Veganuary is drawing to a close, but there is a fresh new reason for singles to try a plant-based lifestyle – it can result in an above-average amount of online attention. In fact, EliteSingles’ latest study of 237,000 singles shows that mentioning veganism or vegetarianism in a dating profile increases the average amount of messages received by 73%.
In the last few years, plant-based diets have gone from hippie quirk to mainstream craze. Not only did the likes of The Economist and Forbes declare 2019 ‘the year of the vegan‘, it seems like every week there is a new innovation in terms of meat-free meat, or another fast food chain debuting a veganized version of a much-loved signature dish.
This vegan romance shows no sign of slowing, which for us as a dating site begs the question: does this trend towards vegan celebration extend to online dating?
Mentioning Veganism Gets You More Messages Online
To find out how mentioning veganism or vegetarianism can affect your love life, our EliteSingles research team looked at anonymous data from a random selection of 237,000 registered members in the UK and the USA.1
We then scraped these members’ profiles for mentions of three vegan-related words (‘vegan’, ‘vegetarian’, and ‘veggie’) and looked at the average number of messages that profiles with these words received from other EliteSingles members. By comparing this figure to the average number of messages received by members overall, we were able to spot a clear trend – mentions any of these words go hand-in-hand with a increase in messages received.
In fact, profiles containing any of the words ‘vegan’, ‘vegetarian’ and/or ‘veggie’ get 73% more messages than the average.
Vegan vs Veggie vs Vegetarian: What Term Gets the Most Messages?
So which of these terms is the most popular? The study revealed that, while the term ‘vegan’ gives a significant message boost (50% above the average), it’s ‘vegetarian’ that is the supreme winner, boosting message rates to 108% above average. ‘Veggie’ sits in the middle, coming with an 62% boost in messages received.
Incoming Message Increase:
All ‘vegan’ words combined: +73%
Vegans Are Still Reluctant to Dish the Details
This will come as welcome news to the vegans and vegetarians who have prevously been worried about disclosing their eating habits in their dating profile for fear of rejection.
It’s no small percentage who’ve been thinking this way: in a September 2019 study from EliteSingles, 62% of vegans and 55% of vegetarians said they don’t mention their diets in their dating profile, agreeing with the statement ”I think it could scare off potential partners”.2
The results from the data dive show that it might be time to put these fears to rest. A 73% boost in online attention suggests that, far from putting people off, sharing your veggie beliefs with other online daters can actually be enticing.
Dating a Vegan = Dating a Foodie?
The survey also hinted that a vegan romance could be a delicious one. That’s because those with plant-based diets are more likely to describe themselves as foodies than those with less restrictions.
Although 72% of omnivores say they love to cook and would agree with the statement that they are a ‘foodie’, this number is small compared to their vegan counterparts. In fact, the likelihood of describing yourself as a foodie increases as meat consumption reduces. 76% of those trying to reduce meat would call themselves foodies, as would 80% of vegetarians. Vegans take the (egg-free) cake, with 88% loving to cook and claiming foodie status.
An Omnivore-Meets-Vegan Romance
Are there any concerns around dating a vegan if you’re an omnivore (or vice versa?). Funnily enough, the biggest concern for both those who eat meat and those who don’t is the exact same – figuring out what to cook for dinner. According to the survey, 41% of vegetarians and vegans and 34% of omnivores say that the hardest thing about an omnivore-vegan romance would be cooking at home together.
So how can couples overcome these barriers to vegan romance? The EliteSingles team is a diverse bunch, with many friends, colleagues, and family members facing these exact issues at home. We asked around the office to find out what works for real couples.
Kara: The Vegetarian Dating an Omnivore
Kara*, 35, has been vegetarian for 20 years, and is dating a ”dyed-in-the-wool carnivore.” She thinks the trick is to make cooking dinner a team effort. ”One of us will cook a base sauce, like a marinara sauce for pasta” she says. ”Then I make myself tofu or chickpea ‘meat’ balls, and my partner will cook beef ones.”
Jerry: The Omnivore Engaged to a Vegan
Jerry, 28, is an omnivore engaged to a strict vegan. He advises: ”The most important thing is communication, as with everything else in a relationship – if you set expectations and reach a compromise before moving in together, there shouldn’t be any problems.” He adds ”I’m not vegan, but my partner is, so we decided that our home would be a vegetarian household. In other words, I could still have milk, eggs, and cheese at home. However, when eating out, we can each eat whatever we want. We’ve never had an argument over food so it’s safe to say the system is working!”
Liz: The (Former) Omnivore in a Vegan Marriage
Finally, Liz, 41, is an example of how tastes can change over time. When she and Ben (her husband of 11 years) first met, he was a foodie vegetarian-leaning-vegan, and she a self-described ”non-cook” who ate meat ”for three meals a day.” Initially, Ben would cook two meals at dinner time; one meaty dish for her, and a veggie dish for himself.
But, she remembers ”I always wanted to try his before mine. Just a bite at first, then more and more.” Eventually she agreed to go vegetarian at home, and found she loved it. During Veganuary one year ago, Liz and Ben agreed to go vegan together permanently. Liz says she has no regrets – but she is ”delighted that KFC now has vegan options.”
EliteSingles Editorial January 2020
1 Data source: Anonymous data from 237,000 randomly selected people registered with www.elitesingles.com and www.elitesingles.co.uk before January 15, 2020. Data used cannot be traced back to the original user.
2 Data source: All statistics taken from a September 2019 survey of 250 users registered with EliteSingles. Data used cannot be traced back to the original user.
* Names and ages have been changed to protect anonymity.