Hello lovelies! Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! Mine is…not. I had one exam today and have two exams and two assignments due tomorrow. Needless to say, my brain is fried from drowning in schoolwork. How about a guest post from my wonderful boyfriend? Cool? Cool.
How Matty Dates A Vegan
Hey, everyone. I know that I have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m going to do my best!
Anyone who reads this blog regularly probably already knows that I’m not a vegan. Most times, when Heather mentions my meal to you guys, it usually has meat or dairy in it (unless, of course, we’re cooking together). When people find out that my girlfriend is a vegan they usually have questions. “Does she hate when you eat meat in front of her?” “Does it suck having to eat vegan stuff?” “Does she try to convert you to veganism?” No, no, and no. People think that because she’s a vegan and I’m not, there’s conflict when it comes to eating together. Luckily for us, there isn’t because we’re both accepting of each other’s lifestyles.
I can completely understand how it may be difficult for vegans to enter relationships with non-vegans, or vice versa. Maybe you’ve gone on a first date with someone, told them that you’re a vegan, and then it’s all downhill from there. Or maybe you’re already in a relationship with an herbivorous (yeah, it’s a real word, I looked it up) significant other and that causes some arguments every now and again. Dating is tricky enough as it is without adding a fringe lifestyle to the mix. I want to share with you some things that I’ve learned over the past few years that may be able to help you have a more meaningful and open relationship with someone who has a different opinion about what you should or shouldn’t eat.
Now I want to start by saying that I’m by no means an expert on the subject. These are just words of wisdom that have worked for Heather and I over the years. Like snowflakes, I know that no two relationships are alike and maybe these things won’t work for you. But feel free to give them a shot and see how it goes; you never know what could happen.
I’ve found that there are three key ingredients to having a happy, healthy relationship. Even if you’re not having food-related difficulties with your partner, you can relate these things to pretty much any aspect of a relationship. Let’s start with one of the most important ones.
One of the most important parts of a happy, healthy relationship is respect for one another, and with that comes respecting each other’s choices. Now this can obviously relate to many different things, but I find that it is equally important when it comes to food. You can learn a lot from a person based on what they eat and it’s important to respect those choices whether you agree with them or not. While it’s fine to try to get someone to eat healthy, whole foods, you don’t want to jam it down their throat (no pun intended). Respect their choices and understand that while those same choices may not work for you, they work for this person and it’s important to not make them feel like you’re trying to change who they are.
You might think that Heather doesn’t like it when I eat meat. Obviously she would prefer if I didn’t, but she knows that I enjoy it. She understands that my lifestyle is different from hers and she respects my choices. It’s the same in the other direction as well; I totally respect her choice to be a vegan even though it’s not something that I would choose for myself. We both have a mutual respect for one another and it makes our relationship that much better because we know that we don’t have to worry about what the other thinks about our respective diets.
While it’s essential to respect other people’s choices, it’s equally essential to understand why they make them. To an outsider, a fringe lifestyle like veganism can seem strange because they don’t understand it. They have their own ides about what you should eat and don’t know why people would choose differently. But a little understanding can go a long way in this area. I feel that before you make a judgment about anything you should try to learn something about it first, because you can’t really have an informed opinion if you don’t know anything about the subject. The same thing goes for something like Veganism. A lot of people are quick to say that it’s strange and view it in a negative light because they don’t really know anything about it.
When I met Heather, she hadn’t become a vegan yet; she was still a vegetarian. Shortly after we began dating, she decided that she was going to become vegan. At the time I knew what Veganism was, but I didn’t really know much about it. While I was supportive of her, I still wasn’t sure about the vegan lifestyle. After spending the last several years together, I’ve gained an appreciation for it. Heather has taught me so much about living on a plant-based diet and that has helped me to support her lifestyle and Veganism as a whole.
In my opinion, making sacrifices is the most important part of a healthy relationship. Clearly, most, if not all, couples have many things in common, but not everything: he may like sports, she may like musicals; maybe you like horror movies and she likes dramas. I could go on and on. While there may be a lot of similarities, there are probably just as many differences between two people, regardless of how long they’ve been together. These differences are what make things interesting, and it’s important to share them with each other. You can sit through a football game and he can sit through West Side Story. You make a sacrifice because you want to be involved in the other person’s life – even the parts that you’re not really into.
I’m not trying to say that Heather and I have a perfect relationship. Of course we have disagreements every now and then, but for the most part we’re very happy together because we keep those three things in mind. Respect, understanding, and sacrifice are what forge our relationship. If it can work for us it can work for anybody.
I’ll leave you with these last words of advice, and try to think about them when making relationship decisions: We do things for the ones we love that make them happy, and making them happy makes us happy. That’s why we love them.
P.S. – Let Heather know if you want to see more posts from me!