You may find it difficult to maintain a healthy balance if you’re vegan and dating or married to a non-vegan (also known as an omnivore, or omni). You may be dissatisfied with your partner’s decision to consume meat and products derived from animals. However, in order to have a successful relationship with them, both partners must come to terms with their differences and learn to tolerate one another’s differences. Be accepting of your partner’s different way of life and ask them to be accepting of yours in return.
Part 1 Interacting with Your Partner
1. Try not to be too critical of others. The most important factor in maintaining a healthy relationship when you’re a vegan dating (or married to) a non-vegan, also known as an omnivore (or omnivore), is to avoid being judgmental of your partner’s lifestyle. Most relationships are unable to withstand the constant criticism directed at one another by one partner.
Make your decision to become a vegan about you, not about them. During meals, avoid giving them the “stink eye,” nagging them to agree with your food choices, or criticising what they eat.
2. Make an effort to understand your partner’s food preferences. Along with not passing judgement, you should be open-minded and understanding of your partner’s decision to continue to be an omnivore. When your partner gets food poisoning from undercooked meat, showing compassion rather than saying “I told you so” or offering to cook the meat for their meal demonstrates that you are willing to collaborate with your partner on a solution.
3. Thank your lucky stars that your partner understands and supports your lifestyle choice. If you are in a relationship with someone who is not vegan, this indicates that your partner is most likely accepting of your lifestyle choice. Give thanks for the fact that your partner likes you more than he or she likes the food you eat or the products you don’t use. Express your gratitude to them so that they are aware of your feelings.
Give them heartfelt expressions of gratitude in the form of cards, cook them an omnivore meal, or offer to take them to a restaurant they enjoy but that you dislike.
4. Avoid putting pressure on or trying to change your partner. Pressuring your partner to change is not a good idea in any relationship, and this is no exception. It expresses your dissatisfaction with their character, which causes them to want to get away from you rather than stay with you longer. Don’t beg them to eat the same way you do.
In fact, some people believe that the most effective way to convert a romantic partner to veganism is simply to lead by example rather than attempting to convert your partner directly.
5. We can all agree to disagree. The ability to enjoy your partner is a crucial component of any relationship. When you are in a relationship with someone who has chosen a different lifestyle than you, one way to accomplish this is to agree to disagree. When differences of opinion arise during mealtime or when shopping for cleaning products or furniture, laugh about them and choose something that you can both live with in the long run.
6. Concentrate on the aspects of your personalities that are similar. Another important aspect of living happily with someone who does not adhere to the vegan philosophy is to concentrate on the things that you do have in common rather than on what you do not. You and your partner probably enjoy white potatoes, watching television together, and going to the gym together. Look for activities that are neutral (that is, they are neither vegan nor non-vegan) and engage in them more frequently than activities that are either vegan or non-vegan.
Part 2 Explaining Your Lifestyle
1. Describe how you differ from a vegetarian in your approach. At first glance, your partner, like many others, may think you’re a vegetarian, which is understandable. Please explain this difference to them so that they are aware of the foods and products that you do not enjoy so that there are no misunderstandings or hurt feelings down the road. Inform them that vegetarians restrict their diets to a lack of meat (including fish and poultry), whereas vegans go further than this in their commitment to animal rights.
2. Make a list of the products you want to avoid. Explain how vegans are vegetarians, but they also consume a large amount of animal products. Vegans abstain from animal by-products such as eggs, honey, and dairy products such as butter, yoghurt, ghee, and cheese. They also refrain from using materials or cleaning products that have been tested on animals.
Vegans abstain from using or consuming materials such as leather, fur, silk, and wool, as well as cosmetics, soaps, and other household products. They continue to purchase products that are free of animal byproducts.
3. Explain why you made the decision to become a vegan. You must provide an explanation to your non-vegan partner in order for him or her to understand your lifestyle choice. When you understand the reasons for other people’s differences, it is much easier to accept their differences yourself. Maybe you’ve made the decision to become vegan to benefit the environment or to improve your health. Whatever your reason, make certain that your partner understands it completely.
People also choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle for moral reasons. Vegans may choose to avoid dairy products such as cheese and butter because they believe that doing so helps to support the meat industry.
4. Maintain your dignity. Maintain a humble and open demeanour whenever you come across a vegan option, whether it’s at a restaurant or while shopping for household items. Maintaining your relationship with a non-vegan requires that you avoid adopting a pretentious attitude toward him or her.
When possible, try to reach a compromise on certain issues as well. Maintaining your vegan standards all of the time can be exhausting for your non-vegan partner, especially if you have children.
5. Be prepared to meet with opposition. Despite the fact that both partners in a vegan and non-vegan relationship should strive to be accepting of the other’s way of life, your partner may attempt to persuade you to adopt an omnivorous diet from time to time. Additionally, your partner may challenge your beliefs and even criticise you on occasion. Knowing that something like this could happen can help you avoid becoming resentful.
Explanation: Explain to your partner that this bothers you just as much as when you constantly nag them about their way of life.
Part 3 Eating with Your Partner
1. Explain where you get your protein from. Because meat is such a common source of protein, many people are sceptical of vegans’ decision to abstain from eating meat. In order to explain to your partner how you can get enough protein in your diet, tell them that it is actually quite simple if you eat a variety of different healthful foods in one sitting.
Legumes, tofu, soy milk, nuts, leafy greens, whole wheat, and a variety of other foods are excellent sources of vegan protein.
2. Demonstrate your dedication to a well-balanced diet. Your partner may be concerned about your health as a result of your diet, which restricts you to foods that do not contain meat or meat by-products. Explain to them that by eating a varied diet, vegans can actually obtain the full spectrum of nutritional benefits. Explain your commitment to a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds, among other things.
3. Accept the fact that you will be eating different meals. In the case of living with or dating an omnivore, your eating habits are likely to be significantly different. In order to achieve this, you will need to prepare completely different meals at home and when dining out. Because sharing meals together fosters emotional connection, you should be prepared to feel a little less of that connection if you are unable to share some meals together during your separation.
4. Look for restaurants that can accommodate both of your dietary requirements. You should not let one person’s way of life dictate where you eat when you go out to eat with a group of people. Consider what you could order from the menus at different restaurants to see if you can find a restaurant that caters to both of your tastes and lifestyles. Some cities actually have vegan restaurants, and omnivores can enjoy these establishments in the same way that they can enjoy omnivore establishments in other cities.
5. Look for recipes that are suitable for both of you. Make sure to look for recipe ideas that can be adapted to fit both diets. Even if you have to cook different meals on a regular basis, having a list of recipes that you can quickly select from will save you time and frustration when it comes to dinnertime.
Cooking vegan versions of your partner’s meat-based meals, such as veggie burgers thrown on the grill alongside beef burgers, can be a great way to show your support.
6. Look for foods that you and your family can enjoy together. Finding recipes that contain flavours and foods that you and your partner will both enjoy is a good idea when cooking at home. A meal prepared together means that you will have the opportunity to share it together, which fosters emotional connection between the participants.
Many omnivores, for example, enjoy potatoes and whole grains such as whole wheat bread, as well as nuts and leafy green salads, among other things.
7. You are responsible for washing your own dishes. Being a vegan means that you do not eat meat, so the thought of putting your hands into a sink full of greasy water from meat residue is reprehensible. Maintain order in your home by assigning each person the task of washing their own dishes.
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