It is no doubt that food is a quintessential part of life. It is everywhere you go, often for a good reason. So much of what makes a culture unique is the food in which it encompasses. That's also what makes traveling so enticing - being able to experience something different from your usual.
From authentic gelatos on a scorching day in Italy to authentic sushi in Japan, there is something magical about food, and something you undoubtedly would love to experience with your partner.
Not to mention that food is often the bud of many of conversations. If you pay close attention, you'll be amazed at how many of our conversations are about food.
Often I'll catch myself wanting to tell my friends about the latest recipe I tried, or the cute new restaurant in town that simply blew me away. Food is such a visceral experience, one that goes beyond simple nutrition.
Also, talking about food is also pure torture for someone who is trying to stick to a strict diet regimen - so keep this in mind before you go describing your last mouth watering slice of pizza you had (that's just cruel).
Food is always surrounding us. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing - food is great. So it's no wonder that food plays a huge role in relationships. To be able to sit down for dinner after a long day’s work, or go out to your favorite neighborhood place around the corner, it's a treat.
So if you're dating someone with vastly different eating styles or just refuses to try anything new, it can cause a severe strain on your relationship. Especially if you're a foodie.
A typical difference in eating is between meat and non-meat eaters. Often there is a disconnect among the two. One will continually want to go to places that serve predominantly meat, which is very unfair to the person who can't eat the majority of the food there.
In this case, only one person in the relationship is benefiting, and the other partner may feel as though they aren't taking their chosen lifestyle seriously. I'm not saying that if you have to become a vegetarian if your significant other is, of course not, but trying to keep their eating habits in mind when it comes to food is crucial.
Not only does it show that you're paying attention, but it also indicates that you care, support and respects their decision not to eat meat, even if you don't understand it.
Here's two ideas on how to incorporate the best of both worlds:
1. Go to the Farmer's Market
This time of the year, fresh produce is at its peak. There's no greater time to utilize what your local farms have to offer. Make it a mission for you two to go to the farmers market and pick out ingredients for a meal that day.
Perhaps you can get lots of fresh vegetables for a stir fry. The base of it can be vegetarian, but the meat eater can also buy farm raised meat to add to theirs.
Both parties are satisfied in this situation, and it's also nice to spend some time together first picking out, preparing and making it.
2. Make Rice Bowls
Most everyone can agree that rice bowls from places like Chipotle or Moes can hit the spot with their bold flavors and guacamole - always add the guac. The good news is that you don't have to go there every time to make it.
Rice bowls are a great thing to make because it allows adding whatever ingredients you want to. I recommend to make it with brown rice, black beans, corn, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and top it with salsa, guacamole and a little bit of ranch.
This may be enough with its density of ingredients and protein from the beans. But if it's not, simply saute some chicken or taco meat and topple it on for the meat eater.
Lastly, add some cilantro and a sprinkle of lime. After eating it, you may opt to make it at home all the time.
Food is such an important part of daily life and relationships. If your eating habits are vastly different, keep in mind that you don't have to change for one another. The best thing to do in this situation is to find some common ground. Comprising is key.
This will allow both parties to stay happy, and you never know, it might open up your food world up to things you never thought you would eat.