Get Out Of The Kitchen: 5 Ways To Keep Love Alive When Dating A Chef

by Kathryn Durkin

After playing the dating game for several years, I finally believe I have found The One. There's just one problem: I never see him, and I’m okay with that.

I am engaged to a chef.

Yes, our relationship is hard and wildly misunderstood. Yes, I come home every day with the knowledge that I may fall asleep before I see him. Yes, I go on double dates… alone. Being in a relationship with a chef is taxing, but ultimately, worth it.

In general, chefs are immediately written off as somewhat “miserable.” I can see it; after working 18 hours in a hot, sweaty kitchen, I would be miserable, too.

Most chefs enjoy the adrenaline; they feed off the energy of each other, and usually come home more hyped than when they went in. This can be frustrating to me at 1 am.

Although I do not work a regular, 9-to-5 job, my fiancé’s schedule is much more irregular than mine.

When I do something, I am either all in, or not at all. I believe I am meant to show people that being the sunshine in a chef’s life is, in fact, possible. It is not for everybody, and some will never understand it, but I would not change my life for the world.

Here are five things to remember if you, too, love a person in the food service industry:

Patience is THE Virtue

There are going to be days you don’t see him. There are going to be nights your beau comes home with stitches from knives.

You will be worried, there is no doubt about that. Focus on being a caretaker in the relationship. In the beginning, it may be turned down, so refocus and take a different approach.

Leave a mug on the counter filled with coffee so he doesn't need to make it in the morning. Make sure to make dinner for him. Trust me, he isn't trying to cook any more food when he finally comes home.

Petty Arguments = Worst Move

Think about it: You start a fight in the early morning about the dishwasher not being emptied. Then, he walks out to go to work, and you two have no more communication until 11 pm that night.

Those 12-plus hours are torturous. Throughout the day, you come to realize how dumb your fight was, and all you want to do is say you are sorry.

Being in a fight while you are unable to talk to your partner is awful. Here's a piece of advice: Think about the pros and cons of being in a fight. Will you be able to talk it out? Don't start something that still won't be finished 12 hours later.

Schedule Alone Time Together

There is nothing more irritating than constantly using your together time to meet up with friends or family. No offense to those out there, but I’m fairly selfish.

It is important to stay connected as much as possible throughout the day. It is important to stay up (no matter how tired you are) to see him when he comes home. No matter what time, try to get up and spend time together in the early morning.

Not only will you feel better, but also, your other half will feel like he is worth your time. Trust me, it isn’t easy to stay up until 2 am on a Wednesday night, but it is so worth seeing his face when I greet him at the door.

Make Sure You Love To Be Alone

Crazy, I know, but true. Make sure you are okay with the fact that little parties your family holds, weddings, holiday parties and dinners will be attended alone.

You may get lucky once in a while, but be sure you know you are representing both of you. No matter how much you try to fight, he will not be able to get off of work.

In my experience, I get the same old questions: “So where’s your fiancé? Not here again? He’s working too hard.”

In my opinion, yes, he is working harder than anyone I know, and he wishes he could be irresponsible and call out of work to be there. He KNOWS this event is important, but his hands are tied. I cannot get mad at him for doing his job. I’d much rather have this, than him be unemployed.

Encourage Greatness

By understanding the job, you are looked at as an angel. You are that one person who just gets it. This is an honor larger than anything else.

You are his stability, his sounding board and his support system. Embrace it. Encourage the potential within your other half. Make sure you say encouraging words to him each day, and mean it.