Dating, including vegan dating, should be fun. This interaction might someday involve courtship and engaging in social activities together (mountain climbing and visiting animal sanctuaries get better together).
Ultimately, you would want your dating time to enable you to assess a suitable intimate partner for a long-term relationship. But what happens in vegan dating; especially if you are vegan and your date, is not? Are you the one to compromise or your date?
Cruelty-free dating is a challenge that vegans face when finding potential life mates. If not careful, the dating experience can be very disappointing.
Generally, we vegans make a lifetime commitment to live a cruelty-free life. This means that the restaurants we frequent should humanely handle animals. The brand of clothes and footwear we wear should have the bunny logo. The entertainment spots we visit should observe animal rights especially if animals are used to provide the entertainment.
And last but not least, the food we eat should be 100% vegan. No life is worth sacrificing for a dinner plate, right! When two vegan people date, they tend to reinforce each other’s choices. But this can be challenging when we choose to date a non-vegan.
How Do We Handle Vegan Dating?
So you think you have finally met the one and you are going on your first date. How will you explain your hesitation to visit his favorite restaurant? Should you just come out straight and tell your partner that you are vegan? Will you tell him (her) that the last time you were in a restaurant the smell of ribs barbequing almost made you cry?
You don’t have to!
Structure Your Priorities
The first rule in vegan dating is to never make the dinner table the center of your relationship. You have so much you can share as a couple including getting to know each other better, sharing each other’s plans and ambitions, and even playing silly games and laughing. Make a conscious decision to dwell on the relationship.
Focusing on what to eat and what to avoid dilutes your quality time with your partner. Let your partner discover your healthy lifestyle orientation when you order your chickpea flour omelet with spinach, onion, tomato and bell peppers while he orders his cheese and ham omelet. Even when he brings up the topic, you should not dwell too much on it. Instead, just briefly let them know that you are a vegan by choice and that you enjoy your lifestyle and respect those who do not live the vegan way. Remember it is your first date. You have many more dates to change them.
You Don’t Owe Anyone an Explanation – Your Life Your Choices
Another challenge that vegans face when dating non-vegans is the need to always explain why they prefer cruelty-free options. This happens more often when going on a group date like camping with friends. Remember that not all non-vegans will take your reasons positively. Some may even make derogatory remarks about your choices.
So this brings us to our second rule in vegan dating. Respect matters a lot! If you and your partner can respect each other’s preferences, then you will be able to tolerate one another.
Do You Have Anything Else in Common?
The third rule in vegan dating is to focus on your shared interests. Does your partner like doing yoga? Turn your yoga session into a date. Does he like rock climbing, hiking, or bowling? Or maybe he is an animal lover like you. Then spend your date in an animal sanctuary. While at it, discuss the reasons why you love doing these activities.
An action-packed date is a great way to release tension between the two of you. With time, as you share more and more interests, you may find your partner also liking the vegan lifestyle because as you continue dating, you grow closer to one another.
Change Begins at Home
Are you planning to move in with your partner? Address the changes that need to be made in your house first. You may have to use separate sets of utensils and pans and agree on where to store your kitchen food supplies if your partner is still non-vegan when you decide to move-in. Discussing these changes will make your stay together as comfortable as possible.
Don’t Push Your Lifestyle Too Far
Another challenge we vegans have when dating non-vegans is that we are too passionate about our lifestyle. We might find ourselves preaching about it while on a date!
So rule number five: never turn a date into a vegan crusade. Dietary differences tend to create dating discord. And trying to convert your partner into a vegan will make it worse. Stop reminding your partner how awful you felt about the chicken he ate. Give them time and let your partner be the one to initiate the interest in your healthy lifestyle habits.
Don’t force them to eat the vegan meals they don’t fancy. You’ll end up alone. When your partner sees how happy and healthy you are in your lifestyle choices, he or she is bound to be attracted to it. Then when he (she) shows interest in a vegan diet, that’s your opportunity to show your kitchen prowess by fixing him (her) a delicious vegan meal.
Stay honest and open to possibilities. Even as you are trying to accept your partner’s choices, he (she) is also doing the same for you. Trying to look good by pretending to like everything your partner does will cut short your dating experience. When he suggests that you attend a circus involving caged animals, be honest, and tell him how you feel.
One of the benefits of dating is getting to know each other and accommodating one another. There will always be opportunities whereby the two of you can reach a compromise. So still, have an open mind as you date.
Dating difficulties exist in every relationship, whether similar lifestyle or vegan dating. What matters is your perception. Work towards growing your relationship into an intimate one. Don’t let the romantic fever the two of you be put off by issues about being vegan or non-vegan.