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Dear Shan Tell’em,

I’ve been dating a guy for about 3 months and everything has been pretty great so far. So much that I was waiting for the time when I would figure out what I don’t like about him to see if I could deal with it or not. Well I think I found it.

 He’s vegan. And no that’s not an issue at all since I’m all for a healthy lifestyle. I just personally haven’t decided to make that kind of change to my diet. Him being vegan only became an issue when we discussed how it would affect a more serious relationship.
He dated someone in the past who didn’t agree with his veganism, which he was stunned by because he would never pressure someone to convert to veganism. Something told me to ask him what he wanted in a wife. So I did.
Although he says he wouldn’t ask his wife to be vegan, he would want to raise his children vegan. How can he feel so strongly about not eating animal products yet feed it to his children? His explanation makes sense, until you add a meat-eating wife into the equation! What if she doesn’t want to have her children raised completely vegan?
Now I know I am probably jumping the gun here completely. A couple of months of dating and already thinking about marriage. I get it. But this is my point of view: I’m not trying to get married tomorrow, but I’m not trying to be single forever either. I ended an almost 7-year relationship about a year ago and I’m very concerned about wasting too much time with someone I’m not meant to be with again when I ultimately want to fall in love and be happily married. I don’t want to develop feelings or a relationship with someone that I know issues down the road will be inevitable with.
I am thinking I should no longer date him. Why? Because let’s be honest, when it comes to strong lifestyle choices, things we tend to be passionate and heavily convicted about, we don’t tend to waver from them. I don’t foresee him changing his mind on raising his children vegan. And he is one of those traditional guys that views man as head of the household so I don’t see him compromising. 
I would love another point of view on whether or not I should continue dating him and see where it ends up or if I should just end it now and find someone more in line with compromising. I feel like I’m not the same around him anymore because it does concern me in terms of what I should do.

Dear Over-thinker,

The short answer to your question is yes and no in terms of whether or not you are over-thinking things. How are you over-thinking? For starters, you’ve only been dating for 3 months. People keep hairstyles up longer than that. Well not really but you get my point. It takes several seasons to actually figure out if you’re both in it for the long haul. You also don’t have any children yet. So yes, I’d say you’re over-thinking to a degree.

But sometimes over-thinking brings us to a place where we need to be and I think this is actually worthy of discussion for you and your mate.

 What one person consumes is their business, but when it comes to children that’s a different story. Until children become responsible enough to properly care for themselves, it’s the parents’ responsibility to ensure that they are provided with proper nourishment, shelter and overall health and wellness needs.

From what I understand, you two both take health very seriously. While that is common ground for you guys, the avenue to which you obtain nutrients is not. Now your boyfriend has some very strong beliefs about consuming foods that do not fall under the vegan diet. Do you have strong beliefs about eating meat? That’s what really needs to be decided here. If it’s simply a matter of personal preference, what’s wrong with raising children who are vegan?

 I do think that your boyfriend should be more deliberate when selecting women to date.  If he is dating to marry/find long-term companionship like many of us are, then perhaps he needs to date women who are vegan. That way the “will our children have to be vegan” debate will be solved because it won’t exist.  But in my opinion, that’s the cowardly way out. Head of household or not, every relationship is doomed without give and take. Relationships are all about compromise, and I don’t see why you two can’t come to a decision that works for the both of you.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

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  1. Great response. I especially like the part about all relationships being doomed without compromise.

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