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Dear Poll: Would You Date Someone With Different Eating Habits?

An article in today's New York Times was all about couples who don't necessary follow the same diet — one partner eats meat and the other doesn't, or one person eats heart healthy and the other doesn't, etc. While I would like to think what you eat doesn't make a difference in your relationships, this article has a point when saying:

Sharing meals has always been an important courtship ritual and a metaphor for love. But in an age when many people define themselves by what they will eat and what they won’t, dietary differences can put a strain on a romantic relationship.

Even though we all know that relationships take some compromise, this is a little more complicated than you preferring white wine and your boyfriend preferring red. So what do you think, would an obstacle like his eating habits be a deal breaker for you?


Join The Conversation
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
My ex-bf was vegetarian, and I wasn't. But I was very open w/ enjoying vegetarian cuisine. He introduced me to some good ones (which I love until these days). And he didn't mind when I had to cook beef/chicken for parties. So it all worked well when no one was trying to influence each other or force each other on their eating habits.
JessBear JessBear 9 years
Oh, this bothers me. My last boyfriend (DOUCHE) broke up with me for one big reason, but when he was trying to justify it with a lot of little reasons, one of them was "you're a vegetarian an I eat meat." WTF? SERIOUSLY? I mean, I never stopped him from eating a burger, and we didn't live together, so what's the big deal?!!? My current live-in boyfriend eats meat, and we never find it a problem. He eats mostly veg at home (he loves some veggi meats better than their real counterparts), and cooks himself some bacon when he feels the urge. When we go out, he gets whatever he wants, and I get whatever I want. The only time it's a problem is when I want share something instead of getting two entrees, and he really wants a burger. Even then, we make it work. At Olive Garden, we'll get the steak and spinach gorgonzola alfredo to split, only we'll get the steak on the side. Ditto with the meat in bacon cheese fries. Everyone's happy. Sheesh. And we influence each other, just like we do in every other aspect of our relationship. I recently gave up eggs, and my decision has impacted him enough to give up chicken. I don't pressure or push him, but after seeing the way I lived for so long, he felt the need to make a change of his own. And I was a slightly picky eater (not like some of the posters have mentioned, but still) when we met, but he's introduced me to a ton of new foods and tastes.
Jacinthe Jacinthe 9 years
I think the only way I would not be able to deal with different eating habits would be if he was harping on mine and trying to get me to change the way I eat, otherwise, no big deal.
smp7328 smp7328 9 years
I have major stomach problems and am very limited in what I can eat, and those things tend to change over time as well. What I could eat 6 months ago, I might not be able to handle today. When I find something that I can eat, I stick to that and eat it every day for weeks or until I get sick of it. It sucks, but that's life. So, I would definitely be fine dating someone with different eating habits, as there are probably not many people that eat what I do. It would not bother me at all. I have had to adjust and deal with different eating habits with my family for most of my life. It's not a big deal.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
It wouldn't bother me as long as they weren't trying to convert me to their diet habits. If my husband was a vegetarian and me a meat lover I would do my best to make vegetable dishes and meatless dishes for us to share and have my piece of meat on the side lol... as long as their is understanding I don't think it should be an issue.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
Vegetarian men are hard to find, so yes, I would date someone with different eating habits. (I hate that stupid, meat is manly way of thought). However, it would have to be someone who is open to eating vegetarian food and pretty much every guy I've dated has been after they realize how delicious it can taste. After two years of dating, my boyfriend is trying to give up beef, pork, & chicken!! He read my copy of Skinny Bitch and couldn't believe how animals were treated, ha! He'll still eat fish, but he's come a long way from when I met him.
Belle1031 Belle1031 9 years
I definitely would. My ex and I were so different when it came to food. Our issue was that I don't eat anything that's colored green, that means no vegetables, no green M&M's, nothing that's green. He always thought this was funny and we never let it interfere in what we ate. Sometime he wanted to cook something that involved green and would ask me if it was OK, which it was since I'd just end up picking it out. lol. I bet you guys think I'm a weirdo now! :P
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
I don't know if it would be a "Deal breaker" but I could see it getting annoying. My bf and I LOVE to go out for sushi and to try new restaurants. I don't think I could deal with someone who was a picky eater at all. Also, my ex used to love going out to eat at "Pho" restaurants and I HATE Pho. We would go and I just would not eat but he would always insist on going and it actually made me sick to watch him eat the stuff and drink the gross coffee. SO I don't think its something to break up over, but I do think it's nice when you can cook for your SO and know that they will enjoy what you are cooking and that you can enjoy a good meal together.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
It doesn't matter to me.
lovekailua lovekailua 9 years
me too, I'm a vegetarian in a meat-eaters world. Doesn't bother me one bit, we always eat places I can get something at and he doesn't mind either.
pixelsugar pixelsugar 9 years
It wouldn't be a deal breaker for me, but it would definitely put a strain on the relationship. It's just as bad as if you and your boyfriend are on two different schedules and you eat dinner early and he eats dinner at the time where you're starting to get ready for bed. That's always difficult for me.
Safety-Pin Safety-Pin 9 years
I currently am it's ok just as long as I tell her what I'm eating if she tries to sneak a taste. Other than that we don't really notice restaurants in town cater for all so I guess we are pretty lucky.
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
I'm a vegetarian, and I've dated both meat eaters and vegans, but never another vegetarian. I think that as long as we decide on a restaurant that can accomidate both of us (most usually can), then great. Although, I can't stand fast food, I wouldn't break up with a guy because he ate it. However, I don't allow it in my car, because it makes it smell.
LoneWolf LoneWolf 9 years
I'd like to think it wouldn't be a big deal, but I fear it would. I eat very little meat and lots of fish and fruit and veggies. I just don't know if I'd be able to deal with Whoppers and fries and Cokes and onion rings on a daily basis. It's not so much the food as much as the lifestyle. If someone doesn't care about health and nutrition, which are important to me, I can't imagine that we would have many other things in common. But the bf and I have similar food philosophies (except for the artificial sweetener thing), among other things, so it's all good.
kia kia 9 years
How funny. Yumsugar posted an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that broached the same subject. My husband and I have different habits in two ways. One I am allergic to cane sugar and he has a serious sweet tooth. We have to read labels a lot and we do a lot of cooking from scratch. On the weekends and at dinner he has no sugar in his core meals but eats a lot ice cream and chocolate in front of me. I also leaned towards the non-meating eating crowd when we met and him with the meat eaters. I ate more meat in my diet when we first made a commitment to each other but now our habits are swinging the other way to my usual comfort zone. He has done an almost 180 in this department.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Marci--that's a good take on the question! Now that I think about it, others might find it tough to feed me (or not be grossed out by what I like to eat), so it's nice to have to think about the other side of the story. I like red meat, which is not that bad, but I like it bloody; I like uni and ankimo (steamed monkfish liver) and all kinds of raw fish (I could eat sashimi all day, every day, and be perfectly happy) and amaebi (raw shrimp); my Taiwanese relatives have given me a taste for things made out of pig intestines; some of the tastiest things I've ever eaten have been fried frogs' legs, and a dish made out of cow brains and a --and I could go on and on and on. That must make my food preferences hard to deal with...Hmm.
Marci Marci 9 years
The real question for me was would someone date *me* *despite* my eating habits! I have a million food allergies and it's really tough to feed me. My last boyfriend was impatient with it but my fiance just rolled with it; became protective almost right away about what I was given at a restaurant or a party. So I'm glad he was open to dealing with it, because it really is a big thing to take on. I do most of the cooking for us, and I cook his food the way he likes it and mine the way I can eat it. There are some crossovers and we eat those meals a lot, mostly at his insistence. So it can work.
designergirl designergirl 9 years
I love to cook and bake, and I view food and eating as an important part of my life. So, I would have a problem dating someone with different eating habits. An allergy I could deal with, but I don't know if I could date a vegetarian, vegan, picky eater, or anyone who doesn't eat entire food groups. I love cooking different types of food, especially meats, and I cook healthy meals; luckily my boyfriend and I have similar eating habits.
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 9 years
I have dated someone with the worst eating habits (nothing but burgers and pepperoni pizza and I'm not exaggerating)! I eat healthy and love to try new foods and he was just too picky for me. It got sooo frustrating because he wouldn't try, let alone eat, my cooking and I felt so insulted. Different diets really shouldn't make a difference, but my ex-boyfriend was such an extreme case that it really became a strain (for me anyway) in our relationship.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Me and my SO are HUGE fitness buffs...only he eats ridiculous amounts of sugary junk food and I eat super healthy. While we both have the metabolisms for all the junk food and the carbs actually help our bodies (yeah, we're the freaks that you look at and are like they eat THAT and look like THAT? No fair! but hey, we work our butts of in the gym for that! hehe) but I love eating my super healthy chicken and seafood, no junk stuff, fruits, veggies, organics and cook him his icky red meats and buy him loads of little debbies and candy bars...we both eat how we want and sometimes share the others habits. Doesn't matter to either of us if we eat differently, and when it matters like going to someone else's place for a meal, we eat what is available...It's how we roll:)
Lambsauce Lambsauce 9 years
Emalove, your ex sounds like my current boyfriend... except he won't even eat any of those vegetables! I, on the other hand, rarely eat red meat (only when I'm with him) and love me some veggies. We get along pretty well.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Sure, I married someone with different eating habits. I'm a nutrition and fitness geek, and I eat accordingly. My husband does not. We get along just fine.
em113 em113 9 years
I'm a vegetarian in a meat-eaters world. Doesn't bother me one bit.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 9 years
My fiance is a vegetarian, while I am not. It's never been an issue because we don't treat it like one - he even goes out and gets me a burger when I feel the craving!
Bookish Bookish 9 years
I'm a vegetarian, my husband's a carnivore. We get along fine. I do most of the cooking, and most of what I cook is vegetarian. When he wants meat, he either requests it or goes and gets a cheeseburger himself. We've also got two kids, one who loves meat and one who is probably going to end up a vegetarian, and that's not a big deal either.
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