Friday, September 18, 2009

So, You're Dating an Omnivore...

Congratulations, you’ve met someone great! But upon the first mention of having a meal together, you may feel compelled to sit them down and have “the talk”. Yes, you know the one – the moment when you have to admit that you’re a (gasp!) vegetarian.

We all know the wide-eyed look we receive when we bare our dirty secret to the new love in our lives. We can see the wheels turning as they wonder, “How did I not see this coming? Am I ever going to be able to eat steak again? What will my friends think?”

It’s going to be okay. Just break it to them gently, and eventually they will grow accustomed to your peculiar dietary habits. Here are some pointers to help bridge the gap between the predators and pacifists.

Tip Number One: Make them feel comfortable.
A lot of folks become immediately defensive when they hear the “V-word”. They feel as though you will harshly judge them and disapprove of their meat-eating lifestyle. Make sure that your new boy or girlfriend knows that you respect their decision, as they should yours. Don’t lecture them on their lifestyle, but feel free to calmly educate them with objective facts on the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.

Tip Number Two: Avert your eyes.
They’re going to eat meat in front of you. You may have forgotten what it looks like if you haven’t been around it much. Don’t even look at it, for you will either be a) revolted or b) strangely fascinated…and then revolted. It’s best to pretend as though it doesn’t even exist.

Tip Number Three: Make Wise Restaurant Decisions.
If John or Jane wants to go to the steakhouse, you may have a tough time finding something to eat. Even seasoned vegetarian scroungers can have trouble with exceedingly meat-focused menus where a small garden salad is the only option. A good mate will take your feelings into consideration and won’t take you to those kinds of places. Conversely, be sure to keep your mind open with the options you are given. If your date wants to go out for Italian and you’re not in the mood for pasta – you should give them a break. After all, your beliefs will cause your companion to occasionally sacrifice, so cut them a little slack and order an eggplant parmesan grinder.

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