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Dating a vegetarian

Once a date finds out I’m vegetarian, they often try to impress me by taking me to an exclusively vegetarian restaurant or declaring that they won’t eat meat in front of me. If you don’t usually eat vegetarian food, ask one of your vegetarian friends for advice or consult online reviews.

Some cite the health benefits and others are just annoying militants about it, and this is another annoying thing they do.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of tips so that meat-eaters and beet-eaters can live in harmony.

Sure it’s irritating when you take a date to a steakhouse and she orders the Portabello mushrooms, asking the waiter repeatedly if it was cooked on the same grill as meat.

But just like you wouldn’t question a Kosher person for not eating pork, so you shouldn’t question a veggie for not eating, well, pork. But this open-mindedness also has to work both ways.

And nothing is more awkward than sipping tap water while sitting across from a stranger while you wait for appetizers to arrive.

Several vegetarian restaurants do not serve any alcohol, or only serve cocktails that taste like a salad.Picture this: you’re on a promising first or second date with a person you met on a dating app (or maybe IRL; apparently that still happens). She looks at the menu at the second place, since the first place lacked an option that wasn’t cooked in lard. A lot of vegetarians (myself included) feel the need to reveal their dietary restrictions before a first date to avoid the awkward scenario above. One serves your favorite carnitas tacos; the other is known for its hefty cheeseburgers. Don’t worry, you say, there are vegetarian options available at both places. Now your date must make a decision: eat an unsatisfying meal or risk killing the good post-drinks vibe by trying to find a new restaurant.Sharing dishes also makes the dinner a little more intimate, so this is a good move to pull regardless of your date’s diet.If you absolutely refuse to share any dish, you’ll likely come off as uncompromising or selfish.(Obviously, ignore this one if your date doesn’t drink alcohol—find a place with a fun selection of sodas or mocktails instead.)Consider lighting and atmosphere.Unfortunately, many vegetarian restaurants (see above re: wheatgrass) are more earthy than sensual.You’ll have plenty of time to eat healthy together once you know each other a little better.Stick to bars and restaurants that allow both of you to cut the tension with a drink or two.If you really want a pizza with sausage, but your date prefers a pizza with kale, it’s okay to order your own dishes.But compromise by ordering an appetizer without meat (and dairy, if that’s also an issue).

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