Dating can be difficult. Dating as a vegan can be even more difficult; 1.5 million people followed a plant-based diet in 2020, equivalent to 3% of the population. So unless you’re lucky, it’s likely you may have to deal with dating an omnivore at some point.
Being upfront with yourself about what you want will help you save some time. It’s essential to understand whether you can date someone who eats animals; if not, your dating pool has been quite hugely reduced.
If you can see yourself dating an omnivore, understand that it won’t be easy, but here are a few tips for vegetarians or vegans who have found themselves on a date with someone who eats meat.
Don’t Try To Convert Them
Perhaps one of the most important elements of dating someone who believes differently than you; do not try to convert them. Attempting to bring your partner over to your side of beliefs, whether you do it aggressively or kindly, will be detrimental to not only your relationship but to the cause overall.
Dating someone you hope will change one day is strongly advised against by many relationship professionals, plus it is counterproductive to both of you, as you can either love them as they are or not at all.
Maybe one day your partner will realise, just like you did, that the veggie or vegan lifestyle is right for them, but they have to come to that realisation on their own. This will also create more likely lifelong change, as they won’t just revert to their previous ways if you ever break up.
Don’t Force Them To Try Vegan Foods
Understandably, you may want your partner to try the same foods as you, but as with converting them, don’t force it onto them.
Just like forcing a child to eat their vegetables when they don’t want to, the act of being pressured into eating vegan food can develop negative associations with that food and ultimately lead to dislike or avoidance.
It’s pretty psychological; if the initial experience around vegan food is negative, by one partner forcing the other to try something, and that turns into an argument, their association with vegan food won’t be a positive one. Instead, offer up the food and leave it to them to decide.
Leave Emotion Out Of It
It’s understandable that you’re passionate about veganism, but when you’re discussing this with your partner, it’s important to stay rational to avoid arguments.
Keep the discussion around their choice to eat meat, fish, or even dairy, a logical and rational discussion that is grounded in science and facts rather than emotions, morals, and ethics. Because nothing is worse than discovering your new beau doesn’t feel the same way about the lives of animals as you do.
A great way to inform your partner and yourself is by sitting down to watch a documentary together or reading an informative book. We have a whole blog about the best books about plant-based nutrition to give you some facts and figures.
But... Still Discuss It Openly
It is unfair on you if you never discuss something this important to you, plus it’s good to discuss what you do and do not eat, as well as why.
Whether you’re still new in the relationship or you’ve converted whilst being with your significant other, they should hopefully be into learning about your lifestyle, even if they don’t want to subscribe to the ideology themselves.
When discussing veganism, it’s important to gauge their interest by their involvement in the conversation. Do they keep asking questions? Or are they scrolling through social media when you discuss the horrors of factory farming? Make sure you’re acknowledged and understood without having an argument about it. Remember, it’s not you against your partner; it’s both of you against the problem.
Thanks to the internet (and Happy Cow!) eating out as a vegan is super easy, but when eating at their house if your partner invites you to stay the night is something totally different.
When things are new, it’s best to bring your own food. As your relationship progresses, leaving a carton of oat milk and a packet of tofu won’t take up too much space in their fridge!
If you’re uncomfortable bringing food over, there are endless takeaway places that will deliver vegan foods straight to your door, especially if you live in a big city.
Cook The Same Meals, Differently
Eating meals together is such an important activity as a couple, especially when you are both busy professionals and you may only get a few hours together a few evenings a week, but as a veggie/vegan dating an omnivore, sometimes meals together can be pretty tricky.
There is such a great range of meat-free options nowadays, don’t forget to check out our blog for the best plant-based meat alternatives in 2021, that it’s actually very easy to have the same meal as your partner. If they’re cooking a spag bol, you can easily split the sauce into a meat mince pot and vegan mince pot; same with stir fry, you can just add their meat at the end.
Depending on your partner’s taste, meat alternatives can taste very similar to the real thing. So as long as you’re doing the cooking, they may be happy to have a meat-free meal with you!
This may be a hard one when something makes so much sense to you, especially something so emotion-inducing such as harming animals; it can be SO frustrating when the person you’re all gooey eyes about doesn’t feel the same.
But try to remember how it would feel the other way around if they judged your lifestyle choices. If your partner isn’t judging you, give them the same courtesy. They might not be as informed of all the reasons you chose veganism, or it may be utterly alien to them.
Remember, you chose to date a meat-eater, so now you have to meet the issues that arise.
Choose Your Battles
As your relationship, or diet, progresses, you’ll find yourself a rhythm for navigating your differences. Maybe you have a fridge shelf dedicated to vegan food. Maybe you always eat vegan at home, but they can have their meat when you dine out. Maybe you take turns cooking.
Find out what works for both of you, and find what your comfort zone is. Once you’ve figured this out, stand by it and let the rest go.
Taking supplements is such an important part of your vegan diet. If you’re looking to begin taking a supplement regime, then check out Omvits, a 100% vegan and palm-oil free vitamin producer.
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