How To Make It Work When You’re A Vegan & Your Partner Isn’t

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First dates can be tough. What are you supposed to do with someone who you barely know? One idea that is pretty fail safe is going out for dinner. We’ve all got to eat and it gives you a real chance to have some wine and get to know someone. What about if one of you is vegan? I personally don’t think it needs to be that much of an issue but some would argue otherwise, given the different lifestyle choices that go into people's decision about their diet. So, here’s how to date a non-vegan when you’re vegan and ensure you're both happy with things.

Being a vegan can be a pretty fundamental part of your identity. But as writer and vegan Elena Orde believes, it is completely possible to be happy with your partner even if they aren't vegan, it's just that communication is key. On the Vegan Society website she highlights the importance of being open to answering your partner’s questions about why you chose to go vegan in the first place. She said:

“Give your partner an insight to the thought process that made you want to go vegan. This is different for everyone, so helping your partner see it from your personal perspective will allow them to understand you and your decision better.”

Whether it's friends, a romantic partner, or someone somewhere in between, people who care about you should respect and support any lifestyle choices you make.

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Like any difference of opinions — be that about politics, sport, or food — being considerate of one another is a sure fire way to make a relationship successful. Writing on Meet Mindful, Sara Crolick offers the really simple suggestion of looking at menus before you go out for food so you know there will definitely be options of both of you. She writes:

“There are few experiences more depressing than watching your date savour each delicious morsel on their plate while you pick at a pitiful pile of wilted lettuce. Call ahead or look at a menu online to be sure that you’ll both have options that will satisfy—this will also eliminate potential guilt-traps for your partner.”

As your relationship grows, a list of all your favourite food spots will too. It’s not about never going out for a meal again, but just being a little bit more organised.

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Setting boundaries — both physical and metaphorical — may help to avoid any unwanted confrontation or arguments. While you might not care too much that your partner has left some butter in the fridge, you may not want to catch them using the wok you use to cook veggies to stir fry steak. Sareta Puri wrote on Metro Online:

“If you live together then be clear about what you are and are not OK with. Do you want any non-vegan products in the house? If not that could become a massive sticking point. I was always against meat being in the house as a veggie but now I’m vegan I’m not going to freak out if my boyfriend has butter-laden biscuits in the cupboard (he usually does.)”
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People are so much more than the food they eat. If you are with someone, the likelihood is you probably have a lot more in common with them than what separates you. It goes without saying, as with any choice you make, if your partner is dismissive, makes you feel bad, or constantly tries to change your mind, you don't deserve it. That behaviour's not kind or fair. But as long as you are honest, understanding, and being supportive of one another's choices, then there is no reason why a non-vegan and vegan can hit up a restaurant for a first date and beyond.