Wondering if it’s possible for a non-vegan and a vegan to date… successfully? Valid question!
So, you met this girl or guy. At first sight, there was this spark — a connection. Call it magic, call it fate. You know instinctively that you’ve found THE ONE; then you hear these words,“I’m Vegan.”
Will you freak out and have sudden flashbacks of your happiest omnivore moments, just before you bid farewell to them? Or, will you think of that moment as a chance to expand your horizon, and not perceive this as a wall between the man or woman you like and your meat feast dreams? I completely understand if you thought of the first scenario as the most plausible response, but dating someone who is vegan doesn’t mean you need to be one. Is there a chance for non-vegans and Vegans to be together? Heck, absolutely, 100 percent, no doubt, yes! Will it be a walk in the park? No. Can I still eat bacon? Of course! Can I still eat bacon in front of my date? If you will not rub it in the face of your date that you’re eating something that used to have eyes, I don’t see why not.
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Before you read any further, let’s set something straight. Not all vegetarians are the same. To give you a head start understanding the different types, read this. Now that we’ve settled that, here are five tips to successfully date a vegan. Number two is especially important.
1. For your first date, take your vegan date to a vegan restaurant.
First dates are a big deal. You would want to make a good impression on your date. So, it is highly advisable you take your Vegan date to a Vegan restaurant and steer clear of meat-serving ones for your first date. Okay, okay. I hear you saying, “You said I don’t have to be a Vegan to date one, what now??!” — Yes I know, but hear me out. By initiating to dine in a Vegan restaurant, you’re not only showing your respect for your date’s Vegan lifestyle, you’re also implying how open-minded and selfless you are. It’s also a great opportunity for you to know them better in a place they are familiar with and try something different, for romance’s sake. LeoLin Lopez from The Vegan Woman, recommends websites like Happy Cow and Yelp to find the perfect restaurant for your first date.
2. Stay true to yourself — don’t fake it!
It’s one thing to respect and appreciate their lifestyle, and another to keep it real to yourself. Don’t say things your date wants to hear. Don’t create another version of you that you think your date will like. Again, it will not be a walk in the park and will involve a lot of compromising, conflicts about vegan ethics, and discussions about what is and what is not. The only way to go about this is creating an open line of communication. Lay out all your cards, and meet halfway. Relationships are all about the give and take game. And that context can be applied regardless of food preference.
3. Be mindful of your questions.
As sensitive and considerate you are when you talk about religion, politics, exes, and bowel movements, same goes with the following questions you should never ask a Vegan on your first date:
- “Where do you get your protein from?”
- “What’s the point of eating fake meat?” Then you try to be clever and ask, “Can’t you just eat real meat?”
- “Plants are living things too right? Why do you eat them?”
- “Don’t you miss eating meat? Followed by, “You’re missing a lot!.”
If you’re that curious to know the answers, I have one word for you — Google! Familiarize yourself with all the vegan basics (SexyFitVegan.com covers most of them too) like:
Then, to be on the safe side, ask him or her first why they went vegan. Let them feed you the details and from there, you have a good standing point for your follow-up questions.
4. Forget everything you know about Vegan.
Going vegan is a personal choice. It’s not pop culture and definitely not something you decide overnight. Sure you have read hundreds of articles about veganism but it’s a different story when you hear it from someone who actually lives and breathes the lifestyle. So when you go out with a Vegan, don’t bring your pre-existing notions and start listening instead.
5. Keep an open mind and mouth.
Vegans are often mislabeled as forum-trolling, angry, animal rights activists, who miss out on the good stuff in life. They are veggie lovers and carnivore haters who don’t care about flavour as long as it’s meat-free. In reality, they probably understand flavour and good food more than you. And since vegan is a way of living that’s not just limited to food preference, but also ethical beliefs and principles in life. If you’re not into that kind of thing, no worries. Don’t mock and don’t judge people who are deeply passionate on what they believe. Instead of questioning their lifestyle, appreciate their choice of living healthy. Best way to know if this is something you’ll consider? Give their cooking a shot. You’ll never know, that could be your turning point.
A guest post by Jane Dizon, nurse, health and nutrition enthusiast, and blogger at Gym and Fitness, Australia’s favourite online retailer of treadmills and strength equipment.
Header Photo Credit: Karine Basilio