What You Need to Know When Dating a Vegan

It’s a typical Romeo and Juliet type of forbidden romance: the omnivore and the vegan. Just because you’re dating someone whose lifestyle differs from your own doesn’t mean you can’t still have many other common interests and a thriving relationship.

Carefully select vegan gifts.

You can’t go wrong with vegan chocolates! 1955 called, and we agreed that we present day ladies (and gentlemen!) still like fancy chocolates in a pretty box. Your local natural food store may have them in stock, but a simple internet search will lead you to salvation. This is definitely going to be one of those special occasions gifts as vegan chocolates can be on the pricier side.

Some great vegan chocolate options are Sjaaks, Chocolate Decadence, and Vegan Chocolate. You can even find vegan chocolates on Amazon!

Cook to impress.

The way to a vegan man’s heart is through his stomach. Simply google “vegan blogs” and you can find many easy, simple, not to mention delicious, recipes. Even the biggest carnivore can whip up a special vegan meal in minutes with the help of the almighty internet. No matter what you make, he’ll be impressed you went the extra mile. Nothing says “I love you” like homemade vegan pizza after all! Just remember to be careful about items that seem vegan but usually aren’t (e.g., jelly, marshmallows, Worcestershire sauce).

Vegan restaurants are a real treat.

Over the course of your relationship, you will become masters of choosing restaurants that suit both your tastes. For example, ethnic restaurants like Japanese, Indian, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, etc. are both vegan and omni-friendly. We don’t mind you ordering schwarma while we feast on falafel. Although we’ll say we can find a suitable vegan meal at any restaurant (dry side salad anyone?), if you take us to a vegan restaurant for a special night out, the gesture will be greatly appreciated. You will get to try something new and probably enjoy the food too! If you’re not sure where to go, this list of the 21 best vegetarian and vegan restaurants is a great place to start.

Don’t try to “turn” each other.

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You’re not going to “turn” us…unless you’re a vampire. Once someone has made the choice to go vegan, they’re likely sticking with it. At the same time, we’re not going to try to “turn” you. Relationships are all about mutual respect, and that extends to dietary and lifestyle choices. While we’re available to answer any and all of your questions and we may, on occasion, offer an unsolicited tip or two about your health, it’s just because we care about you, not because we want to change you.

Patience is a virtue.

We will read food labels. We will ask restaurant waitstaff a multitude of questions and make substitutions. We will politely refuse to eat vegetables and pasta cooked in beef broth or slathered in butter. It can be frustrating eating in or dining out with a vegan mate, but please be understanding. An extra minute or two of consideration when choosing restaurants or grocery shopping will show us how much you care and remind us why we love you.

Save the vegan jokes.

What do you call a fascist vegan? Lactose intolerant. We’ve probably heard them all. Impress us with your intellect rather than throwing shade with your cornucopia of vegan and bacon jokes. If we seem sensitive it’s because it’s easy to laugh off vegan jokes from a stranger. Laughter is a defense mechanism, and not one we want to use with the person we’re dating. Besides, most of our couple conversations and inside jokes won’t be about our differing lifestyles; we’ll bond on levels far deeper than that.

 

Be supportive.

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If we’re meeting your parents for the first time for a home cooked meal at their house, please be supportive of our vegan lifestyle. Please speak to them beforehand, and also feel free to suggest to us that we bring a side dish to share. The same goes when introducing us to your friends and extended members of family. You don’t have to defend our vegan honor with a sword and shield; an encouraging sentence or two is all we need.

Remember, you’re cooking for two.

Remember when you learned pizza with the cheese peeled off isn’t a vegan meal? A vegan-omnivore relationship will be full of food lessons like that, showing how far you’ve come together. If your relationship gets serious, you will probably start grocery shopping and meal planning together, which means you’ll often have to make two of everything (e.g. one lasagna with vegetables, and one with meat sauce). While your side dishes will hopefully be the same, the entrees will usually differ. Don’t worry, vegans don’t mind sharing the kitchen…or the takeout menu.
With these simple tips and tricks, any veg-omni couple can make it work. Now, go out and coexist, you two lovebirds!
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