Someone asked me recently for advice on how to find a vegan partner. But was that the best way to put the question?
Yesterday, while writing my post at a park, I witnessed a heartbreaking exchange. A man and woman were screaming obscenities at one another, apparently not caring that they were in public.
Finally, he grabbed her cell phone and shattered it on the ground. As he stormed off, she repeatedly cried after him, “Why did you break my phone?”
As a teenager, I once heard a radio host interviewing a psychologist about relationships. In a response that repulsed me, the doctor said, “All couples fight at one point or another.”
When he went on to describe a recent argument he’d had with his wife, I thought, “I disagree. That’s not going to be me!”
Perhaps it was just a teenager’s fantasy, but I instantly resolved to find someone in this world with whom I didn’t fight or argue.
However, rather than a partner who agreed with me on everything, I wanted one willing to talk through our differences thoughtfully.
When I first met Katie in the summer of 1999, something about her made me nervous. Maybe, on some level, I knew fate had brought us together. We quickly became friends.
Taking it Slow
But I was cautious, and an entire year passed before I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
She was cautious too and determined not to marry anyone who lost control or angered easily. So she carefully observed my reactions in many different situations.
Once, she saw me collide with another guy during a high-contact, ultimate Frisbee competition. He reeled around and took a swing at me. I stepped out of his reach and apologized for bumping into him.
On another occasion, she saw the same guy yelling at me over a misunderstanding. Unaware she was watching, I apologized again and calmly defused the situation.
She was attracted to one of us, and it wasn’t him!
Those situations gave her the confidence that we wouldn’t spend our lives bickering if she married me.
Two and a half years after we met, she was on a six-month trip out of the country and realized she didn’t want to live her life without me. She returned in May of 2002 – and within two months, we announced our engagement.
Before our wedding, I came to the realization that’s defined our marriage.
I would always pursue her health and happiness first, and after three years of getting to know her, I trusted she’d do the same for me.
After 18 years of marriage, we’ve never fought or argued. Of course, we have our differences, but we talk them through – two compassionate adults trying to understand one another’s perspective.
We’ve certainly had our share of difficult times but have supported each other through them all. And some challenges have led us to reconsider the views we once held.
Our perspectives on diet, politics, child-raising, and religion aren’t what they once were. However, we’ve talked through all these topics and always found common ground.
My 3 Tested Tips on How to Find a Vegan Partner
So, what was my response to the question of how to find a vegan partner?
“You’re asking the wrong question!”
We should ask, “How can I find a partner who would go through any dietary change with me?”
Today, on Katie’s birthday, I’m reflecting on our life together. And the one thing that stands out isn’t our diet. It’s our ability to put others before ourselves that makes ALL the difference!
We’re both open-minded enough to change our diets based on the best balance of evidence. And the evidence is that a whole-food, plant-based diet is best for our health and the health of the planet.
So, here are my three personally tested tips on how to find a vegan partner:
1. Take the time to find a partner who’s never mean to you or anyone else and can genuinely apologize.
2. Commit to a life of pursuing each other’s health and happiness above your own.
3. Be willing to learn, mature, and try new things together.
And Happy Birthday to you, Katie! I wouldn’t be blogging about enjoying such a healthy vegan lifestyle without you!