A unique dynamic: vegans with non-vegan partners.
Romantic relationships are hard for everyone no matter gender or sexual orientation… but, being vegan and falling in love with a non-vegan person can really add some trouble for the couple.
Things can get messy for minimal stuff such as: what are we having for dinner? Or also non-vegans cooking meat near vegans which can lead to an argument.
The cuisine we grew up with and our early eating experiences provide “food roots.” That’s why we are used to eating meat and junk food, but of course, that can be changed and vegans are proof of that. Social, cultural, political, and economic factors, as well as families, friends, and workplaces impact the food choice trajectories of each individual, leading to lifelong evolution and, occasionally, dramatic turning points.
Psychological traits (e.g Impulsiveness, anxiety), physiological factors, and each person’s self-identity as an eater (“I’m a foodie,” “…healthy eater,” “…flexible eater”) also play into our food choices.
While a vegan partner might think his or her influence would trump all past influences, in reality, that happens in only some cases, and even then we don’t know how often. The wiring in our heads that determines what we want and choose to eat is very complex, tied to many other values, belief systems, and identities, and in most cases, is fiercely resistant to significant or sudden change.
One important study on couples’ meal-sharing processes—not focused on vegans and non-vegans, but more general—centers on gender role preferences. This old study stated that wives were usually sacrificing their food preferences to their partners, but now that we are in a much more egalitarian society, neither partner’s tastes dominate the evening meals consistently.
Dynamics around cooking duties are certainly changing. But it is key not to try to impose on your partner what you want to eat, acceptance is the path everyone should follow. Maybe your partner does not want to go vegan but he or she can have some vegan meals with you, or maybe you could talk to them and state some rules so it would work out for both of you.