Dating a chef

Hi Meredith!

I want to talk about dating schedules – because I'm dating a chef.

I work a pretty crazy schedule and have worked in the hospitality industry all my life. Chef and I are in the beginning stages of dating, and lived a significant commute apart over the summer.

What I already dislike are the 12 a.m. calls on a Tuesday. Also it seems that the minute he gets out of work, he has a drink – a strong drink. He says it takes him time to unwind, and I understand that, but the constant 12 to 2 a.m. calls with slurred speech are not fun. (I'm an early-to-bed/early-to-rise girl.)

I do appreciate him checking in, but most of the conversation is about his work, his customers, the staff. I very rarely get a question about my day. Is it a chef ego thing?

Also, I just don't get all the text message photos of food during the day. Those are the messages I get from him. I know he has a passion, but I don't need a see a fried pork belly, etc. I would much rather get a "wish you were here."

I should mention the time we do spend together is pretty amazing, physically. He always checks in and makes the effort to see me. I should note we are both in our mid-30s, so we're not talking about a 20-year-old guy here. I'm hoping the late-night calls and drinking will get better with time – or is this just the lifestyle?

– Dating a Chef

The summary of this letter is that you're dating a chef – even though there is no part of you that wants to be dating a chef.

You're in the hospitality industry yourself, so you understand the hours, but you still resent this guy's schedule. You don't want to see pictures of food all day, even though you understand they come from a place of pride and passion. You don't want to talk about restaurants, in general.

It would be like me saying, "I work for the Globe and am dating this writer, but all he does is talk about his stories. All he does is give me things to read. And what's with all the hours spent investigating things? Ugh."

If I felt that way about dating a writer, I just wouldn't.

I would ask why you're dating this guy at all, but the answer is in the first sentence of your last paragraph. Physical amazingness counts for a lot, but it doesn't make up for general incompatibility. It's OK that you're not that interested in this guy's world – or his tendency to drink and focus on himself – but you can't expect him to change. He is not for you in so many ways, so move on.

– Meredith

Readers? Should the letter writer be dating this chef?