Lifestyle compatibility is an important aspect of dating. Your food habits especially are bound to have a significant influence on your personal life since it would dictate where and what you would eat on your date. So if you are a vegan and looking for date someone with a similar diet or if you are just keen on exploring this small dating pool, here are a few tips on meeting and dating vegans.
Know the basics
The first thing to do is to understand what the term vegan implies. At its simplest, it means no meat, no egg and no dairy. If you want a more detailed definition, you could go by Scott Pilgrim vs. The World which descries vegans as those who "partake not in the flesh nor the breast milk nor the ovum of anything with a face". A vegan is different from a vegetarian since the latter will have milk or other dairy products and sometimes even egg. If you cannot imagine a meal which does not include cheese, meat or some form of animal product, maybe you should reconsider your choice of a partner.
Respect your partner’s decision
If you are not a vegan yourself and simply dating someone for the feeling of novelty, then you will have to start off by respecting your partner’s food habits. People become vegans on account of their personal beliefs. It is not necessary that you have to agree with or understand the vegan diet, but at the same time resist the temptation to engage your partner in lengthy, torturous debates about the advantages and disadvantages of not consuming meat, eggs or dairy. If you are simply looking to air your views regarding a vegan diet, think about joining an online forum or starting an online discussion group instead of dating a vegan and launching off into a harangue. Likewise vegans can be passionate about their beliefs. They love to tout the benefits of their diet, so take it in your stride if you are subjected to a little preaching every now and then.
Where to meet them
Now that you are mentally prepared to date a vegan, it is time to consider how to meet them. Being a small group, vegans are difficult to come across in the course of daily life. Your best chance in meeting vegans for dating lies in frequenting vegan stores or at least those which stock vegetarian food supplies and groceries. Then again you could browse through food or diet sections in libraries and bookshops and keep an eye on those picking out books on vegan diet. You could also watch out for workshops, seminars and promotional events taking place in your city which are about following a vegan lifestyle. In fact you can join or at least frequent meetings of PETA or similar animal rights associations since many of their principles like consuming no meat are similar to those followed by vegans. However if you are not a vegan yourself, come clean about your dietary habits before getting involved with a vegan since many of them have issues about dating meat eaters.
Yet another great option is to go online. Once you are on the internet you will be floored by the great number of social networking and/or dating sites catering to vegans. These portals are a wonderful way to make friends with vegans, find out more about their lifestyle and if you are lucky, come across a potential partner. Here too you need to clarify your own dietary preferences at the outset, particularly if you are a non-vegan yourself. At the same time all the usual safeguards about online dating apply here as well. So before you share personal or financial information online or agree to meet somebody you have got acquainted through a website, take all necessary precautions.
What to wear
Now that you have found a vegan partner, you are probably looking forward to a date with him/her. Avoid turning up in a leather jacket for your date and if possible also keep away from leather accessories like belts and watch straps as well as leather footwear. You may think nothing of wearing your faux fur coat, but if it is a convincing fake, you may want to keep off that too.
Where to go
At the outset you may find that dating venues for vegans are rather limited. If you would like to organize your date around shared activity, consider volunteering at a Humane Society or animal shelter together. Alternatively look for events thrown by a vegan, vegetarian, or animal-rights organization in your town or city. For a conventional dinner date, you could search online for vegan restaurants in your city. If this proves difficult, look for dining places which cater to a strictly vegetarian clientele and then simply omit dairy products from the menu. If you are thinking of going into a regular restaurant and sticking to salads and fries, watch out for double-crossing foods which could contain meat stock, like gravies or acorn squash soup, or which may have been cooked in animal fat like french fries. If you are not a vegan but your partner is, it would be best to invite suggestions about where he/she wants to go; but be prepared with a few options, all the same.
Keep an open mind
If you have enjoyed your initial dates with your vegan partner and wish to get to know him/her better, how about finding out a little more about their lifestyle and food habits. Acquaint yourself with difference kinds of non-meat and non-dairy delicacies. Vegan diets aren't void of all flavor. These days there are several meat and cheese substitutes available in the market and what’s more they taste great too. Try whipping up a delicious vegan feast for your partner and he/she is sure to be floored by your efforts.
Finally don’t let the vegan diet hog all the attention in your relationship. Avoid conversations which go on and on about food and diets; drawing attention to your partner’s decision not to eat meat and dairy will only make him/her uncomfortable and defensive. Even if you are a vegan too, obsessing over your shared diet will have a restricting effect on your relationship. If you wish to, you can even keep your own dietary habits and it is not mandatory for you to convert to your partner’s vegan lifestyle. Instead take pleasure in doing things together like sports, gardening, dancing or even admiring a sunset in each other’s company. Focus on each other as persons and lovers first and on your dietary habits after.