Friday, April 06, 2007

Dating and marriage for vegetarians

In this week's relish, we ran a story about vegetarians in the dating world and Web sites devoted to helping vegetarians find like-minded mates. Some vegetarians want to date only other vegetarians; others are fine with a carnivorous boyfriend or girlfriend.

This got me thinking about the intrinsic issues of dating and marriage for vegetarians. If you're dating or married to another vegetarian, that generally doesn't create a problem -- although it could if one of you is a strict vegan. But if one member of the relationship is a carnivore, the issue of meals can be tricky. It can mean the two of you having different entrees or entire meals when cooking at home, which is problematic when most of us don't have much free time to cook even one meal a day. It can also affect the choice of restaurants when eating out -- the carnivore might want to eat at a barbecue joint, but there's nothing vegetarian on the menu.

It requires a healthy spirit of compromise on both sides to make veggie-carnivore relationships work. Sometimes a vegetarian might have to make do with a garden salad or a couple of vegetable side orders in order to please their mate's palate, and put up with the sight of diners chowing down on meat all around them. Or a carnivore might have to do without meat when eating at a vegetarian restaurant.

How do you handle relationships with your vegetarian lifestyle? Do you date only fellow vegetarians? And if you're involved with a carnivore, how do you resolve the question of meals?

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