten, but he reeked of aftershave. I warned him that I tended to be allergic to certain scents and that it was hay fever season, so my allergies might be acting up ‘more than usual.’ The car reeked of some pine air freshener, and my nose immediately started tickling. I sneezed nearly non-stop all the way to the restaurant and through the date. He turned out to be the real thing, though, and showed up for the next date scent-free. Even his car had been detailed and was odorless!” — Joan, Denver

“I once had a blind date and we went for coffee. The man kept sneezing and his eyes were watering. It got so bad, he couldn’t stay past the first coffee. Turns out he was allergic to my cats, and their hair or scent or something lingered on my clothes.” — Carol, Montreal

“When my allergies act up, it’s not a good thing. Unfortunately, many things can trigger it. Fragrance, pollen, and dust are probably the worst triggers. Years ago when I was out with a guy, I had to leave after a couple trips to the bathroom because of his cologne. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and also did not want to embarrass myself as the allergies worsened, so I made up something and excused myself.” — April, Houston

“The worst thing about my allergies is that they are chronic and related to common things: dust, lilac, hyacinth, perfumes, grass, and fragrances. I’ve had allergies for 20 years. When my allergies are particularly bad, I can’t kiss my boyfriend for more than a few seconds before I have to ‘come up for air.’ It looks like I’m having an asthma attack. At first he thought it was something he did or a scent in his apartment that was irritating me. I know it bothered him, but now he realizes it’s my immune system, not him. He feels bad for me and tries everything to accommodate me, and has even stopped wearing cologne for me.” — Jennifer, Belleville, NJ

“I have two words for you: latex allergy. As you can imagine, being allergic to latex can seriously affect a person’s sex life. I found out about my allergy from regular doctor visits, because I’d itch and my eyes would water. It is not just with condoms though, because balloons make my eyes swell up and I start sneezing. My allergic reaction was not life-threatening, but I was warned about latex condoms. It is weird and embarrassing to explain to a stranger that he has to go buy a certain brand of condoms. I always waited to see if the relationship was going somewhere and brought up the issue before any sexual activity was involved.” — Emma, Atlanta

“When my husband and I were engaged, he took me to celebrate at a fancy hotel. That evening, as we lay together in bed, I started having coughing and sneezing fits. Apparently something in the room was causing this reaction. Needless to say, we did not get to ‘officially’ celebrate our engagement, thanks to the constant interruptions!” — Ginger, Spokane, WA

“On a date at a Chinese restaurant and lounge, I sadly discovered a newfound allergy. While watching a comedy show, my handsome date and I were eating and having drinks when my eyes started to water profusely. I went into uncontrollable bouts of sneezing and my non-waterproof mascara was running down my face, as was my nose. So bad was the reaction, we had to leave. There would be no goodnight kiss, no second date, and no leftover Chinese because I think it was the food that caused the allergic reaction.” — Cathy, Balwinville, MA

“When my husband and I were dating, I bought a guinea pig. I soon found out I was allergic to it. I remember one time we went to the movies and my eyes were so red and swollen, I could barely watch it. It was a horrible experience.” — Jennifer, Titusville, FL

“It was the first time meeting my boyfriend’s parents, and it was Christmas Eve. They had fried some artichokes in oil and were insulted and confused that I would not try any. It was the same deep fryer they used to make fried seafood, and I did want to take the chance of having my throat close due to my allergy. The night turned out to be a good one anyway once we got back to his place and we were alone.” — Meredith, Poughkeepsie, NY

“I had gone out with a guy on a few dates. I had terrible allergies and ended up needing surgery. Instead of going on our next planned date, he dropped by my house to see me after the surgery. With my swollen face and bandages, I looked like a prize fighter. I guess he wasn’t too put off … I eventually married him.” — Karen, Las Vegas

“Several years ago I went hiking with a guy I was hoping to get more acquainted with. About an hour into our hike, I was stung by a bee. I am quite allergic and my throat was closing quickly. Thankfully, I had my EpiPen and he was an EMT, so he knew how to use it. He then rushed me to the hospital and we spent the rest of our date in an emergency room. In the end, we dated for seven months and then he moved away, but we remain good friends and still laugh about our first date.” — Rose, Cleveland