Non-Veg’s Rocky Relationship with Vegetarian GF

Girlfriend’s strict vegetarian diet is awkward, inconvenient & extra work for non-vegetarian boyfriend

Rocky Relationship

I would like some advice on having a relationship with a vegetarian.

I met my GF 4 years ago at university (about 22 years old at the time).

At the time, she was not a vegetarian. She ate meat, but was not necessarily fond of it (e.g. she would have chicken curry, but using the sauce to cover up the meat…)

After a year or so, we moved in together. She started to become more vegetarian – simply picking out any meat/fish from food in meals, but still liking/eating the sauces that the meat may have been cooked in.

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After another year or so, she has become a strict vegetarian – will not eat anything that has made any contact with meat/fish, including separating cooking utensils, pots etc.

This is really annoying me, as it is extra inconvenience, extra work to separate everything. It makes us seem like 2 people, having different things for meal times.

I am not able to share culinary experiences with her, and such as eating out, going abroad together etc., I have to order dishes suitable for 2 people, but only for myself.

I am sure you have heard all the issues before, as your topic title mentions. It not only affects me, but my family, friends etc. It just becomes awkward and an extra inconvenience/hassle to cater for the one vegetarian.

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It might be worth pointing out that I am Chinese, and she is English. A lot of Chinese foods/dishes are meat/fish orientated.

She is a fussy vegetarian as well – won’t have sweet corn cold (must be with gravy in a roast), says she likes mushrooms but will only eat them if they are chopped up into the tiniest pieces -even picking them off a pizza.

Is it selfish of me to feel this way? Should I be more tolerant? How do other people “put up” with these situations? Many thanks. D. Y.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Thanks for writing, D.Y. There appears to be quite a struggle of wills going on in your relationship.

I don’t think either of you is wrong. It’s human nature to want your nearest and dearest to be like you in habits, likes and dislikes – birds of a feather and all that. It’s more comfortable. Add cultural differences to the mix, and your situation seems quite uncomfortable.

However, a great deal of flexibility and humor is needed to live harmoniously with someone who is so different from you in ways that are obviously important to you. I think that if you can show more of those qualities when you and she are with your family, they’ll be much more likely to accept your girlfriend’s food quirks. If you simply can’t tolerate her peculiar (to you) food habits, maybe it’s time to go your separate ways.

Check out the Savvy Vegetarian report, Veg and NonVeg Together I hope it will have helpful suggestions, and practical value for you and your girlfriend. You both need to make workable compromises, for your relationship to go forward.

All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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