According to the Vegetarian Times (a magazine we read every day), 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians. That’s a lot of people ordering kidney beans and celery sticks. Some do it out of religious conviction. Others are more eco-conscious. Some cite the health benefits and others are just annoying militants about it, and this is another annoying thing they do.
Chances are you’ll come across at least one vegetarian in your dating cycle (4.3 million of them are women), and when that happens you’ll want to know how to deal. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of tips so that meat-eaters and beet-eaters can live in harmony.
Keep an open mind
Sure it’s irritating when you take a date to a steakhouse and she orders the Portabello mushrooms, asking the waiter repeatedly if it was cooked on the same grill as meat.
But just like you wouldn’t question a Kosher person for not eating pork, so you shouldn’t question a veggie for not eating, well, pork. So little jokes and off-handed comments about vegetarianism (“how many vegetables had to die for you salad?”) are not constructive. Avoid them.
But this open-mindedness also has to work both ways. Some vegetarians can be fanatical about their lifestyle choices and try to convert you. If she tries to make you feel guilty for ordering a burger on your first date, tell her you respect her views but just don’t share them. If she continues to harass you, it may be an indication to bail from that relationship. It’s only going to get worse.
A tolerant veggie will respect your carnivorous lifestyle, so long as you don’t force it down her throat, as it were. Says one woman from a mixed-diet couple: “For me, the most important factor is respect. I eat a vegan diet and my husband does not, but he is supportive of my choice. I have never proselytized or lectured him because I respect his right to choose his own diet.” We love her.