I’ve never been on a date. Not on purpose, anyway. There was this one time, during my sophomore year of high school. <insert wavy flashback thingy here> Eric was a really good friend; we were part of this foursome with Paige and Ryan, who were dating. There was never any sexual tension between Eric and me (Ryan was a different—and super awkward—story). We were a flatline on the attractometer, so hanging out was natural and easy, until…
One night, the four of us were supposed to hang out. Then Paige backed out. Then Ryan backed out. Then Eric picked me up wearing a nice-boy sweater. He was tidier than most guys I knew (raggedy-ass skate punks), but there was just something about this sweater I didn’t like. Then it hit me: I’d been set up on a surprise date. You know, a surprise date, like a surprise party, where your friends get you to go somewhere under false pretences, then SURPRISE! You’re on a date! Of course you’ve never heard of a surprise date. Because surprise dates don’t happen! Because that is messed the mess up!
We had a pleasant enough evening, going to the park with a giant coloring book and some crayons, discussing the ways of the world, but the experience has always reminded me of how bad a dater I’d be. Hooking up with your friends may look slutty on the surface, but it’s saved a lot of boys from having to be on a date with socially awkward me. And I’ve been with the same guy for almost 15 years now, so I shan’t be taking any of your judgment.
But what if I did want to go on dates with boys (or girls)? At a recent outing with the ladies, they were all talking about the online dating services they use. Now, when I was single, online dating was a joke. It was sad. But that was a long time ago, and I guess since we do everything else online, it’s only natural now to turn to the computer for hook-up help.
I know at this point I’d have a really hard time dating someone who wasn’t vegan. Vegetarian, perhaps, but no eggs or milk in my fridge, and it’d only be so long before I “encouraged” him to go vegan. So…vegan matchmaking sites?
You could join a meetup group. They’re local and there are no expectations; it’s just a bunch of vegans who meet for dinner or drinks, just to spend time with people guaranteed not to order the steak. There’s Vegan Chicago, Portland’s Viva La Vegan, and Vegan Drinks, just to name a few.
But what if you’re seriously lookin’ for love? If you search “vegan dating,” you’ll get a ton of pages, most of them subgroups within larger matchmaking companies. But there are also some smaller outfits, for vegans, by vegans, out there. Two of them are, of course, in Portland (Chloe and Louvella) and Seattle (Waterproof Match). They’re run by regular folk who know they’re not going to make a mint off ’em; they just know it can be hard to meet someone.
Do you have a local vegan dating service in your neck of the woods? Why not start one? All you need is some time, energy, and a domain name.
For the record, if Tom did die or pull some sort of shit that made me leave him, I’d probably just become a crazy old cat lady. Every neighborhood needs one, right?