Diaries Of A Vegan Dating A Meat Eater: How I Survive & Thrive

Vegan Dating - Vegan Dating Non-Vegan - Relationship Advice

In the matter of the heart, how far will a vegan go in order to stay in line with their ethics? Some won’t have meat in the house, others won’t even hug somewhere wearing a leather jacket and many contemplate whether they could even have a relationship with an omnivore.

I for one, have experienced many dimensions of the dating world, yet winding up in a situation where my status changes to ‘in a relationship’, with someone who doesn’t share the same vegan title, has made dating that bit more interesting. Here’s my vegan dating guide from personal experiences and some advice on how to make it work.

What does vegan dating a meat-eater look like?

 Image source

Firstly, expect your dinner discussions to somehow revert back to how on earth you get your protein and are you sure that you don’t miss bacon. Don’t be put-off by it and take it as good humor. It would also be best not to engage in the conversation too much, as it may, more often than not, lead to a heated argument. A one-line answer with a smile should be the way out from what could be a messy argument or debate, unless you are looking to pull each other’s hair later instead of clothes (pun intended).

Over time the understanding between the two makes the vegan – non-vegan relationship a little less about what you eat {and don’t} and more about accommodating and respecting each other. Their respect for you will not necessarily turn them into vegan, but they will start to understand your perspective and respect your decision, which is the foundation to a successful relationship.

But first, lets go over the honeymoon period that doesn’t involve hand feeding each other chicken wings and staring into each others eyes over a chocolate fondue.

Dating a non-vegan most certainly makes a relationship much more dynamic and sometimes challenging. The difference in views provides some healthy conversation and despite you not sharing the same views about animals, it shouldn’t stop you from getting along.

The biggest challenge: eating out

Vegan Dating Advice - Eating Out - Dating a meat eaterImage source: GQ

Yes, picking a restaurant is a nightmare, you want someplace that has a vegan option or better, a vegan menu and he wants a steak, so you need a find a middle ground and check every single menu online before you head out for dinner.

One way to overcome this? Do your research and get a list of places you can both eat at and write them down, pop them in a jar and then just pick it out when its time for dinner. All arguments saved and no non vegan surprises when you arrive.

In the beginning, my boyfriend hated not being able to treat me to a takeout or pick up a pizza on the way home, but now he knows my order and where serve a dish that not only I can eat, and I love him for it.

I was once taken out by my other half to a local pub that ran a vegan night on Thursdays, it was so thoughtful and I couldn’t believe he had spotted it, yet we arrived to find that the vegan night had been scrapped and all options removed from the menu…worst thing is, the new manager was vegan. That kind of upset him, but hey London is never short of vegan options.

Your first few dates will definitely include the following. They assume you are gluten-free, because that’s what vegan means, right? Despite not obtaining your diet, they will get very particular when you place your order, double checking with the waiter that your dish is vegan, because (in case he didn’t hear) you are a vegan.

The best thing though, or maybe I’m just lucky, is that they are so intrigued by the rapid growth of veganism and its entrance into the mainstream, that they often are a lot more willing to try out 100% vegan restaurants and find that they enjoy everything they try (as long as you are not ordering a wheatgrass shot or zoodles). When it comes to cooking at home, my guy asks more and more for me to plate him up a dish and he has also started to love cooking my favourite mac n cheeze and veggie pasta bake, all vegan and all homemade.

Vegan & Meat-Eater Couple & Cooking 

Vegan dating meat eater - Vegan Dating Guide - Cooking

I’m lucky enough that my partner wouldn’t dream of asking me to cook him a meal containing meat. Yet this can be the most challenging part of the relationship for some – you get in a situation where you have to deal with meat, fish or anything else involving dead animals and if you refuse he gets annoyed and think you don’t care about his needs (goes for her too).

The best way to avoid any disappointment is explain to them that you don’t feel comfortable handling meat and can suggest they give mock meats a try. Try to find a middle ground, compromises are part of a relationship but if they love you they’d never want you to compromise on your values.

Handling annoying stereotypes

They will be shocked by what you have on your plate and the variety of food you can eat, because all you eat is tofu…and leaves. It will be mentioned a few times that you don’t look like a vegan, and to prove their point will pick one from the crowd as soon as they spot one (this is anyone who is pale and slim, which they mistake as nutrient deficient). You’ll find that every date conversation centers around your diet, which will eventually bore you, so come prepared with other topics and know that eventually, this wears off and sooner or later they’ll be peering over your shoulder as you cook dinner, trying to eagerly figure out what exactly it is that you eat!

You can laugh it-off or if you can add some humor. In such instance, I think you can ease a tricky situation with healthy humor. I was once introduced by my guy to new family members as ‘the vegan’ instead of my name. It wasn’t the best way to be introduced, but I didn’t want to pick a fight or confront him over it. So the next time I cleverly introduced him as ‘the meat eater’ to all my vegan friends. It worked – he understood the point and smiled.

Vegan Gifting: how to make sure they don’t get you the wrong gift

Vegan Gifting - Vegan DatingImage source: Wiki

It was during Christmas time that my other half got himself in a state at the department store when it came to buying me a gift. He asked if the perfume was tested on animals, was reading ingredient lists without knowing what he was looking for on beauty products, became scared of buying clothes in case they contained leather, wool or silk and freaked out when he got to the confectionery section…I ended up with a candle…which in the end, was made with beeswax.

You wouldn’t want to turn down a gift that took him so much thought and time to get you, but you also don’t want to compromise your ethics. The best solution for this is, send them guides on vegan gifting or drop him hints of what you want. Problem solved – everyone is happy!

Kiss me honey!

Kissing a meat eater - Vegan Dating AdviceImage source

You can’t plan the timing of your emotions. While by now your partner would have learnt that kissing you involves clearing off all history of what they ate earlier, but that spontaneous moment of love may put you in a situation you don’t like.

I have to endure a meaty kiss every now and again, and deal with the smell of a lasagna bubbling away in the oven but to be fair he doesn’t rub meat in my face or make me bathe in milk in the same way that I don’t force feed him tofu whilst shackling him to a chair to watch Earthlings. I fell in love with a him and not what he ate, so although I do make him try all of my recipes, I let him off the hook when it comes to him feeding me things I wouldn’t ever eat.

I would be lying if I don’t accept that even to this day he is still convinced that he will convince me to try his favourite wagyu beef, even if I don’t swallow it. However, I have told him time again that despite his protests, I will not be indulging in his favourite special occasion snack. I love him, but my values and love are never to be compared.

It all goes down to

Finding someone you love is hard as is, and when you add “vegan” to the equation it gets even more challenging. To some it’s more important to date someone whose heart is filled with the same compassion as theirs and views the world with a similar viewpoint. While I don’t mind dating a non-vegan, but for some vegans even the thought of being with an omni may be repulsive. It’s a personal choice.

However, despite the funny stories of dating a non-vegan, it’s all person specific and completely up to you as to how far you stretch when it comes to meeting your ethical standards. In one aspect, once your fridge and wardrobe matches your ethics, you’d at least want the person you love to share the same ethics too. Whereas in retrospect, some just naturally fall in love and feel that it would be silly to throw that away over a difference in views. I mean, you would never end a relationship because of your difference in political opinions, would you?

See it this way, dating a non-vegan gives you a chance to spread veganism even more widely, without having to turn into an activist. My boyfriend’s mum brought me a vegan Easter egg, so it’s not all bad. There will always be compromise in every relationship, but for vegans, it’s just a different kind. If anything, your dating life will definitely give you a few stories to tell around the dinner table!

Written by Shannon Blanks
Shannon is a 22 year old vegan living in London who regularly spends her weekends on cooking courses, visiting the latest vegan hotspots or strolling around food markets. She has a love for reading in parks on sunny days and as a typical northern lass loves pie, mash and gravy

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