While we don’t have all the answers (who does, when it comes to dating?

I’m not talking the superficial, “I need him to be 6’3” stuff; I’m talking the substantive qualities that by experience you have found that you NEED in a partner to complement and inspire you, and the cruddy, undesirable qualities you don’t want making your life all toxic.

I can’t define these for you, but there are some exercises that can help you move toward clarity: For some folks, veganism is a dietary preference, and they don’t mind if their partner is a meat-loving BBQ pit-master, or they don’t expect others to follow suit.

Whether you live in a bustling metropolis or a small town, there is very likely a vegan Meetup near you.

If there’s not one, by golly, you can create one and that just might summon a vegan cutie from across town to dine with you at that new restaurant.

Okay, you’re going on a date, but the person is not a vegan. Well, if you’re like me, you don’t need to because your date already knows, either from your profile or because you gave them a friendly heads-up so they wouldn’t choose Fogo De Chao for your dining experience.

If that’s not the case, take a deep breath and relax. This usually incites curiosity from a date (and everyone else in your life): “Really? ” Keep it light, keep it matter-of-fact, and steer clear of gore (if the conversation devolves in to a heated debate about tail-docking and debeaking, it’s probably not a match) – there’s no need for this to be an antagonistic, evening-ruining conversation.The options are endless, and if you live in an area where options are scarce, create some, or make an adventure of it and travel somewhere to explore the vegan scene or attend a conference.As a newbie vegan, filmmaker Marisa attended a Farm Sanctuary conference, met a certain charming animal rights lawyer, and a few years later their love story appeared in the Veg News wedding edition.Even if you don’t meet your match, you’re very likely to meet interesting people and have some fun experiences.This is the part where everyone starts shakin’ in their faux leather boots.And for those of us who are already with an omnivorous significant other, Ellen Jaffe Jones’ upcoming book aims to calm the challenges associated with Just as you wouldn’t go to The Heart Attack Grill (yes, this is a real place) to get a nutritious meal, knowing where to go to find people who share your values is key.