Many people searching for their significant other will eventually come to the realization that dating can be difficult, frustrating, and even downright depressing. It can even make some take a hiatus from romantic pursuits, and dedicate their free time to something else. Yet, eventually, the desire to have that “special someone” in your life will call you back into the arena. Here are some quick tips to try and maximize your success and make sure your time playing the dating game is time well spent, when dating vegans (or anyone else):
1. Be Yourself
When you’re setting up an online dating profile, or going on an in-person date with someone for the first time, you naturally want to put your best foot forward. You know how important, and long-lasting, first impressions can be.
But resist the temptation to create a “false self,” which seems to be all the more common in this age of social media, with every other person wanting to be a trendsetter or influencer, and amass the largest following possible.
It is important that the other person befriends, and perhaps ultimately falls in love with, the real you, and not some fictitious persona you’ve created to impress people. While it may be tempting to embellish details of your life, and create the “perfect” version of yourself, remember that, if the relationship lasts, your partner will eventually discover the real you, and they’ll be heartbroken if they find that the person they’ve fallen in love with is actually a character you’ve created in your head.
2. Be Honest
As your relationship with another person goes on, past first impressions and into the “getting to know you” phase and beyond, you should always strive to be as truthful as possible.
Now, obviously, we all have secrets. Many people have lived through trauma and experienced hardships; sometimes at more than one point in their lives. You shouldn’t be forced to share anything you’re not comfortable disclosing.
But whenever it is reasonable, tell the truth. Remember, the truth might very well reveal itself later on, and as long as the relationship is built on mutual respect, your partner should accept you for who you are your flaws and all.
3. Have Realistic Expectations
That’s right, flaws! Everybody has them, even vegans! And if you can’t acknowledge that you are a flawed human being, and accept and love yourself, how can you expect another person to?
Furthermore, it is vitally important that you recognize that whoever you fall in love with will have their own set of imperfections, and that’s okay too. Nobody is perfect, and even vegans make mistakes. We are actively trying to live as kind, respectful, and meaningful life as possible, but sometimes we fail in those efforts.
Don’t expect the other person to be a prince or princess from a fairy tale. It’s important to have standards, but don’t make them so impossibly high that no one can ever live up to them.
4. Be Open-Minded and Willing to Accept Differences
You are never going to find someone who thinks and acts exactly like you. That’s what makes us individuals. No matter how much you have in common with another person, there will always be things you disagree on, big and small.
Now, obviously, as vegans, many of us consider treating animals with respect to being a moral baseline, along with many other intersectional social justice causes. But if your partner likes bluegrass music, and you prefer death metal, don’t let this sort of thing be a dealbreaker. Part of the fun of dating someone is learning to appreciate a different perspective on the world. Take the opportunity to learn new things and explore new territory. What hobbies or interests does your partner have that you were previously unfamiliar with?
5. Be Patient
Finding the love of your life might take time, so don’t lose hope. Unfortunately, movies and songs often make the search for love look extremely easy and straightforward. Boy meets girl, they fall in love almost immediately, and that’s that. Off into the sunset (or at least, the bedroom). But real life doesn’t always work out that way. Many people spend years searching for the right partner.
You just have to try your best to stay optimistic and tell yourself that somewhere out there, there is a magnificent person looking for you too.
6. Don’t Let a Bad Experience Stop You
Most people will go on a bad date, get rejected by a potential love interest, or have their hearts broken by a bad breakup at some point in their life. This may happen several times, in fact. But don’t let a bad experience make you think that you are unworthy of being loved.
Sometimes people can be cruel, even if you are still attracted to them in some way. Consider getting out of a toxic relationship, or avoiding one altogether, as a blessing in disguise. If a person, regardless of whether you’ve known them for five minutes or 5 years, treats you inhumanely and intentionally seeks to hurt you (either emotionally or physically), you’re probably better off without them. Move on, and find someone who treats you with respect and compassion.
7. Don’t Sabotage Yourself
A quick checklist of do’s and don’ts when creating an online profile:
• Take the time to write a bio. People don’t want to go off a photo alone.
• Post more than one photo. While it’s nice to see pictures of family, friends, and favorite places, most of the photos should be of you. And for heaven’s sake, don’t have a profile that contains ZERO pictures.
• Make sure they’re high-quality photographs. No pixelated, out-of-focus shots. Make sure the lighting is good, and that you can be seen clearly. Don’t obscure your face with anything (including weird filters). Make sure you’re actually close enough to the camera to be easily recognizable.
• Tell the truth about your age!
• Evite to fill your profile with a list of ridiculous demands or “dealbreakers”. Like that your potential mate must have attended an Ivy League school, and make at least $300,000 a year. Or maybe, be at least 6’2″ tall, and/or never wear baseball hats.
• Even if you swear in real life, you should avoid obscenities in your profile. It’s off-putting.
• If you make a statement in your bio like: “I’m an open book. Please feel free to ask me anything,” or otherwise encourage people to message you. In that case, actually have the courtesy to respond to people if and when they do contact you, even if only to say: “No thank you.”
Article Written By Michael Chatham