VWPA Advice #005: Should I Say I’m Vegan Before the First Date?!?
Do I tell dates ahead of time that I’m vegan or should I wait?
Based on my experience, being up front in dating is always a good thing. When I was online dating, I put “vegan atheist feminist” as the first sentence of my profile, and then went on to talk of my love of video games, cooking and sci-fi for whoever was still reading. I still had plenty of interest and never had to deal with someone being not-cool about my life choices.
Of course, this might be a bit trickier if you are not online dating. If you are communicating with someone you met briefly in person or are being set up through a friend, then either let the v-word enter the conversation naturally before the date, while texting or talking on the phone, or let it come up early-ish on the first date.
I have a friend who does not say she’s vegan before the first date, and she’s had a lot of anxiety over her dates picking non-vegan friendly restaurants, asking her out for sushi or burgers, and even if she manages to dodge all that without saying the v-word, then when she likes someone she has to worry about “coming out” and how to make it not-weird, like: we’re on our second or third date and it feels weird that I haven’t said it yet! And now it seems like A Thing because I haven’t said it yet! However, once she’s come out as vegan, she’s never had a problem with any of her dates, so this is totally a viable option if you want to go this route.
From my experience it’s a lot easier to just get it out there as soon as you can comfortably do so. It prevents awkward situations and it gives your date the opportunity to be super-fucking-cool by saying, “Oh nice! I know of a Thai place that has great vegan options, let’s meet there” or “I don’t know anything about vegan food, how about you pick the place so I can learn?” It also allows your dates to make an informed decisions for themselves.
Something to consider: it’s manipulative to take away someone’s ability to decide that something about you is a deal-breaker. Withholding important information until someone “knows you well enough” to not be able to easily walk away is controlling and not a good way to start any relationship.
If a detail about you is going to turn someone off before meeting us, so be it. That just eliminates someone from taking up your time and energy who wasn’t going to work anyway. Some people would pass on an opinionated feminist nerd vegan, others are drawn to those very things about me and those are the people I want for friends and lovers.
Usually, our fear of disclosure comes from having a scarcity mindset and a fear of rejection. If you can see life and the world as a series of endless opportunities and that these parts of you make you exceptional, it becomes a lot easier to live honestly and let people sort themselves in and out of your Terrifyingly Amazing life.
Confidence is sexy. Most people confuse confidence for cockiness, but confidence is simply being comfortable with who you truly are, and being comfortable in letting others see the real you.
So go forth in confidence, sweet vegan :x
This is one of those questions that could have a dozen different answers! I really think this really depends on what role veganism plays in your life, how you met the person and what your expectations are for the future.
For some people, veganism is a central part of who they are. So if your social community is vegan, veganism is part or your job, you are an avid activist in your spare time, or you happen to have a vegan podcast ;) then it would be pretty difficult to have a partner who isn’t at least REALLY supportive and open to your veganism. If this sounds like you, then I would recommend telling a person either before the first date or during … If on the other hand veganism is a choice you’ve made for yourself but it’s not necessarily the overriding passion in your life, then maybe it doesn’t need to come up right away. Basically it comes down to; if having a vegan partner is very important to you, probably the best thing to do is to bring up your veganism as early on as you feel comfortable. You don’t need to bring up them being vegan or get into anything heavy, just make sure they understand it’s an important part of your life so they can decide if they can deal with that. If they can’t – good riddance!
I mentioned that how you met the person can play a part in this… If you are meeting people online consider putting that you are vegan in your profile. Could this decrease the number of people you ‘match’ with, honestly yup it could. But the people who see this and are comfortable moving forward with you are probably going to be more open to your veganism. It’s much better to weed out the people early on who aren’t going to be able to deal, than to find yourself on a first date with an avid hunter and have a very uncomfortable couple of hours!
Just one last thing… please never forget that dating is a two way street. It is just as important that you are evaluating them to be a good partner for you, as it is that they are evaluating you as a good partner for them. I think its human nature to want people to like us, but I see a lot of people fall into the trap of focusing on seeming “right” to the other person, and forgetting to check in with yourself and deciding if this is the right person for you. Your veganism (just like all of the other wonderful things about you) is something to be proud of! Find someone that appreciates you and all of the things that make you who you are. <3