A few years ago, I dated Steak&Beer Guy, so-called because wherever we went he only ever ordered a steak and beer. Which was totally expected at a place like Houston’s. It became a little suspect when we went to Border Grill and he ordered the same thing. But when he didn’t even pick up the menu at PF Chang’s and straight up ordered the steak and beer, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.
Which was unfortunate because the guy was handsome, smart and played beach volleyball. He ended up getting back with his ex, THANKFULLY, which meant I didn’t have to become that girl who rejected a guy because he couldn’t order anything but steak and beer.
But you know what? I’d kill to have Steak&Beer guy. I’ve now seen what it’s like to date Non-steak and beer guy. And it’s not pretty.
I’ve dated two vegetarians back-to-back in the last month and I don’t think I can handle anymore.
Last night’s Joe went meatless because he turned Buddhist. Listen, Buddha Buddy, if you are not eating meat for philosophical or moral reasons, then you shouldn’t be going out with a girl who states on her profile that she went to culinary school and LOVES FOOD. And you really should have mentioned your non-meat-eating tendencies on your damn profile. Why torture us both?
The previous guy simply decided to be healthier, and actually didn’t have a problem that I loved my meat. Obviously, it didn’t bother him enough to sneak in a kiss. (I mean, I think if I was a non-smoker and I kissed a smoker, it would bother me. I assume the same rule applies to carnivorism, but I also don’t have a penis deciding things for me.)
We’ve since drifted apart, but before then I had been trying to assess the long-term possibilities there and if our eating habits were a dealbreaker. I took stock of what it might look like down the road if it did work out:
Quiet evenings cooking at home would look less chicken-y and more tofu-y. I see a future of homemade soups, pasta, risotto – hey, those are actually weapons in my culinary arsenal. This isn’t looking bad at all!
But what about dining out? What about getting two different dishes and sharing? I’ve been guilty of that whole eat-half-then-tradesies thing with at least one ex. (It was so sickeningly cute that I’ll never do it again. OK, maybe for true love.)
I’ve seen veggie-carne couples make it work. My vegetarian friends married to carnivores simply cook meat for their husbands but not for themselves. Of course, let me point out that one eats fish and the other cheats for bacon. Who can blame her? Bacon is Christmas morning and your first puppy all at once.
I respect the choice to turn your back on meat, for whatever reasons. But can I be with a man who can’t love bacon?
I think of all the qualities that would make me fall in love with a man – humor, kindness, intelligence – and think of common bonds and shared interests… and not one of these could be upended by an inability or unwillingness to eat meat.
But then I close my eyes, and imagine a romantic candlelit dinner, sharing with my love a plate of spaghetti Lady and the Tramp-style. I see noodles.
And goddamned meatballs.