My partner and I have been together for over two years and a half and I have been vegan for almost two years, so I feel I might have something interesting to say by now about relationships between a vegan and a non-vegan. Before I get into my five tips, I want to say that this post is especially applicable to vegans that are single or that are dating a non-vegan like me and not so much for vegans dating vegans as that is not my area of expertise. I hope you enjoy this one :).
1. Be open-minded
Chances are your partner or future partner is not vegan and does not show any interest in ever becoming one. If that is the case, try to stay open-minded instead of forcing your ideas upon them. I know this can be challenging, but the biggest thing I have learned in my relationship is that getting upset with him for not feeling the same way about veganism, only makes him less interested in it. It is like being bullied by an angry vegan, you know, it doesn’t work well for most people, especially not in relationships.
2. Be patient
When we feel very passionate about something we just want our partner to feel the same way about it, don’t we? That is human nature and I’m definitely no exception to it. However, you probably weren’t born vegan either and at some point in your life you probably found veganism pretty extreme, didn’t you? I know I did for sure. So try to come from a place of understanding and be patient if your partner doesn’t immediately feel like changing his or her habits too much. Change takes time. Maybe you completely changed overnight, but remember we are all different and we should respect each other for that.
3. Prepare delicious meals
I haven’t met one vegan who doesn’t agree with the statement ‘My only regret about going vegan is not doing it sooner’. That is why it can be difficult sometimes for us to understand that the people we love the most are just not into it. Luckily though people love food so by preparing nourishing meals you can show your partner how delicious this lifestyle can be. Now it’s important to make food you know your partner will enjoy. Don’t give him a kale salad if he hates it. But maybe make some avocado sushi instead if that’s more his thing. I had to learn this the hard way as well. I kept on giving my partner chickpeas, even hiding it in his food sometimes, but it just didn’t work.
4. Explain why
Explain to your partner why you are vegan so that he can understand where you come from. However, don’t mistake this with explaining why he or she should be vegan. When your partner asks you about your opinions and feelings towards veganism, try to explain it from an ‘I am’ or ‘I feel’ perspective and not a ‘you should’ perspective. Your partner will be much understanding and respectful towards your choices if you can speak about veganism in a calm and loving way instead of being all judgmental about the way he lives his life.
5. Decide what’s most important
And finally, decide. This is the most important one, but also the most difficult one. Chances are even when you prepare delicious food and you are really open-minded and patient, your partner might never want to go fully vegan. And I think it is of vital importance for a good, healthy relationship to decide for yourself whether you are okay with that. For me this is definitely the most difficult part of our relationship, but after two years and a half I can honestly say that our relationship means so much more to me than him not being vegan. For me all the changes he has made over time and most importantly the respect he has for my lifestyle are what make me okay with his choices.
I hope you enjoyed these five tips and you got something useful out of it. This subject is really close to my heart so I want to thank you for reading all the way through. Make sure to tell me in the comments down below if you found these tips helpful and maybe even share some of yours if you want to. I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for stopping by, I will see you in my next post.