My boyfriend has quite a different diet from me — he loves eating meat, cooks infrequently, and there are days when he doesn’t eat a fruit or a vegetable (which horrifies me a little). We’ve been dating for 1.5 years now, and our diets have never been an issue in our relationship, so thankfully I don’t have to marry a carrot 🙂 Here’s how we keep the peace, and also what I do to sneakily make him eat less animal products.
We respect each other’s dietary choices. If, as a vegan, you wouldn’t want someone pressuring you into eating animal products, give the other person the same courtesy and don’t guilt them about eating meat. No one likes to be told what to do.
Also, unless you want to keep having the same argument for the rest of your life, accept that the other person may never change their diet entirely in your favor.
Having respect for one another’s choices is the most important, because it guides everything you do and say around this issue.
When we go out to eat, we choose restaurants that have food we both like. Since most restaurants don’t have many plant-based options (depending on where you live), it’s going to be a test of patience for the omnivore to find a place where the vegan/vegetarian can eat.
I’ve gone out to dinner with some omnivores that are impatient about hopping from restaurant to restaurant to look at options on the menu. It ruins the dining out experience for everyone, because the omnivore is annoyed, and the vegan/vegetarian feels guilty and is stuck eating a meal they don’t like. To save time, do your research in advance before going out.
Additionally, my boyfriend is also totally happy with letting me drag him to vegan restaurants once in a while.
Ok, I’m not actually tricking my boyfriend. I’m just taking advantage of his weaknesses, which are convenience and delicious food 🙂 But how?
Make extra food
If I’m making a smoothie for myself, for example, I’ll make one for him. I’ll also always have a lot of bananas around, because he eats them frequently. I’ll also cut up fruits and veggies for snacking on, so it’s as convenient to eat a healthy snack as it is to open a bag of chips.
Make vegan versions of dishes he likes
Usually I’ll make meals for the both of us, and I try to make vegan versions of stuff I know he likes, like chili, pasta, and burgers. We’re fortunate that I like to cook and also that he isn’t a picky eater, which makes it easier on both ends. He still buys his own food sometimes if he wants to eat meat, but given the option of going to the grocery store, etc. vs eating what’s already being cooked, it’s just easier to choose the latter.
Stock the pantry and freezer with vegan products
It’s pretty easy to swap out (for example) regular mayo for vegan mayo, cream for soy creamer, regular cookies for vegan cookies. I also know he likes eating prepared foods that are fast to make, like mac and cheese and burritos, so I’ll get vegan versions of them and leave them around.
Tell me, have you ever dated someone with a completely different diet than you? How did it go?