Vegan and dating

For the first time in my life, I’m vegan and single.

When I went vegan, I was in a long-term relationship with a man who didn’t really understand my transition, but supported it, anyway. It was all I could have asked for. We made it work. He kind of despaired when I moved miso and tofu into his fridge, but he let it happen. And I got him hooked on nooch.

Once I asked him if he’d have gone for me if I were vegan when we first met. Not sure if he was joking or not, but he expressed doubt that he would have continued pursuing me if I were vegan right off the bat.

Then again, he said he was only gonna give this chick who lived in Mount Vernon one date and end it, but I won him over with my charm.

Now I navigate the single life with this lifestyle. I don’t think it’s an integral part of my personality in that it’s something I’m going to talk about or use to rule out potential partners. It’s not important to me that I date another vegetarian or vegan because there are perfectly good people who can share the rest of my values and perhaps learn from what I have to bring to the relationship. I have ruled out a man whose dating profile read, “If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, I don’t understand you because you’re missing out on a lot in life.” I just ask for open-mindedness and in exchange I won’t try to convert you to my team.

Keeping in mind the course of my last relationship, I wonder what path to take in future endeavors: Do I cop to my lifestyle up front and then proceed to surprise a fellow with my awesome personality in spite of the bad rap vegans get, or do I use the charm as the bait and then, when he’s hooked, audibly ask the waitress if there’s cheese in the house veggie patty?

On my dating profile I checked “yes” on the question of whether I’m vegetarian or vegan. Then people know I have at least some restrictions and people default to assuming I’m vegetarian. Because how many extremo vegans are out there, right? But on the personality profile where I have the option to detail that I’m strictly vegan, I leave it blank. I’m not ashamed of my lifestyle. I love it so much. But I also hate the reputation people of my persuasion have – that we’re preachy, that we’re militant, that we’re extremist and difficult to deal with.

So I don’t want to weed out potentially great guys like the one I was with when I went veggie. I want to be a smart, witty, confident, professional woman who happens to be vegan. Not synonymous with a label.

This omni guy I’ve been seeing for a week texted me tonight: “What is your position on pizza?”

Gah. What kind of pizza are we talking, here? Are you thinking delivery? A by-the-slice joint? A place where I can order a custom wood-fired pizza? This is it. I’d ordered veggie dishes twice with him, but my diet or the fact that I’m vegan never came up in our hours of conversation.

But if we’re talking date three and he’s otherwise interested, I might as well fess up. I felt backed into a corner. Like I had to admit I had herpes or something.

But it’s not! It’s not a bad thing! I live such a normal life and most people I come across don’t even notice I’m vegan until someone else pipes up to announce it. But now I had to pipe up.

“Being a vegan hippie, it’s hard to find pizza for myself, but I am nonetheless very pro-pizza,” I texted.

Minutes went by. Though he was probably just living his life and not glued to his phone, I feared he was seriously considering whether to ever see me again.

Slightly panicked and not wanting to seem inflexible, I added: “Depending on the source of the pizza I can usually get a hippie version.”

He responded that we should see a movie and grab a vegan-friendly bite nearby.


He mentioned the other day liking Bamboo Garden, so I guess I shouldn’t have worried. That made me like him more.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. howtobejillian
    Feb 03, 2015 @ 13:26:01

    I can totally relate to this. It’s so hard, and it sucks that it has to be hard and people have to care so much. It sounds to me like you’re doing it exactly right- not making it a big deal and just living your life 🙂 That’s all you can do! My sister has celiac and she has the same problem with telling people she can’t eat gluten.


    • Lynsi
      Feb 03, 2015 @ 13:27:43

      I bet that’s hard. However, I wonder how people react differently to a diet because of a condition or disease versus a diet by choice – you know?


      • howtobejillian
        Feb 03, 2015 @ 13:38:40

        Well, I’ve been vegan and I see her a lot, so I’ve had a pretty good comparison. Honestly, it’s pretty similar. You would think that they would have sympathy over her disease, but so many people don’t believe it’s a true illness. She seems to get the same reactions, eg stop being so dramatic, a little won’t hurt you, etc.

  2. Lynsi
    Feb 03, 2015 @ 13:48:43

    That is awful! So sorry she has to deal with that. Some people are the worst!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: