Dating Diaries: Francis’ Great…But He Doesn’t Eat Meat And I Love Meat- Tara’s story

Tara is a 28-year-old project co-ordinator. She says “My style is sort of ‘rocker chick,’ but I have a girly-girl side.” Tara says “I’m kind and outgoing. I like meeting new people, and having a good time.” Tara does a lot of volunteer work during the week, and says “Weekends are my downtime. I like to workout, meet up with friends, or do something special, like rock climb or kayak or go to a cool new restaurant.” Tara says “My dating life is not super-busy, but when I meet someone I click with, who I can talk to, feel comfortable with and who has sex appeal, I go all in.”

I met Francis at a charity event. I was with my girlfriends, but noticed the tall, hazel eyed hottie right away. Clearly, he noticed me too. The sexual tension was high, and I could tell he was waiting for the right time or the right amount of liquid courage to make a move. Finally, just before the event was over, he introduced himself and asked if I wanted to grab a drink. Obviously, I said yes.

We talked about our careers, where we grew up and where we live. He was the perfect guy, meaning that he had a job, his own place, was close with his family and was remarkably handsome. I was smitten.

After we finished our drinks, he mentioned that he was headed to a bar nearby and asked if I wanted to join, along with my girlfriends. With little persuasion, my girlfriends and I made our way to the bar. We danced until last call. He asked me if we could see each other again. I gave him my number and, on the spot, we arranged to go on a date the next week.

Francis had suggested going bowling. It wasn’t what I expected, but I was intrigued, and liked that he had put some real thought into our date. I also liked that it wasn’t the typical bar scene, and that we wouldn’t have to shout over music to hear each other. We’d done that already, anyway. He picked me up at my place, and instantly proved that chivalry isn’t dead with a dozen white roses. I was thrilled.

The date was initially a bit awkward. On the drive to the bowling alley we talked about the work stresses he faces, his recent month-long trip in Spain and how he wants to adopt a dog. He seemed a little full of himself, to be honest. But then he turned the conversation to me, and asked me questions. I think he talked a lot at first to make me feel comfortable — and without my girlfriends and some drinks to hide behind this time, I was slightly nervous. We found out that we like a lot of the same music and had attended some of the same music festivals.

Francis asked if I had eaten dinner already when we got to the bowling alley. I hadn’t, so we sat down and I ordered chicken strips and asked if he wanted anything. He did not. The food came and I hungrily dug in. That’s when he shared the potential deal-breaker: he practices a vegan diet. I didn’t know how to respond, so I kept eating, but then grew consciously aware that he was watching me eat something he finds gross.

After my chicken strips were done, we bowled, but even though we were laughing and having fun, I couldn’t stop thinking of his no-meat diet and how it would put a damper on future family dinners, since my dad is a hunter. In my head, I couldn’t get over him being vegan — or me eating more than him.

Even though I was terrible at bowling, I still had fun. Francis even tried to help me perfect my bowling posture, which was kind of sexy, in a PG-13 kind of way. We laughed at how bad I was and I teased him for being a freakishly good bowler. It was a good date.

Driving home, Francis held my hand, and said that he’d had a lot of fun. I nonchalantly asked why he became a vegan, and he said something about wanting to live a holistic life that takes into account all living things. I tried and failed to sound supportive and like I understood his reasoning by responding with “Cool, but don’t you miss meat?!” Any awkwardness about this moment disappeared when he kissed me goodnight.

He asked if we could see each other again, and we did, for five weeks. We ended things because I couldn’t give up meat. I want pepperoni and steak; he’s content with tofu.

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