How to date a Vegetarian

It’s the week after Valentine’s Day, and incase we weren’t already bitter and bruised by love, I figured I’d address some pretty harsh dietary dating truths.

Vegetarians have suffered long enough! Everyday we face limited menu choices, constant badgering about our dietary choices and now this? According to a match.com survey, a whopping 30% of meat-eaters would not date a vegetarian. Whhhhhat?

Honestly, I wasn’t really surprised by that figure. I’ve seen the disappointed look on my date’s face when I tell them, “No thanks, I don’t eat meat.” They usually respond with, “Really?! Not even BACON?”

To be fair, I understand that dating someone with dietary restrictions can be annoying – especially if you have a thing for romantic steak dinners. But isn’t the dating pool small enough already? Should we really be limiting ourselves based on dietary differences? Vegetarians need love too!

Why date a Vegetarian?

 1. They’re cheap dates.

If you’ve decided to treat your date to a romantic soiree, there is no chance you’ll be stuck paying for the lobster. Veg-options are always the cheapest 😀

2. They’re slimmer & trimmer.

Plant-based diets are lower in fat, that’s a fact. Sure, not all vegetarians are health freaks but it’s safe to assume that they are generally more health conscious than the average Joe. Healthier lifestyle=better bod.

3. They’re good cooks.

Being forced to think outside the box in the kitchen means learning to be creative. If you are willing to eat vegetarian food, chances are you’ll really enjoy what they make.

4. You’ll learn about new foods.

Hemp seeds, seitan and tempeh are just a few of the weird foods that you’ll have the pleasure of tasting for the first time. If things don’t work out, at least you’ll have a whole new slew of food knowledge.

5. You’ll become healthier.

Skipping the pulled pork (from time to time) on date night will do you good! Chances are you’ll integrate more greens into your diet, it may be the kick you need to build healthier lifestyle patterns.

funny-picture-ron-swanson-vegetarian-meal

So, for all those meat-lovers who want to woo a vegetarian, I may have a couple of useful tips for you.

How to date a Vegetarian:

1. Be respectful of their choice.

Vegetarianism is a choice that means facing obstacles just when it comes to ordering lunch. If we’ve decided to stick to our guns, chances are it’s pretty important, so trying to convince us otherwise is just plain arrogant. Quit your attempts to convert your vegetarian partner and just learn to accept them as they are. And please, for the love of bananas, don’t brag about how good your bacon cheeseburger tastes, that one got old a long long long time ago.

2. Be open-minded to new culinary adventures.

Dating a vegetarian can mean eating food outside of your comfort zone – just roll with it. Indian, Asian or Middle Eastern cuisine tends to be a more veg-friendly, but probably difficult for the “steak & potato” type.  If you can be flexible for your date, chances are they’ll be more open to having a plain salad at your favourite steak house.

3. Be very considerate with restaurant plans.

Always check the restaurant’s menu before you make a reservation. When you go out in groups, suggest a place that has veggie options. If you are stuck bringing your veggie date to a BBQ joint, call beforehand to see if they can prepare something à la veg. This one is pretty key and it should earn you a ton of extra brownie points.

4. Don’t confuse being vegetarian for being high maintenance.

Okay, so vegetarians can be difficult when it comes to dinner plans but don’t assume they’re difficult with everything else. A lot of veggies are easy-peasy with other aspects of life and romance.

5. Don’t assume they’ll try to change you.

Look, I’ll be honest; a lot of vegetarians are probably pretty passionate their decision, and chances are they would be happier if you adopted a flexitarian (semi-vegetarian) way of eating.  That doesn’t mean that they will try to convert you from the get-go, or that they will expect you to change what you eat around them.  How about just asking what they expect and how they feel? Not all vegetarians are on an anti-carnivore crusade.

6. Don’t forget to tell your family that you’re dating a vegetarian.

So you’re finally ready to take your veggie love home to meet the family? Don’t, under any circumstances, forget to tell your family that your new love is a vegetarian! If you do, all parties involved will be left feeling incredibly awkward. Your date will be hungry and worried they’ve insulted your family. Your family will feel awful about leaving an important house guest to go unfed. It’s all very ugly and you’d be surprised how often this happens. Don’t make this mistake!

Hope this helps! Happy belated Valentine’s Day and good luck!

I dedicate this post to my ex-boyfriends, who despite adoring meat, often opted to eat veggie with me. To all the meat-lovers out there, it can’t hurt to widen your dating pool a little. Who knows, maybe next year the “V” in Vday will stand for “veggies.” Heheheh.

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  1. I feel your pain! Although I do eat meat, I am gluten intolerant, which can be quite the buzz kill. People will often assume I’m picky or high maintenance. And even though going “gluten free” has become more main stream, a lot of people still don’t know what gluten is so they’ll always ask me, “Why can’t we split this chocolate cake again?” Or they think it’s SO main stream that I’m just one of many women who abstain from gluten out of vanity. Sigh. Fortunately, my guy is very understanding and will often (more than not) join me in my gluten free choices. Thanks for pointing out how to be sensitive to those with “alternative” eating life-styles. Great tips!

     
  2. I am really glad that you enjoyed it. It must definitely be difficult for you especially given the slew of gluten-free products that aren’t really gluten-free. Great blog too, I’ll stay tuned.

     
  3. All so true! The omitting to tell the parents part has been catastrophic on more than one count for me…but being able to share my vegetarianism has strengthened my current relationship so much! Finding someone open to new cuisine and a healthy lifestyle can be so much fun for both partners.

     
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