Being a vegetarian who dates and/or marries a fellow plant-eater, is easy. You can both spend hours at your favorite organic supermarket, stocking upon the latest meatless products, deciding which tofu is best for tonight’s dinner and happily grazing on flesh-free products at special events. But what about when your partner is a bacon addict, while you can barely stomach the smell of pork belly on a frying pan? Well, any grown-ass man can do plenty for his vegetarian partner, especially once they become a mom. After all, most new moms have limited time for anything except their baby, so balancing the nutritional needs of their partner is, to be honest, low on their priority list (as it should be).
Grown-ass men, by definition, should be supportive partners; first, foremost and always. That means no whining when your significant other wrinkles their nose at your chili dog. It means avoiding using the word "gross" when your partner prepares a veggie burger. It definitely means curbing the urge to pressure your vegetarian partner into trying "just one bite" of meat, when you know that's not their preference. These days, families with mixed dietary preferences are fairly standard; you’ll often find a relationship between someone gluten-free and another that lives for Paleo grub; perhaps with one diabetic child and another that’s vegan. If those families can peacefully co-exist, then a grown-ass man can certainly make life easier for his vegetarian partner, especially when she's in the weeds of postpartum life.
So, with that in mind, here are a few things every grown-ass man can do for his vegetarian partner. Dietary differences be damned, right?
They Give Peas A Chance
If you’re the type of guy who thinks eating a lettuce leaf on a burger counts as getting sufficient veggies, you’ll probably start changing your tune for your veggie-loving partner. Start by being open to trying out some of her meals. Kale chips? Yeah, okay, we can start there. Maybe after a while, you’ll start branching out and trying some endive and fennel, portobellos and zucchini; the possibilities are endless.
They Find Out Ahead Of Time What The Veggie Options Are At Restaurants
If you’re taking a vegetarian out on a date, don’t be a jerk and take her to a steakhouse, where their veggie options only include small garnishes. Instead, go online and find places that are either fully vegetarian or at least serve some vegetarian-friendly meals (check out HappyCow to find vegetarian-friendly restaurants). If you’re still at a loss, Indian food and various Asian cuisine tends to be fairly veg-friendly. Or, if you’re searching for more standard American fare, you usually can’t go wrong with a veggie burger.
They Make Sure To Buy A Veggie-Alternative For Dinner...
When not going out to dinner, a mature partner will always make sure that there is something in the house for their vegetarian significant other. Sure, this can sometimes mean a frozen Amy’s Kitchen dinner or some take-out from the local Thai place, but hey, that’s okay! We would much rather have a partner that at least keeps us in mind when planning dinner, than one who points us to the pantry and says we can find something without meat ourselves.
...Or They Learn How To Cook Dope-Ass Vegetarian Meals Themselves
They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and it couldn’t be truer for a vegetarian. After all, we are constantly struggling as lazy vegetarians, frequently subsisting on pizza and mac & cheese alone. If you’re looking to be the hero in the relationship, why not learn how to whip up some truly satisfying vegetarian dinners for our family? Trust me, if you become a whiz at making vegetarian curries, we will thank you accordingly.
Before A Visit, They Explain To Family Members Ahead Of Time That Their Partner Is Vegetarian
If there’s one thing most vegetarians hate, it’s having to explain to people that we don’t eat meat. For some reason, people say ridiculous stuff when they know you’re vegetarian. It’s like they can’t help themselves. Suddenly, they need to know why you don’t eat meat and have to give you pitiful looks because you don’t think meatloaf or lobster are great, then proceed to tease you about it. If you want to save your partner from all this, you’ll just explain to others that this is your partner’s choice and save the opinions for someone who cares (translation: no one).
They Don’t Crack Jokes About Her Meals
Be wise, not a wise-ass. The vegetarian mom in your life has already heard all the tasteless jokes about vegetarians. She certainly doesn’t need to hear it from her significant other. Even light teasing is obnoxious, especially when you’re hungry and about to enjoy your meal. No, we don’t want to hear (nor care) that you think plants are suffering the way farm-factory cows and chickens are. Do you feel how hard we are rolling our eyes here?
They Don’t Let Others Harass Her About Her Meals, Either
Most long-term omnivorous husbands and boyfriends already know the drill. Someone at some point is going to want to tease your significant other about her eating habits. It’s your job to stop them in their tracks. Deflect, distract, do whatever it takes to steer the conversation in another direction, because really and truly, you should never be okay with someone shaming your partner. For anything.
They’re Open To Raising Their Kids (Mostly) Vegetarian
It’s so bizarre how most meat-eaters just figure their kids will grow up eating meat too, even if they’re with someone vegetarian or vegan. But although some vegans and vegetarians raise carnivorous kids, others choose not to. Or, of course, they strike up something of a compromise, where meat is only consumed outside the house. Either way, don’t be a jerk and assume or act as though it’s your way or the highway. Grown-ass men know better.
If She’s Breastfeeding, They Fill The Kitchen With Breastfeeding-Friendly Vegetarian Foods
Bok choy. Spinach. Tofu. Brazil Nuts. Blackstrap molasses. These are all healthy, vegetarian-friendly breastfeeding power foods that grown-ass men will want to stock up on for the breastfeeding, plant-based mama in their home. After all, it’s important to keep a breastfeeding, vegetarian mama healthy for both herself and your baby.
They Keep Plenty Of Vegetarian Snacks On Hand
Even if your vegetarian partner is not breastfeeding, it’s still thoughtful to keep some veg-friendly snacks in your pantry. Easy choices like peanut butter, jelly, tortilla chips, salsa, hummus, pita bread, ranch dip, and fresh cruciferous veggies are essential to every vegetarian household. Grown-ass men might want who want to kick it up a notch can hit up a Trader Joe’s for some edamame hummus and cookie butter or check out their local farmer’s market for unique snacks like granola or home-made pretzels.
They Get Veg-Friendly Supplements For Her If Needed
It’s known that a vegetarian diet might run you low on certain nutrients (but really, any diet can do that if you don’t keep it fairly balanced). That said, grown-ass dudes will hit the vitamin shop for some supplements for their boo to keep them happy and healthy. Some good options are Vitamin D, Omega-3s, Calcium, and a quality B-complex.
They Don’t Act Obnoxious About How “Awesome” Meat Is (Or Bacon...Ugh)
No vegetarian wants to hear this. None. Not one. Society is constantly bombarding us with these messages. Every time we see a damn commercial or go to a grocery store or sit in a restaurant, there are people telling us that meat is amazing. We don’t care. And our mature partners will totally get that.