Written by Donat a/k/a The Vegan Hubby
A quick guide to dating someone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy.
Dating can be tough at the best of times. Adding in the vegan wild card into the mix can make your head explode. But have no fear! Here is a handy-dandy list of things to know when the girl/boy that you are courting eats no meat or dairy:
1. It takes a while to get the hang of things
Expect to make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. You will have a ton of good intentions that go awry, but that’s okay. Vegans are a very grateful group as a whole and they will appreciate your efforts. Yes you might have spent a full afternoon looking up recipes and cooking up a storm and envisioned your vegan counterpart to be bedazzled by how amazing you are. Don’t let your ego get destroyed when you missed some ingredient that you’ve never heard of that turns out to not be vegan, forcing you to order out.
2. One size does not fit all vegans
As crazy as it might sound, not all vegans have the same food beliefs. Find out exactly what your special someone is comfortable eating. Things like honey may or may not be fine to eat. Plus some “cheat” a little more than others. Either way, you will never know until you ask.
3. Think ahead, but most importantly think
Perhaps you’ve been going to a particularly nice restaurant that has made previous dates fall in love with you. Don’t assume that this place will work for a vegan date as well. Surf and Turf might swoon a regular date, but it will leave you with a hungry and annoyed vegan date. Think ahead and call the restaurant to make sure that they can accommodate a nice vegan meal. Better yet, take them to a vegan restaurant and branch out a little yourself. You’d be surprised how good vegan restaurants can be! Plus you get bonus points.
4. There’s more to this than just food
Don’t harp on the vegan subject for the entire date. Vegans get asked so many questions about what they eat that sometimes it seems like they don’t get to talk about anything else. While it may be mind-blowing to you that someone can go a day without cheese, they’ve been there and done it so many times it just not that interesting anymore. Have some fun and be someone who stands out from the rest of the boring “but what do you do for protein?!?” people.
5. Don’t be stupid
Being a vegan is serious. At least in the food poisoning sense. If you haven’t eaten any meat in years, you can be quite sure that you will not have a fun date if your vegan date ends up eating some. Taking the pieces of chicken out of the chicken soup does not make it vegan soup (I’ve made this mistake myself when I first started dating my wife and it seemed very reasonable at the time. It seems flat out stupid now). Yes it’s annoying that you have keep figuring out new ways to cook but you will be happy you did in the long run!
6. Be a sport!
Being a vegan and going on dates can feel like pulling teeth. You have to convince, bribe and/or beg some people to go to a vegan spot with them. Make it fun for them and try new things. They are constantly trying new things and want someone who is willing to join them on the adventure, even if the adventure turns out to be a bad idea. It’s all about the experience.
7. Be honest!
While this should probably go without say in the rest of your life but this goes double time for vegans. If they make you some food and you don’t like it, give honest and helpful feedback. They might just make a tweak that will make for a delicious meal next time. Being nice and saying something was good when it wasn’t does not help anybody. Genuine feedback also makes it that much more special when you really do like something that they made, which is bound to happen sooner or later.
8. Don’t change me bro
Last but not least, don’t try to convince vegans that eating meat is the way to go. One thing that meat-eaters HATE is when vegans try to push them into becoming vegans. Why do the reverse of that? The fastest way to ensure that you will not get lucky is to make a vegan get defensive about being a vegan. It’s an uphill battle that will leave you all alone at night wondering what happened.
If you have any other tips to add to the Gentlemen’s Guide to Dating a Vegan, please comment and let us know. Good luck dating everyone!