Modern dating, let alone vegan dating, can be a complicated space to navigate. With the popularity of online match sites and swipe-based apps continually rising it should be easier to meet the person you’re seeking—in theory! We now have access to chance meetings with literally millions of other online users.
Yet many people are struggling to find like-minded individuals to spend their valuable time with. As a vegan, the search for ‘the one’ can be even more of a challenge.
Perhaps you are reading this as a plant-based eater with a desire to exclusively date those with similar eating habits to your own. You might not mind if your date eats steak on your first date. Or your preferences may change as often as you change your clothing. Wherever you are on your personal journey, this article is here to help make the process a great deal simpler for you!
Let’s dive into the most common questions relating to vegan dating and relationship-building:
How do vegans stay true to themselves on first dates?
Dating is the phase of a relationship where you are trying one another for size. You commit to spending a few hours in the company of another person in the hopes of finding common ground. For many vegans, ethical eating and cruelty-free habits are an important part of their identity and lifestyle. It’s important to be able to share each aspect of ourselves comfortably. However, dating nerves can be a hindrance on such occasions.
Developing a true sense of self before you step onto the dating scene is essential. You have chosen a vegan lifestyle for a reason. That reason might be one of ethics. Or you might have stumbled into plant-based eating after working through some food intolerances or your faith might have brought you to where you are.
Spend time reflecting on where you at in your life and why. The better you know yourself, the better choice of partner you can make.
If you are unsure how to broach the subject of plant-based preferences on a first date, there are some gentle (and non-stress triggering) ways to go about it. If you are eating a meal together then your menu choices are likely to highlight your veganism already. If this fails to get the message across, try the following friendly ‘topic tacklers’:
“What are you going to have? I love their menu here, there are so many delicious vegan options!”
“It’s so nice to be able to eat out and enjoy some new vegan options—I love trying new dishes.”
“Would you like to share some _____ with me? It’s my favorite vegan dish, I think you’ll love it!”
Simple conversational tools like this can come in handy when you might be stumbling for words during a date. Initial nerves can lead to painful mind-blanks. Avoid any awkwardness by having a few of these one-liners at hand. The vegan topic will then become much easier to handle and far less of a potentials stress for you both.
Can vegans successfully date meat-eaters?
Every vegan has their own moral compass. They are free to choose how to go about their lifestyle, including who they date and why. The most important part of any dating venture is ensuring you are spending your time and energy with those who can (and will) support you to be who you are in full color. If someone is quick to criticize your choices then they are likely not the right person for you.
It is perfectly fine to not want to date someone with contrasting values to you. If you do choose to date a carnivore then make sure they are on board with your values.
If you share with a non-vegan that you do not consume animal products and you find that they are mocking or confrontational about the issue then you might want to consider moving on. An acute inability to be respectful of another person’s ideology is a certain red flag. We all say and do silly things from nerves.
But if someone is consistently demonstrating a lack of appreciation for your ideas and identity then it could be time to call it a day on this particular connection venture.
Is it harder to date a vegan than a non-vegan?
Vegans are not an alien breed. They are individuals who stand by their beliefs and ethics in a way that many others do not feel able or willing to. They demonstrate their compassion and consideration for other living beings through their lifestyle and dietary choices. The personal characteristics of empathy and kindness are highly valuable within a relationship. Thus, vegans are some of the best people to date!
It is important to remember that vegans vary. There is not a ‘type’ of person that becomes plant-based. There might be some commonality between vegans but the motivations that drew them to their chosen lifestyle will inevitably contrast. Avoid putting stereotypes in boxes when you’re dating to leave as many wonderful options open to yourself as possible.
Why cut off a potentially incredible connection based on a few typecasts and an unhelpful dose of pre-judgment?
Is there a dating app for vegans?
Due to the rise in popularity of both earth-conscious living and online dating apps, many options are available that combine both interests. Both ‘Grazer’ and the more recently launched ‘Veggly’ are great options for those wanting to filter out unwanted matches based on diet and lifestyle choices. Choosing to embrace these options can help to negate any crossed wires that might lead to wasted time for you or anyone hoping to date you.
The only trouble with veggie-specific dating apps is that the number of users is inevitably significantly less than some others on the market. Online dating is a numbers game and you might want to widen your catchment net—depending on how open you are to dating non-vegans of course! Helpfully, many updated apps and match websites feature interest and preference filters that allow you to connect with other like-minded singles.
What about when it develops past the dating stage…?
The beauty of a developing relationship is that much of the early uncertainty and nerve-wracking moments fall away to leave room for a true connection between you both. By the time you are becoming an exclusive couple, you have likely gotten to know each other’s lifestyle preferences and values pretty well. This is when the really fun part starts up. It is the chapter of a new relationship where you can discover the intricate details of who someone really is.
Every relationship—vegan or otherwise—needs work to align both parties. You might both be passionately plant-based but differ entirely on your choice of career or home location. You could start with one of you being a meat-eater but find that once you live together one of you adapts to the other one’s way of living. There is plenty of time and space for you to work things out as you go along. Don’t try to answer every question right at the beginning. If you’re with the right person then you will naturally fall into sync over time.
Anything else I need to know about dating a vegan or dating as a vegan myself?
Yes—it can be a lot of fun! The pursuit of seeking out alternative recipes and menu options is actually one of creativity rather than a limit. Don’t view the endeavor of connecting with a vegan as a challenge. See it for what it is; an opportunity to explore the world with someone you get on well with. As a vegan yourself, you are free to date whoever best suits your carefully curated set of values and principles. In the same way that you developed a plant-based diet, apply the same gentle learning processes to getting to know someone new in your life.
Life is a wonderfully varied experience that involves many pathways and open doorways. Step bravely on to the dating with a fresh sense of excitement for the venture as a whole. There are singles (both vegan and non-vegan) waiting around the corner to meet you. Open your mind to different kinds of people from all walks of life. Don’t rule someone out based on first impressions.
Sometimes the person we are least expecting to connect with can become the perfect fit. Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised during the relationship-building process. Who knows what—or indeed, who—doing so might lead to. Stand confidently in your unique identity and venture bravely into dating and potential relationships.
Oh, and order the most delicious plant-based item on the menu while you’re there!
When you’re ready please check out this article on planning a vegan wedding.