The hardest part of being vegan isn’t finding something to eat when you’re out with your parents. It’s finding another vegan to date. While more people are going vegan every day (yay for the animals!), finding someone who shares your values is only one piece of the puzzle.
You’re also looking for someone you’re attracted to and have fun with. It may feel like you’ll never meet the right person, but don’t give up. We’ve got some tips that will make finding other vegan singles a breeze.
One of the easiest way to find someone who shares your values is to spend time on activities that focus on those values. That could mean volunteering at a farm sanctuary or local animal shelter, mentoring new vegans as part of an animal rights organization, or preparing vegan meals for those in need.
Some volunteer opportunities also have a social component built in afterward, like a mini afterparty. Even less labor-intensive volunteer tasks can take their toll, especially if you’re exposing yourself to the worst parts of educating others about eating meat and dairy. Many people need to unwind afterward, and there can be a work hard, play hard philosophy in place with a volunteer group.
While it’s important not to treat volunteering like—ahem—a meat market, don’t have your blinders on when you’re out volunteering. You’re likely to run into someone who is just there to meet other people, but you’ll get a read on them pretty quickly. Someone else may even clue you in. Don’t be deterred. There are plenty of vegan singles with good intentions, and you’ll get to make like-minded friends even if there’s no love connection.
Go to Vegan Potlucks
If you’re in a large city or college down, it’s almost assured there’s a vegan get-together group in the area. These groups do monthly or weekly meet-ups, and they’re often held somewhere where people can gather to share great vegan food and get to know each other.
It may feel strange if the potluck is held at someone’s house, and like any non-public even you’ve never been to before, if that’s the case it’s a good idea to go with another friend (vegan or not) the first time. But most people are there with good intentions.
Don’t worry if you’re not a good cook. In most cases, no one will be concerned if you bring something premade or pick up some great takeout from a local vegan restaurant. No matter what you choose to do, it’s never a bad idea to contact the organizer in advance to find out how strict their requirements are.
For example, since some vegans choose to eat refined sugar or flour since some—but not all, or even most—are processed using animal products, the organizers may request or require that you don’t use those ingredients. Keep that in mind even if you bring beer or wine: some, but not all, use animal products in processing. Or, like any potluck, one of the guests may have a food allergy.
A potluck is a good chance to hone your cooking skills, but if you’re feeding a large group it may not be the time to test a brand new recipe. When in doubt, a hearty grain or bean-based salad is almost always a safe bet, and pretty hard to mess up.
Try a New Restaurant
With veganism becoming more popular, more vegan-focused restaurants and food trucks are popping up. Go with a friend, or even on your own. It may feel a little awkward, and definitely don’t interrupt anyone mid-meal or eavesdrop, but you’d be surprised where a good conversation can start up.
If you’re the daring type, you can even just drop your number with someone on your way out the door. It’ll make you look a bit mysterious, and there’s little consequence if they don’t get in touch. Saying something like “Excuse me, I didn’t want to interrupt your meal, but you caught my eye, here’s my number” has a little more risk, but again, not much—just make sure you don’t do it if you think they may be on another date.
Try a Vegan Dating App
There’s a dating app for everyone these days, and vegans are no exception. There are multiple vegan dating apps that will help you meet local vegan singles. You may want to consider trying an app that includes vegetarians as well. You’ll find other vegans there, too—while many vegans would prefer dating other vegans, they recognize that statistically a vegetarian site will still yield more vegans than the average dating site.
It’s worthwhile to give other dating apps a try, too. While they may not be your first choice if you’re looking specifically for other vegans, many apps will allow you to filter matches by dietary preference. Unless you’re on an app that requires a match or swipe before you can message, you’ll still have to deal with non-vegans in your inbox.
Don’t feel obligated to respond. Even if you put in your profile that you’re looking for other vegans, you’ll still get people who didn’t bother to read the not-so-fine print. You’re not going to be able to keep people from contacting you. It may be frustrating, but statistically not everyone on any site will be for you—vegan app or not. Sometimes it’s a waiting game.
Regardless of what strategies you use to meet new people, don’t despair if you don’t meet the right person immediately. That has nothing to with you being vegan. That’s just how dating goes. Finding the right person takes time, and waiting for the right person is far, far better than jumping into something just for the sake of dating.
You have strong values, and your personal values are never worth compromising. You’re vegan for the animals first, and you don’t have to put that second when meeting a person. You just need to have a little patience and have faith that you’ll meet a like-minded singe vegan sooner than you’d think.