Note: If it seems like I’m being hard on vegans – GOOD! Because you’re always hardest on the ones you care the most about.
I have been single for a long time. Ok… a long, long, long time. Having been a vegan man close to 3 years now, I probably don’t have to tell you that dating can be tough – especially within the veg community. It seems like every woman I meet is lacking something I can’t live without, or I am something that she simply doesn’t want (I can be quite the handful. I make no qualms about that fact). It’s like this constant catch-22 type of situation where no one wins or loses. You just get old, exhausted or just give up – destined to live a life alone in some remote location – talking to yourself and your animal companions.
So, why exactly is vegan dating is so hard? Well, that all depends on your perception of it. I learned a long time ago that how we view things means literally everything. A skinny girl who sees herself as fat, is fat – in the same way a cool guy that views himself as a loser, is a loser. Because we have to live with ourselves each and every day –no matter how others view us. That being said, and since I’m such a nice guy, I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive list to explain to you all why vegan dating is indeed so hard – for some.
It’s Hard… For Everyone
I woke up this morning, in a sleepy stupor, and looked around my room realizing how good I had it. A roof over my head, food soon to be in my stomach – I mean how could I not feel truly blessed. Which is why it really bothers me to hear vegans complain about the lack of quality men or women available. I sincerely HATE hearing it because, hello! Everyone has trouble dating – vegan or otherwise. In every city of every country – all over the world. I hear all the time that:
- New York dating is tough because everyone is out for themselves and their career
- LA is tough because everyone is fake and into the glam and the glitz
- Wisconsin is hard because there are fewer vegans
- The Philippines is a struggle because the culture is so meat-driven
- In London it’s because... “see New York excuse”
WANNA CONNECT TO THE PLANT-BASED COMMUNITY?
I mean, come on. Stop with the excuses. In reality, dating is tough because you’re trying to find someone you’re compatible with, attracted to, have chemistry with, and a slew of other things too. Finding someone you truly want to be with is literally like winning the social lottery. It’s a niche market. And for any of you marketers out there, we all know how hard it is to find a particular demographic to market to. Dating difficulties exist everywhere. So the sooner you stop telling yourself that the reason you’re single is because you’re vegan – is the sooner you can begin focusing your attention on HOW to find the relationship that you really want. The good news is, that veganism is growing, so in turn, our options for dating will grow with it. A wise man once said that excuses are monuments to the people that use them. Don’t make excuses. Find a way to make it happen.
You’re Not A Pilgrim
I am not a fan of Thanksgiving; in no way, shape or form. But thankfully, I'm not talking about that type of pilgrim. To me, people that settle on a partner or a relationship are pilgrims. I have seen it too many times. A person who, when they were younger, had a strict set of standards as to what they wanted in a person. But, as the years went by, and society and people started getting to them – they settle. And some people would have you believe that that’s a sign of maturity. ‘It was time’ they’ll tell themselves. And those people would be incredibly wrong.
Maturity is a form of growth. It’s figuring out what you really want and who you really are – and going about getting it. It’s not settling for a relationship that you’ll wake up to 20 years later, and be upset with yourself because you realize that you’ve never been attracted to short, balding, hairy-backed guys that hate to travel. The one whom your married friend introduced you to because she and a group of your friends decided that you being lonely wasn’t acceptable. Understand the difference between maturity and ‘pilgrimism’ – because they are enormous. Also understand that you’re single AT THIS VERY MOMENT because you were unwilling to compromise yourself, just so you can have someone in your life and appease others – I am giving you the biggest VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE – because you deserve it!
Complaining Is Much Easier
I read blogs, comments, and watch videos all the time where there is mention of vegan dating struggles somewhere. Complaints all over the place – which is why it’s so easy to do. When things in our lives aren’t right, it’s so much easier to just talk about it to our friends.
Then talk about it to strangers. Then come online and talk about it some more. Talk and talk and talk and talk and talk – to anyone that’ll listen. But the problem with that is that nothing gets done about it. And you STILL DON’T HAVE A DATE (and you’ve probably turned off a bunch of potentials because you complain too damn much). See, what a lot of us vegans (and vegetarians) seem to forget is that being vegan already means having to go the extra mile. It’s a decision that (hopefully) comes with you knowing that things aren’t going to be as easy and convenient as they were before. So why on earth would you think that dating would be any easier? In the same way you check the ingredients on everything you eat, you have to check and see what you can do about being single. Are you involved in the vegan community? Are you active? Are you going to meet-ups, hangouts, and other veg-related events? Or do you join a few groups and just sit back and expect the magic to happen from there? I would love to sit in my underwear and read philosophy books all day, but unfortunately, opportunity doesn’t arise from inaction and hope. You have to ‘pound the pavement’ and make the things you want to happen happen. Vegans and vegetarians collectively make up over 450 million people worldwide. So unless you live in some remote location in the middle of Antarctica – you really don’t have that much to complain about.
You’re Super-Duper Superficial
I love it when a woman has a nice body. 'More curves than a European racetrack', as my friend's dad used to put it. When I see a curvaceous, well-proportioned woman, I admittedly look for longer than I probably should (2-second rule be damned!). I like nice teeth, skin, eyes, lips – the whole nine. And I’m sure my likes, overall, are not much different that yours. This sort of piggybacks what I talked about earlier. There is a difference between liking certain attributes on a person and DEMANDING them. I’d be a fool to let someone with a sparkling personality get away because she didn’t look like Jessica Alba. Of course, she’s hot – but hot isn’t everything (yes, part of me tells that to myself because I can't have her and she's not vegan).
Can he or she make you laugh? Do you share rare commonalities? Do you accept each other’s flaws? Do you challenge each other? Coming from a reformed superficial idiot, I can assure that how a person looks isn’t going to make you happy in a relationship. It’s the same concept as money not bringing a person true happiness. Money and looks are both tools that are great to have – but they’re not, in the grander scheme, going to change much in your life – if you weren't happy to begin with. As in, if you’re sad and miserable, money isn’t going to suddenly change that. The same way a hot girl or guy isn't going to magically bring your pale life joy. If you happen to luck up on a vegan Miss America and she has the heart of an angel, and the personality of cinderella – more power to you. I mean, would it make me jealous? Hell. Yes. But once I got over it I would think 'good for him.' – and go find my vegan somebody. But seriously, not every vegan man is going to look like Liam Hemsworth or Brad Pitt. Same as every vegan woman won’t look like Jessica Chastain or Mya. And that’s ok – if you let it be. But, of course, it’s up to you. If you want to let someone great pass and continue to search for your perfect looking prince or princess, by all means. Just don’t complain about it. Especially after I took all this time to write this. Anyways, good luck with your vegan dating journey. And also, be on the lookout for part two – which will be coming soon.
Vegr contributor, Traveler, Vegan