Members of a popular internet forum were quick to call out one man who said his girlfriend and her family don’t take his dietary restrictions seriously enough.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA******, Redditor u/aitafamdinner (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) detailed his sensitivity to dairy products and lamented over the notion of having to bring his own food to family events, despite needing to eat differently than everyone else.
Titled, “[Am I the a******] for expecting certain treatment at my girlfriend’s family’s house?” the since-deleted post has received more than 8,000 upvotes and 4,200 comments since October 26.
“It’s important to know that I suspect I have a dairy allergy,” OP began.
Continuing to explain that his girlfriend’s family frequently serves “cheese-laden” meals followed by dairy-filled desserts, OP said that accommodations for his suspected allergy are rare, despite his status as a guest at their house.
OP also said he was sorely disappointed when the topic of holiday dinners arose at a recent family birthday party.
“I asked my girlfriend – out of earshot of her parents – what was on the menu for the holidays. She answered turkey for Thanksgiving…[and said] that every year for Christmas her grandmother serves lasagna and cheesecake,” OP wrote. “I felt my face fall.
“I told [her] I could not eat any of those foods. I wasn’t expecting her to say that I am welcome to bring any foods that I wish,” OP continued. “My response [was] that guests shouldn’t be asked to bring food when there is an invitation.
“She told me that I ‘needed to get it straight what exactly I was allergic to’…she even asked me how certain I was that I don’t eat dairy with the amount of frozen, prepackaged meals I stock,” OP added. “I was angry that I was basically being called a liar and [about] her implying that my allergy is fake.”
As vegetarian and vegan diets grow in popularity across the U.S., the number of people looking to incorporate certain plant-based replacements has also grown substantially.
A OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans revealed last year that 47 percent of the U.S.—including more than half of respondents aged 24 to 39—consider themselves “flexitarians,” meaning they eat mostly plant-based diets, but consume meat and dairy products occasionally.
However, while more and more people in the U.S. move toward plant-based lifestyles, and an increasing number of restaurants and eateries across the country offer vegan options, the social response to such dietary adjustments can be less forgiving.
When dealing with friends or relatives who push back against alternative diets, it is recommended that vegans, vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions be prepared to provide their own food choices.
“It’s tough to have a healthy relationship when you’re focused on what you should be getting, rather than what you have to give,” she told Newsweek. “Those kinds of thoughts interfere with your ability to have a functioning relationship.
“Everything you do may become transactional and you’ll struggle to truly connect with others,” she added.
While a certain level of special treatment within a relationship is to be expected, Morin said that entitlement is often magnified in romantic partnerships and can quickly infiltrate an individual’s connection with their partner’s family.
“Entitlement issues often play out with extended family,” she said. “Someone who feels entitled in their relationship may expect their in-laws to extend special treatment as well.”
Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors echoed that sentiment, taking issue with OP’s expectation for special dishes at his girlfriend’s family’s home without making any effort himself.
“[You’re the a******],” Redditor u/gertyorkes wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received nearly 29,000 upvotes. “I’m a vegan, and I regularly bring my own dishes to events so I know I’ll have something to eat.
“Your offense of ‘guests shouldn’t have to bring food!’ is incredibly entitled,” they continued.
Redditor u/hannahsflora, whose comment has received nearly 13,000 upvotes, offered a similar response.
“You don’t even know for sure that you have a dairy allergy, and if you do have one, you don’t seem to be doing much to educate and empower yourself about it,” they wrote. “Your girlfriend – and her family – are not villains for refusing to change their long-held traditions for a newcomer boyfriend and his allergy that might or might not be real.
“Expecting them to cater to you with a new level of care that you don’t even give to yourself is next-level entitlement,” they added.
“[You’re the a******],” Redditor u/lihzee chimed in. “You can opt not to attend. They don’t have to change their traditions to accommodate you, and you’re welcome to bring your own food.”
Newsweek reached out to u/aitafamdinner for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.
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