Must enjoy long walks on the beach spent picking up litter.

Do you prescribe to a specific lifestyle? Does this lifestyle make it difficult to date? This seems to come up most often around politics and religion. Everyone shook their head in disbelief when James Carville and Mary Matalin married. He is a liberal commentator and she a GOP political consultant. When my Catholic mother married my Jewish father, her family expressed concern that she was making a bad decision. They’ve been married nearly 40 years.

I used to think that whomever I dated had to be an environmentalist until I realized that by doing so I would reduce my dating pool too much.

I used to think that whomever I dated had to be passionate about their work until I realized that not everyone has the ability or freedom to do exactly what they want.

I used to hold whomever I dated to the highest standard (whatever that is) until I realized that
even I couldn’t live up to that standard.

So here I am, in the new year, single, as I usually am, wondering how I can date as a self-proclaimed zero waste vegan without driving women (or myself) crazy.

The most recent woman I dated was great. I was wanting to embrace a vegan diet, but didn’t have the chutzpah to make it happen. She had been vegan for more than a decade after responding to a professor’s call to action during undergrad. Perfect! This was just the incentive/motivation/support I needed.

She was an occupational therapist who focused on at-risk babies. Not an environmentalist, but a person of service, committed to helping others in need (babies, for crying out loud!). Caring and compassion, doing work that most people would commend but shy away from. A noble profession. What more could I ask for in a partner?

My lifestyle. That was the “more” I was asking for.

If I can’t find a water fountain and don’t have a reusable bottle or cup, I’ll go thirsty.

If I want a cup of coffee to go but don’t have my mug, I’ll skip the treat.

If I go shopping but forget a cloth bag, I’ll carry everything loose to my car.

To most people this is crazy/weird/different. To me it’s just normal.

My question to you is: How do you find a compatible partner without sacrificing your values?

I’ve heard that you should write down a list of what you are looking for in a partner, rank them in order of importance, being mindful that the top three or so are deal breakers. Those things that are so important that accepting anything less would be unacceptable.

Here are my three:
  1. Minimalist – she must be committed to a rich life without frivolous spending
  2. Purposeful – she must be on a career path (or personal path if a healthy career path isn’t feasible) that supports having a positive impact on society; a life worthy of respect.
  3. Mindful – she must be mindful of the consequences and impact of her actions.

That list is totally easy to fulfill, right? Ummmmmmm.  Not quite.

I generate waste like the rest of us, but try to minimize my impact. Obviously someone who is a mass-consumer is not someone I want to be around, let alone date. Their life should have purpose, but not just any purpose. Who you are and what you do should add value to society. Many people have “just a job.” I used think that you needed to do work with purpose and meaning, but that’s not always feasible or desirable. If you can’t have meaning in your work, then do something outside of work that is positive. My roommate, for example, is a volunteer EMT. Given his career goals, expertise and background, it didn’t make sense for him to be an EMT full-time, but through volunteering he is able to fulfill interpersonal goals. And finally, be a mindful person. It is easy for all of us to get wrapped up in our own needs and problems that we forget just how small of a piece we are to a very large pie.

Am I alone in this?

If you maintain a lifestyle that makes it difficult to date, I’d like to hear about it. Maybe you are a long distance runner or a professional gambler. How do you find that balance? How do you make it work?

If you are a single self-proclaimed zero waste vegan (or on that path), let’s grab coffee made with fair trade beans at an independent coffee shop…with our own cups.

Jonathan Levy is a lifestyle blogger and zero waste supply chain consultant. We live in a world of social media overload. Stay connected to the content that matters the most to you by subscribing to this blog by entering your email address below.

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