So your live-in partner doesn’t eat like you? Bummersauce. What’s a vegan (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo or nut-free) to do?

Sharing a space with someone who is very different than you can be frustrating, but when food is involved, it can get even stickier. If you’ve ever found cheese in your tofu drawer or come home to a surprise fridge full of meat, then you know what I’m talking about. Food is emotional, sentimental, and important. And, if you’re someone set in your ways, well change is scary!

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Fall is well underway, with winter already whispering frosty sweet nothings late at night. In case you didn’t know, fall and winter are the official cuffing season, so many single-folk are looking for someone to cozy-up with through the holidays.

If you’re a single vegan, then you already know that finding another single vegan who you are mutually attracted to can be seriously tough. While not all vegans are adamant about dating another veg-head, some wouldn’t even consider going to dinner—let alone bed—with someone who eats meat. If that sounds like you, then here are 4 tips for finding another vegan, excerpted from The Lusty Vegan, co-written by myself and Chef Ayinde Howell and available now wherever books are sold.

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Hey there SexyTofu readers . I have super huge news! My writing partner/bossman/good friend vegan chef Ayinde  Howell and I are extremely excited to officially be able to announce that our book, The Lusty Vegan, A Cookbook and Dating Manifesto for Vegans and The People Who Love Them, will be released in the fall of 2014!

Part cookbook, part lifestyle book, The Lusty Vegan uses humor and great recipes to solve one of the biggest issues in the vegan community: you’re vegan, your partner is not. Or maybe you’re a vegan having a hard time finding another vegan to make a nice little veg-nest with. Locking down a compatible mate seems to be the largest problem within in the vegan community, making finding love–and keeping it–a little harder than it already is. How do we know? From experience, of course.

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I’ll never forget the first time I went away with my (now) boyfriend. We had only been dating for about 6 weeks, and we went on a long weekend trip to Cape Cod. He came from Manhattan to Connecticut right after work, where I was to scoop him up in my car to begin our journey. When I pulled up to the train station, I realized he had arrived with only the clothes on his back. I repeat: Four day trip, with only the clothes on his back.

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So here’s a weird confession: Ever since I adopted a dog back in December, my sex life has been dwindling. Since my manslice and I live in a studio space, our pup is within an arm’s reach at all times. We started off sleeping him in a crate, and there’s nothing sexy about doing—well, anything–while a melody of soft whimpers runs continuously in the background. Not exactly mood music. So sex was stalled out temporarily.

We figured as he got older, the pup would mellow out a bit, which did happen. Now that he can snooze through the night, he has graduated to the floor, and he sleeps pretty soundly—until any hint of activity reaches his (adorable) ear-range.

We tried to ignore him for a while, but ever since the awkward time he started gently tonguing my foot while I held down bottom, well, sex has been infrequent. Or silent. Or hurried. It feels like high school. We’re stealing away to fellate in the bathroom or having hushed, rushed, bottom lip biting sessions because our parents are sleeping down the hall. Except it’s not our parents, it’s our dog.

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“I love you, but your friends suck.” Ouch. A discrepancy in social circles can really hinder a healthy relationship and act as a point of contention between the two of you, and your friends. Everyone has that buddy that is, well, hard to get a long with. Then there is the unfortunate truth that if you don’t like your partner’s friends, they probably don’t like you either. Fake smiles are easy to spot.

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Valentine’s day is the cilantro of the American holiday circuit …you either love it, or it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. Personally, I have a tumultuous relationship with the holiday, which started during an excruciating 4 month stint working at Hallmark in high school, where I was forced to stock mass produced, impersonal greeting cards and listen to Michael Bublé’s Caught in the Act album on repeat. I still cringe whenever I hear a Bublé track.

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Ah, depression, you miserable bitch. Anyone who has ever suffered from this condition knows it can be dark, cold, and hopeless. Whether you’re depressed due to life circumstances, or a chemical imbalance, or (most usually) both, depression is never fun, and it’s hard to shake. But what happens when it’s not you who is down, but your partner?

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