You're Dating a Chef? Please Read This!

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

If you just googled, “Dating a chef” and arrived here, welcome.  Welcome to this crazy life of being involved with someone in the culinary industry.

I would guess the reason you googled this topic is because dating a chef is not exactly what you expected it would be.  Perhaps you’re lonely, frustrated by the hours, struggling with finding time to spend together, or even time to talk.

Well guess what?



Don’t you feel so much better already?

There are tons of us out there, who are somehow connected to a chef . . . marrieddatingparents, siblings, etc.

There are others out there who can relate to the crazy obsession with chef knivesthings for the kitchen and cookbooks.  Nice!! 

Our society portrays this life of a chef as very glamorous, which as you now know is very far from the truth.  Thehours are long and change constantly, the work is hard and stressful and the pay is not so great.  So why even bother?  Why don’t they just choose another career?

While I can’t answer this question for the person you are dating, I can tell you why my chef/husband stays in this career.  He’s a good chef.  I could go on and on and brag about what an amazing chef my husband is, but the reality is that he’s really good at what he does and he needs to work to provide for us.   That’s why he stays in the kitchen.

Does he love the hours?  No.

Does he come home absolutely exhausted?  YES!!!

Has he always been paid well?  Nope!

But it’s what he does well and so he continues to work hard at it and do his job to the best of his ability.

But what about us?  The other person in the relationship?  If this seems to be a lifelong career choice, how do you go about coping with the long hours and constantly changing schedule, the complete exhaustion and stress and the not so great pay?  What exactly am I getting myself into here by dating a chef? (Click on the links in the paragraph to see answers to those questions.)

1.  First of all, if you are dating a chef, you’re going to have to decide if he or she is worth it.  Being in a relationship with a chef or someone who works in a professional kitchen is a lot of work and can be very lonely at times.  If you are not absolutely sure you can deal with it for the long term, it’s probably better to call it off before you get too attached.

Wait . . . It sounds like I’m trying to talk you out of dating a chef.  I’m not.  Really.

I in no way want to discourage you from dating or marrying a chef.  I love my husband dearly and would not trade any moment of our 19 years of marriage, even the really, really, really tough ones (and there have been quite a few).  While it hasn’t been easy, God has been with us every step of the way and we are still happily married!  It is possible to have a relationship with a chef!  We are living proof of that!

But I want you to be prepared.  It’s not easy!

I want you to know what you are getting into.  

2. Talk about the hours, the stress, your loneliness, etc.  Talk, talk, talk, talk and then talk some more.  Find time to talk!  Make sure you both understand the impact his career will have on your relationship.  It’s not a 9-5 job and probably never will be.

3.  If possible, find another chef who is happily married and talk to him/her and their spouse!  Ask them questions.  Ask them everything you could possibly think of and then ask them what they wish they knew before they started dating or before they got married.  If you can’t find a happy chef couple near you, ask us!!  We might not be able to have you over for dinner if you live on the other side of the globe, but we can talk, text, or email.

Life is not the Food Network.  That is TV and it is edited.  You can’t edit life (except on Facebook and Twitter.)

I started writing this blog to connect with other chef families and to help dispel this crazy notion that the life of a chef is so glamorous.  It’s actually pretty tough and can be very lonely at times.

I started this blog to connect with you!

But with that being said, I know that finding a new blog can sometimes be overwhelming.  So let me point you to a few posts that I think might be helpful.  (And remember while I write about being married to a chef, I share many of the same emotions that you have while dating one.  Don’t let the “marriage” word discourage you for reading.)

Letter to a Young Chef Wife

Do you Ever Feel Like You Are Living Separate Lives?

Last Minute Changes in Schedule

Working Opposite Schedules

Frequently Asked Questions about being Married to a Chef

As you read, you’ll continue to see more and more that you are really not alone in what you are feeling.  I promise!!

If you don’t want to take my word for it, head on over to this board on Pinterest and see what others are writing about this topic.

From one chef wife to another,

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