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SupposeAnythingGoes

Vegan Dating Meat-Eater

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Hi! 

 

I'm a vegan, and my boyfriend is a meat eater (paleo, mostly). He's very understanding and supportive, but I can't help but feel that this could be an issue. 

 

Is anyone else in this type of mixed-diet relationship, and do you have any advice?

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I've been mostly vegan for almost 2 years and off meat for about 2.5 years now. In that time I have dated two meat eaters. It was typically an issue because we both liked to eat out a lot and it was challenging to find a restaurant that both of us could enjoy. I typically let her have her way whenever we went out and sometimes she'd cook for me. It was a factor in our break up, which she admitted to later.

I'm a pretty flexible and adaptable person. If I know I'm going to be going out with a bunch of meat eaters to a place that mostly caters to meat eaters, I'll eat before I go out. Maybe I'll get a little appetizer or just a drink.
I cooked a few meat dishes for the women I've dated but they typically knew it was a big deal for me to buy the meat and cook it. Bleh. If you don't have a problem cooking meat then I think it works in your relationship's favor.

Right now I'm dating someone who doesn't eat meat and it definitely put my mind at ease because I can take her to all my favorite restaurants and vice versa and it won't be an issue.

My two cents:
1. Be flexible if you really like your boyfriend.
2. Ask him to be flexible as well. [it seems like he already is since you said he's understanding and supportive]
3. If you do a lot of the cooking or if you both like to cook for one another, try to find meals that can be "complemented" by meat. For example: pasta dishes, salads, etc. You can have yours without the meat and he can add in his meat if he so chooses.

OhSheGlows had a post that I think might be helpful for you: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/02/06/10-tips-for-eating-out-as-a-vegan/


 

yogafire likes this

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My husband + I have been together for 9 years (technically in 6 weeks) and our diets have never been the same. That being said there was never an elephant in the room or judgement passed. Just a fact that we ate differently. Reflecting on it, a key to our "success" was probably not putting any emphasis or thought on it. Whatever will be, will be. Many dinners there will be a main dish, which we then adapt accordingly to our own preferences. Though at times we eat completely different meals but still have each others company. All the luck!

MrBalloonHands and yogagrammy like this

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My husband + I have been together for 9 years (technically in 6 weeks) and our diets have never been the same. That being said there was never an elephant in the room or judgement passed. Just a fact that we ate differently. Reflecting on it, a key to our "success" was probably not putting any emphasis or thought on it. Whatever will be, will be. Many dinners there will be a main dish, which we then adapt accordingly to our own preferences. Though at times we eat completely different meals but still have each others company. All the luck!

 

I love this! To be honest I never understood why society has created this image that a family or couple must eat the same things at the same times. We are all different and our bodies need different things. Some people feel better eating a vegan diet, when some other people might feel better when they only cut out dairy, or someone loves to eat meat. It shouldn't matter and each partner in the relationship should be able to eat when and what they want. If one partner feels better eating 5 small meals per day and the other partner likes to eat 2-3 bigger meals per day, then that should be ok. Plan for yourself while supporting the others choices..... :54:  :35:

Reggi, mimisouth, fshliz09 and 3 others like this

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In my family we also eat very differently. I don´t eat much meat or starch, my husband does. The kids also have their favourites and things, that they don´t particularly enjoy  ;) And that´s not an issue, we support each others choices and go the extra mile to ensure that everybody gets what they need and like. I will say it is time consuming to have to cook so differently. I eat a lot of vegetables and they take time to prepare. It´s an investment that I think is totally worth it, but it´s also a challenge in a busy every day life. 

For me, the commitment comes from realising how much better I feel when I eat like this. My husband, who has known me while bloated and tired, of course sees the improvement, which makes it easy to support my choices. That may be my good advice - to get an understanding of each ohers reasons and motives and support each other in doing what is right for you. 

Good luck  :)

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I struggle when there's different food needs in the house, mostly because we have an 8 year old as well who can be fussy at the best of times. Cooking two different meals is bearable, if I had to cook three different ones each night I'd go crazy. 

 

I think with no children though we'd be more than happy to prepare our own meals and live and let live. At the moment my husband is on a diet to lose a bit of weight and gain some muscle, so I'm cooking meals which will help him with that, and I just add whatever I feel my son and I need on top of that. I would imagine with vegan + paleo there should be a way to prepare high plant-based meals and then you could add your own lentils or felafel and he could add some of his own protein. I could see it working actually! 

Turi and MrBalloonHands like this

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I've been a veg for 13 years or so, and I have been living up close and personal with an omnivore for about 8 of those. It's pretty simple, because we both voiced our expectations from the start. I don't want certain pots and pans to be used for meat, and he does not want to eat tempeh again, ever.

 

Who cooks and shops more? That's really key. I do those the most, so he rolls with my menu rather than doing it himself. Like Samuel L. Jackson says in Pulp Fiction, "My girlfriend is a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian." I do throw in a turkey sandwich if he asks nicely.

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This may sound a little crazy but my husband and I basically do our own shopping. I know crazy right? He eats way more meat than I do and I eat a lot of fruits and veggies that he really doesn't like. We do go shopping together but I really never know what he's out of and he doesn't have a clue as to what I need so we do visit the grocery store alone many times. I work nights anyway and we just fix our own meals most times. We do eat together and I do eat meat now and again but really it's not something I think about.

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So interesting! Everyone's responses have been optimistic, so I'm going to highlight potential obstacles that may or may not be relevant to you. As others mentioned, the top things to consider are how important sharing food is and whether that the person doing the cooking is okay with the extra time commitment. Based on this criteria, I know I could not do this personally (I'm on the other side, an omnivore who is the main cook).  If it's hard to enjoy the same restaurants together and eating out is a pastime of yours, then you can't share that interest. Also as paleo, he would need to eat a lot of meat and protein to feel full without the carbs, so you need to make sure you're not turned off by seeing that consumption.

 

As others said above, it works out if you plan complementary meals or do your own cooking separately. However, you won't really know if this is an issue unless you live together because everyone can suck it up on occasion, but it becomes draining when everyday.  Even though I'm an omnivore, I got frustrated when my husband pursued a pescatarian diet as a 60 day challenge because I'm the main cook.  I dislike cooking fish (because of fishy smell). Sometimes I would make carbs only, which is not a balanced meal (or work for paleo).  I would have to research more recipes that would make my husband feel full without meat.

 

Think of it from your boyfriend's side too (which is the only one I can relate).  It's easier to default to eating your vegan meals, but make sure he isn't getting hungry.  I found the "feeling full" aspect hard myself during the 60-day stint when I tried to keep things simple and make one meal for both of us to share. However, as an experienced vegan, you probably already seek the proper amount of protein so hopefully he will still feel full without meat or carbs.

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