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Redditor Stirs Drama By Cooking With Garlic Even Though It Makes Their Boyfriend ‘Gag’

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We all have different tastes and preferences when it comes to what we like to eat.

But some people’s aversions can be pretty extreme.

Some could even be damaging to a relationship, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

A Redditor, who has since deleted their account, tried to compromise on their favorite food to keep their relationship going.

But when their boyfriend continued to criticize their tastes, the Original Poster (OP) felt increasing concern.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for eating garlic when my bf (boyfriend) hates it?” 

The OP and their boyfriend had different tastes. 

“I love garlic, chives, onions, etc. All the Alliums, and I’m a pretty good cook (my grandma taught me), so I do most of my own cooking.”

“Except my bf hates it. Like he hates everything with any of the Alliums in it.”

“It’s not an allergy, but it’s like an aversion. When we didn’t live together, it was ok, since he would eat his non-garlic food and I would eat mine.”

“We couldn’t eat out, because most restaurants use garlic and he can’t be around it, even if he asks the food to be cooked without. Once the chef didn’t put it in but used a pan that had garlic previously and he took a bite, spit it out, and went to wash his mouth.”

Even the boyfriend’s family agreed with the OP.

“I met his family (thinking the reason he hates garlic is that they didn’t eat it) but nope, they all did.”

“His mom joked she must have ate too many onions when she was pregnant and he got sick of smelling it.”

“We all tell him he needs to at least learn to tolerate the smell of it because it’s everywhere.”

“Like I hate lavender, it’s disgusting to me, but I can’t tell everyone to stop using lavender-scented laundry detergent.”

The OP felt like they had to give up a lot just to take the relationship to the next level.

“We moved in a few months ago and now I can’t eat garlic.”

“I can eat it in a restaurant but I’m not allowed to cook it anymore since he can’t stand the smell.”

“It sounds like a tiny thing but none of the food tastes the same afterward.”

“Like lamb (my favorite) needs onions to get rid of the gamey test.”

“Also, restaurant food isn’t as good as my home cooking (not bragging, it’s the truth), so I’m never really satisfied.”

The OP questioned how long they could put up with this.

“He went kayaking with friends and I cooked chive dumplings and enjoyed every bite.”

“I turned on the stove fan and opened all the windows, but he still smelled it and got really angry, saying I was so inconsiderate that I couldn’t even avoid the stuff that makes him gag.”

“It seems like a small thing, but I don’t know if I can give up cooking and eating garlic (and everything else delicious) for the rest of my life.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the boyfriend expected the OP to compromise too much.

“I have a very sensitive nose and am incredibly prone to fragrance or sound induced migraines. I can only have certain fragrances in my space.”

“However, my teenager loves incense and scented candles. So much so that she keeps a glass jar with a hole drilled in the top, full of scented wax cubes in her car.”

“She knows about my sensitivity so she keeps it to her room and opens a window to air it out if she plans on keeping her door open. If she wants me to go with her somewhere, she airs out her car first.”

“Can I still smell it? Yeah but it’s faint enough that I can cope. This dude is being super unreasonable. NTA”OpossumJesusHasRisen

“The smell of curry and weed both make me feel sick. I live with family currently so I have to tolerate it.”

“Guess what I’m not going to do? Be with someone who loves those two things. It wouldn’t be fair on me to have to deal with the smell of them and it wouldn’t be fair on them to feel like they couldn’t have them.”Wulfweard24

“NTA. Why are you letting a man tell you what you’re ‘allowed’ to do? Put your foot down, tell him to stop complaining, and if the smell bothers him THAT much he can go into a different room. H**l, invest in candles he can use in a separate room while you cook.”

“I have ADHD so my sensory processing disorder is off the wall, I have a genuinely hard time being around the smell of something I don’t like.”

“That being said, I’d never force someone to stop eating/cooking something I can’t stand the smell of.”

“I live in a tiny apartment with my Dad, and if I have a candle lit in my room, I can barely smell anything he’s cooking.”

“Your boyfriend is overreacting and being a control freak.”PartyySnacks

One Redditor pointed out the boyfriend might have an allergy or something similar.

“I agree with the NTA, but I want to ‘devil’s advocate’ this bit slightly:”

“Maybe he does have some sort of allergy or some other circumstance that makes his distaste more understandable. (If not, he is a total control freak, and very obviously the a**hole.)”

“But if the lingering smell of cooking, in a well-vented apartment sets him off like this, maybe there is a real issue. In which case the problem is of course his reaction.”

“Maybe he thinks he has communicated how bad this is for him, maybe he is only becoming aware of it now – but he has obviously failed to warn OP, set a clear boundary, and enforce it politely, before they moved in together. Which is on him, but a much lower level of a**hole behavior.”

“OP is definitely still in the clear, but they need to figure out whether the boyfriend is an overreaction control freak or not. And if not, whether they can agree on a set of rules and remain politely and mature about them.”

“Good luck OP.”343427229486267

Others questioned the couple’s compatibility. 

“You two aren’t compatible palate-wise. Think really hard about whether or not you want to have this conversation regularly for the rest of your lives.”

“If he insists that you don’t cook alliums in the house, can you live with the thought of never cooking with them again?”

“NAH. He’s well within his right to not want things that make him feel sick in his home. You’re also well within your right to want to cook your favorite foods. You two might not be able to make it work.”

“It might sound stupid, to end a relationship over garlic; but do you really want to build up resentment towards the man you’re spending your life with? Or him, you?”

“Think hard.”SnooDrawings1480

“NTA this would be a dealbreaker for me”letsgolesbolesbo

“It is compromise territory, but it’s also okay for OP to decide they don’t want to deal with this. You can decide you won’t compromise on certain issues and that does not make you a bad person, even if that issue is something ‘trivial’ like the use of alliums in cooking OR scented fabric softener.”

“Now, I DO think BF’s being an a** and dramatic, but I also know that people with food aversions get the verbal s**t kicked out of them about it.”

“OP has compromised a lot already, and if they look forward and decide that six more months of avoiding onions on their lamb and scallion dumplings is not a thing they want, that is OK. That is 100% enough reason to say, ‘listen, this isn’t working out, best of luck finding Mx. No Alliums Is Fine.'”penandpaper30

Though it may be difficult for the OP to make a decision, the subReddit was clear that an ultimatum may be in order. The boyfriend was not necessarily in the wrong for not wanting to be around a smell he hates, but the OP should not be expected to give up a favorite flavor forever, either. Though it may be “just” garlic, this may be a relationship that doesn’t make it past the kitchen.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.