Your Thoughts Thursday: Vegan And Dating

October 28, 2010 by Keri

Love is a funny thing.  Some would even say you can’t chose love, it chooses you.  We tend to list our preferences in a mate without hesitation,  only to end up with someone who doesn’t even begin to fit the dream description.  So while it may be ideal to nest with another vegan, perhaps someone who isn’t vegan has come your way and claimed your heart.  Being old and tied down to a vegan myself, I may not have thought of this topic myself so thank you to VegMuffinMan of  Health Freaxs Unite for suggesting it.  He specifically wanted to know your advice, as a vegan, for dating a nonvegan. So I’ll ask just that.  Vegans, what’s your advice for dating a nonvegan?

  • If you are dating or have dated someone who wasn’t vegan, did your beliefs get in the way?
  • Do/did you still prepare meals and eat together?
  • Does/did their use of animal products bother you?
  • Do/did conversations about veganism lead to arguments?
  • If you’re not dating a nonvegan, would you?
  • Do you think a difference in beliefs would be difficult?
  • Would you expect them to accommodate your beliefs with vegan dining, vegan gifts, vegan-friendly entertainment?
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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Rachel J says:

    No advice from me because my husband and I went vegan together. I feel lucky for this fact every day!

  2. cleaninggirl says:

    I’ve been asking myself since I turned vegan 16 months ago could I date a non-vegan ( I haven’t dated in a few years as I needed to find myself which I’ve slowly been doing.)
    I don’t think I’d have too much of an issue dating a non-vegan as I live with omni’s but I’m normally not there for dinner time as I’m working then so I don’t have to witness them eating or cooking meat.
    I don’t know personally I’d like to be with someone who is at least a vegetarian but like they always say you never know who you might fall in lovve with.

  3. Jared says:

    My ex-girlfriend was an omnivore, and as I have been following a vegan diet for over a year now, she was always curious to learn about the foods I was eating and new cooking techniques I learned. She always tried what I made and was usually sensitive to how I felt about her going out and eating factory farmed steak and then wanting to kiss me later that night 😛

    Her family and friends were always positive and curious about my diet and what has now become an entire lifestyle choice for me. Her grandparents and siblings always wanted me to bring over vegan options for them to try.

    I would say that in the future, I would find it difficult to be with someone that was not comfortable or positive about my lifestyle as a vegan. I believe that attitude towards one set of beliefs that is very important to me would lead to further conflicts. At a minimum, everyone who approaches me about being a vegan says they “wish” they could do it but that it’s “too difficult”.

  4. Dianne says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend since before I was vegan- I was vegetarian when we met, and for several years after that. Vegan is a little more difficult to work with- there’s less food that we can share and go out for, and he has a very simple palate so he won’t touch a lot of what I eat now! I guess it’s a little source of consternation in the relationship, especially now that I know more about nutrition and want him to eat better, but right now I’m having fun experimenting on what kinds of dinners we both do like.

  5. Lance says:

    I dated a non-vegetarian before. Last year. It wasn’t really a big deal, I accepted who she was, and she accept my veganism (and actually thought it was really cool!). Just three months into the relationship, she went vegetarian on her own. I was super impressed by this, because she had a very non-vegetarian, I-could-never-give-up-meat attitude when we first met. But, her views changed, and I was stoked. Unfortunately, I was in Korea at the time, teaching English, doing the long distance thing, so I didn’t get to experience her transition or help her much other than advice. But, three months after that, I returned to Canada and we ended up getting a place together. It was awesome having her being vegetarian, we cooked many more meals together, and she would accommodate for my veganism and respect it, and eat meals vegan or prepare them vegan and add cheese or whatnot after the fact.

    Her attitude definitely improved when she went veggie, but she was also nice about it when she wasn’t, and would eat veggie meals or go to veggie restaurants with me. Also, she was very open to ethnic foods, so that made it pretty easy to go out for dinner.

    So, generally, it’s better to be dating a vegetarian/vegan, but honestly I think it comes down to personalities and your attitudes. And, obviously, how well you get along. If you’re abrasive towards them about their food choices, chances are they’ll be abrasive back. It’s much easier to just accept each other’s lifestyle choices. And, if you’re not ok with their choices, then don’t date them in the first place, hoping to try to change them..which is a terrible idea and usually plain old doesn’t happen.

    She didn’t want to be veggie last summer, but respected that I was, and accommodated for that, and respected it, which made a world of a difference. And no, it didn’t bother me as much as expected for her to prepare or eat non-veg*n meals. I’m pretty used to witnessing people preparing or eating non veg*n meals, as most people I know aren’t veg, but I try not to discriminate or be abrasive because of that.

  6. Tamar says:

    I am dating a pescatarian right now. So, he eats eggs, dairy and fish but no poultry, pork or beef. The sheer fact that he is thoughtful about what he eats makes it much easier for us to relate to each other and for him to understand my veganism. He is curious and, in fact, has stopped eating shrimp because of some information that he learned from me. I make a conscious effort not to push information on him, like I do with everyone, but if he asks, I’m happy to share, with the caveat of “Once you know, you can’t unknow.”

    He loves all the vegan food I cook for him and has remarked that he thinks my vegan cupcakes are better than non-vegan cupcakes 😉

    When we go out to eat, which is not super often, he is respectful about being in my presence and ordering animal products. Last weekend, we went out and he got scallops, but asked me if it would be okay before he ordered them. Of course, I can’t mandate what he eats, but I appreciate his thoughtfulness and awareness.

    In sum, I think it would be difficult for me to date a person who ate meat with abandon without a second thought to its origins, i.e. a fast food eating, factory farmed meat eating person. But I somehow don’t think I’d end up with that sort of person anyway. I can’t imagine being with someone who doesn’t give a second thought to what they consume.

  7. bitt says:

    I have dated some non vegetarians back when I was just veg. One had a problem with my diet (I was also gluten-free). I say if they can’t love you they way they are, screw ’em. I knew after that I needed someone more compassionate to date. From people I’ve talked to who are vegan and the partner is not, it seems it’s important for the partner to be supportive if not doing it themselves. And to be willing to try and eat some vegan food too. If they want meat, it works best if they make it themselves.

  8. katerina says:

    My boyfriend and I were both vegetarian when we started dating. Now I’m vegan and he’s omnivore. We’ve lived together for five years. I consider myself a great cook, and he learned to cook from me, so he actually has no idea how to cook meat. And he’s respectful of the fact that I hate the smell of meat and wouldn’t want it in my home. Other than the occasional cheese, he’s happy to eat vegan at home and omnivore when he goes out. Eating this way, 85% vegan, his cholesterol has dropped from 220 to 160, so his doctor’s very happy I’m vegan.

  9. GirlonRaw says:

    Great topic!

    I think it is not necessary for both people to have the same diet, because in my opinion it is ever changing and evolving anyway (just like the relationship),but in my opinion, like everything else in your relationship, there should be support for yours (and their choices).

  10. Megan says:

    I had a brief foray on a dating site, and a vegan guy said something in his bio that made me smile: “I’m vegan. If you’re not, we probably won’t be in it for the long run because eventually my vegan ways might annoy you and your meat eating will gross me out.”

    I think it comes down to mutual respect, but shared values are also important. Not that diet equates to religion, but I think I’d have trouble dating someone who was devoutly religious, since I am not.

    Interesting conversation!

  11. thanks guys. I have gotten so much advice from the post! I hope my future dating experiences (with a vegan or non) turn out well 🙂