How to tell my family I’m dating a vegan

Introducing your family to someone you’re dating is never easy. It’s natural to be nervous when you’re not sure if your family will be right with someone who has gone far enough to justify meeting people.

And while some families have a philosophy of life and let it live even when they don’t click with someone, other families (or just some family members) are fixed on their way of thinking. So if you’re from a well-known family of hunters or just enjoy a meat-and-potato lifestyle, you might want to introduce yourself to the vegan person you’re dating.

While you can’t control your family if they want to be intolerant or make jokes, there are some things you can do to pave the way for a smoother path when it comes time to let your parents know you’re dating a vegan.

Vegan salad next to the photo

Being vegan is just a detail about a person

While choosing not to consume animal products is a commitment often held by people who firmly believe in it, veganism is only one part of a whole person. Being vegan is not a personality in itself; Although you may know people who treat you this way, if you’re not vegan, you’re unlikely to go out with an ultra-unconditional vegan long enough to introduce you to your family, so you’ll find many other details to share with your family.

Your vegan boyfriend may like the same basketball equipment as your parents, or they may find that they have a common taste for books or movies. As in all aspects of life, starting from points of similarity instead of points of difference can give a brighter view of a potential relationship.

Meeting in a neutral location

If possible, let your family know your new vegan boyfriend or girlfriend in public for the first time. No, there is no meat versus vegetarian fight to worry about. Being somewhere like a restaurant for the first time removes the pressure of everyone involved to be a “good” host or guest.

While many vegans will bring their own food, and usually enough to share, this has the potential to send the wrong message if you’re from a home where your mother’s kitchen is revered. Likewise, having your dad cover his nose with tofu when your new love is cooking is not a recipe for a harmonious evening. Going to a restaurant allows everyone to order what they want without fear of offending. It also allows your family to see that vegan food is neither mysterious nor strange.

If the vegan person you’re dating can’t tolerate eating meat around you, try to find a different activity to participate in where food doesn’t play a major role. Just as your vegan partner isn’t excited about being surrounded by meat, your meat-eating family won’t love the idea of ​​stepping out of their comfort zone into a vegan restaurant.

Don’t apologize

If you give your family the impression that you think veganism is not a respectable option, you are opening the door for your parents to rule out your new partner’s lifestyle without hesitation. You don’t have to move the pendulum completely and become an unconditional animal rights activist if that’s not true.

But beware of making jokes about veganism or somehow trying to apologize for the ethical decisions of your new love. You may seem to be avoiding stress by commenting to your parents that you are still a meat lover who doesn’t understand your partner’s choices, but by doing so you are tacitly giving your family permission to fire your partner. . beliefs out of hand.

Keep calm: Veganism is normal

Regardless of how your family may find a vegan among them, it’s not that uncommon, and it’s becoming more common every day. Drama breeds drama. If you, your partner, or your parents bring great emotional energy to the situation, things are likely to continue on this path.

Keeping your emotions in check doesn’t just set the tone; it also disarms any arguments your parents may try to launch. It’s hard to argue with someone who doesn’t answer. Your mantra should be “I respect your values ​​and I respect yours.” Let your family know that your relationship and emotions are not part of any competition and that no one can win or lose in this scenario.

He treats veganism as normal because of that is normal. There may be a few less on the menu, but we no longer live in a world where a vegan has no choice in a restaurant on a given night. While veganism is not always convenient, it is is normal.

But if you don’t think it’s normal, and if you’re wondering how to explain it to your parents, maybe not, ask yourself if this is the right relationship for you. For someone who enjoys learning and loves getting to know people, going out with a vegan can be great.

But if after a date with a vegan you still don’t understand why they live the way they do, pay attention. There is no need to define a belief system as right or wrong (although the basis of veganism itself is a very clear line between right and wrong).

If you’re dating someone, it’s time to get to know your parents and you still don’t feel comfortable with their food philosophy, maybe not the person for you. However, if you know that you’ve met the perfect person for you and just need a little help translating, keep this in mind: Your family wants you to be happy, even if they don’t understand why someone they see differently could make you happy. you are happy

You don’t have to explain why you believe in veganism or not, or sell your partner’s beliefs as valid. All you have to do is trust your own beliefs and respect your partner’s beliefs.

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