Meatballs and Basketballs

A vegen contemplating dating a carnivore, and a gal whose guy gets a little too mad over March Madness.

Q: I’m a 24-year-old vegan woman. I’m pretty strict about it, which means no meat whatsoever, no animal products, although I very occasionally will have some fish. I choose this lifestyle mostly because of health reasons but also because of the worsening state of the livestock industry (don’t EVEN get me started on this). I don’t wear leather or fur but I’m more lax about that. The problem is that I’m recently dating a guy, casually. I like him a lot BUT (can you see where this is headed?) he … eats … meat. My last boyfriend was a vegetarian and I was too, but since then I’ve decided to go vegan because it’s a better diet for me personally. It’s been more than two years since I’ve been serious with someone.

I don’t want to rule this guy out already, but I know this is a major difference. We’ve not been out for a meal yet, just drinks and coffee dates and walks and stuff. From what I’ve seen I want to get to know more, though. Can this work or should I just end it now before we get attached and realize it can’t work? – Veggie-Gal

A: Since I cherish a big honkin’ T-bone as much as your new dude probably does, here’s what my adorable friend J., who’s going on her sixth year as a plant chomper, with nary an issue dating carnivores, has to say: “It’s like being a Democrat in a Republican state — you have to get past it. It’s like you would miss out on a lot of friends, and things in life. It’s just closing yourself off to people who only believe what you believe.”

Although she’s not vegan, J. makes another good point: Would you want somebody to write you off just because you are? “Some people have really good reasons for eating meat. Maybe they were brought up that way, or they think that’s how humans are naturally supposed to be,” she adds.

So why not see how you react to this meat-eater in his natural habitat; i.e., over a meal? Assuming you avoid a place like Fogo de Chao (although I hear their salad bar rocks), a dinner date should be a good litmus test for whether you can stomach a romantic relationship with a non-vegetarian (vice-versa for him). And remember that this is a prime issue that can underscore two of the three C’s crucial in a solid relationship (compromise, communication and copulation).

But if the mere thought of kissing someone whose teeth frequently sink into juicy burgers makes you gag, I’d say just go ahead and bag it now and take your tofu over to This dating website caters to vegetarians, vegans and raw food freaks, er, followers, and maybe there it will be easier to find someone who loves roughage as much as they love you.

Q: This time every year, my boyfriend and just about every male person he’s ever met turn into complete zombies over anything that isn’t related to March Madness. I don’t understand it. He gets every game on television and sometimes misses work to watch games. I’m gung-ho for having passions in life, but I don’t remember being so obsessed by anything that I couldn’t function without it. He pretty much ignores me for the month, but the rest of the time I’d classify our relationship as fairly strong. I do love him, but just not so much in March. Any advice for a girl who can’t stand college basketball or what it does to her man? – I Loathe Layups

A: Your letter reminds me of a dear group of friends I met in Texas and a tradition we started. Every March, a couple I was close with, both huge Kansas fans, would take time off work for the tourney. Everybody gathered in their living room, aka “Bracketville,” with games on multiple TVs 24/7, and brackets, bets and beer flowing nonstop for weeks.

It was glorious. But then, I dig March Madness. Still, not so much that I ignore my significant other for a month (hey, a gal’s gotta get some, right?), so I can see how somebody who doesn’t even like college hoops would feel pretty miffed.

Even so, I think you’ve got some slam-dunk (couldn’t resist) options here: 1) Plan a long vacation with girlfriends or to see family in March. 2) Pick your own month to be obsessed with something (“Spa September” has a nice ring to it) and let your bf see how it feels to be on the receiving end. 3) Pop yourself a beer, sidle up to him and enjoy the view. (Those blasted BYU boys knocked off my Gators in the first round, but holy cow, they looked delicious doing it – too bad they’re already out.) Your guy just might appreciate your interest, whether it’s legit or not – and who knows where that could lead (a sexy romp on the couch, perhaps?).

And take heart that it could be worse. At least he’s not obsessed with something like War of Warcraft. Or skanky chicks covered with tattoos (you suck, Jesse James).



  1. The last two lines of the second question made me laugh out loud at work.

    Comment by Sam — April 26, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  2. If you love your bf then I think you should love him for what he is and love what he like as well. The good thing there is it only lasts for a month not 12 months. So my point is try to enjoy your time with him while seeing him being happy, or if that would not work then try to talk to him so it will be clear on both sides.

    Comment by Travis — June 30, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment