Nathan Thompson looks at how eating habits might impact your choice in a romantic partner.
Being a long-time vegetarian, I have often had to have some interesting conversations with women I am dating. Usually, it begins with “when did you stop eating meat?” and goes from there, digging into my reasons why, and what my beliefs are around meat eating in general.
Honestly, even as a vegetarian, I kind of wonder what it would be like to date someone who is a vegan. The vegans I have known were pretty intense, and seemed to struggle with relating to those who didn’t share the bulk of their views. I don’t at all imagine that they represent everyone who is vegan, but that’s been my experience.
It’s also been the case that I have known meat eaters who can’t possibly, for whatever reason, imagine dating someone who doesn’t eat meat. I have relatives who, when I first went vegetarian, swerved between defensiveness and feeling guilt-ridden about their meat eating. Some even made fun of my decisions. And to this day, I occasionally receive comments about “my weight,” which are clearly tied to my dietary preferences. Point being that when it comes to dating, food can matter.
I have mostly dated women who ate meat, usually not as a main part of their diet, but still. And actually, it really hasn’t been a major issue in my experience. What’s been more of an an issue is the overall approach to food. For example, I have had a few girlfriends who mostly ate quickly prepared, processed food. They didn’t really know how to cook, and didn’t care to take the time to explore cooking.
Now, it doesn’t much matter to me who is the better cook in the couple. What matters to me is a general sense that what you eat matters. Because it reflects a piece of your larger attitude towards health and wellness. In both cases, the women I dated who didn’t cook and ate a lot of processed food were generally more unhealthy. They struggled with mood swings, sugar cravings, and got sick more often than I did.
The point there is that if things are too out of balance in one area of a person’s life, it can impact everything else, including your relationship. Sometimes, I would find myself listening to some emotionally charged story, or being on the other end of an emotionally-charged comment that might have been as much a result of having eaten poorly as anything else. I know that’s been true of myself — that when I eat more unhealthy food, or eat too much of one kind of food, my reactions to things in life are more charged and messy.
So, what are your experiences with food and dating? Does it matter to you what your partner eats? If you have a partner, did your eating habits play a role in your decision to be with that person? If you are single, do you actively seek someone with similar eating patterns or not?
Photo Courtesy of Life Logic