“Whaaaaa? You just never heard from him again? That is so odd!”
My sister sounded as confused as I did. A few dates. Good conversation. Emails. Texts. And then silence. No explanation. No awkward but appropriate “I don’t think I’m interested in anything ” email. Just radio silence.
It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened to me in my dating experiences. And I’m sure it won’t be the last. And as much as I try so very hard not to, it feels impossible to not wonder, “what did I do wrong?” Was it something I said?
Did I cross a line when I sent him that picture of President Obama riding a unicorn?
As most people know, I’ve never been shy about my political beliefs and opinions. You can blame/thank my parents for that. They taught me to not only speak up for what I believe in but to also put actions behind my words. As such, I’ve tried, to be involved in political movements when I can. One of my proudest moments was marching in protest in Washington DC on a cold rainy January day in 2005 as I watched President Bush be sworn in for another four years that I didn’t think he had earned. I’ve marched alongside my mother and my sister in DC as well to protect a woman’s right to choose. I’ve knocked on doors to get out the vote in 2 presidential, 1 governor, and 1 senator race. And I’ve made countless phone calls on behalf of candidates and other political groups. Oh and rallies. I love a good rally.
As we have just come through another election season, for the past two months or so I’ve been pretty involved in President Obama and Elizabeth Warren’s campaigns. And I’ve found myself being very open in real life and on Twitter and Facebook about my concerns for the country, for myself as a woman, and how much I support these two candidates. It would be natural that this outspokenness would fall into my dating life over the last month or so. Not even just about what is on my mind to discuss during a date but when it actually comes to planning the dates. I’ve been honest with prospective suitors that my schedule has been full with canvassing and phone calls and I’ve been scheduling dating *around* all of that rather than letting it take the place of some of my personal and political interests right now.
It’s interesting to think that people who went on dates with me this past August through early November may see a very different side of me than at other times. This is not to say I only talk politics during election season but I think that it has taken over my life a bit lately so it would be hard for that to not spill over into that aspect of me that people see when they date me now. I would imagine that someone who dates me in say February of next year may hear more about my love of bourbon and craft beer than my love of Elizabeth Warren or debates.
Talking about politics can be polarizing, no matter what the situation. I dated someone recently who had lived in DC for years and was pretty much over politics. I appreciated, though, that he would humor my enthusiasm. I also appreciated, when he seemed to have had enough, his exclamation of “I voted for your guy, ok?!?!?”
That’s what can be so difficult about dating. Sometimes it can feel like an audition or a job interview and you can walk away saying “but they didn’t get the full picture!!!” or “they didn’t get to see all of me or the best of me” etc. But my political involvement and passion *is* a part of me. And it’s an important part. And isn’t a partner supposed to accept all parts of you? Or at least try? Shouldn’t passion and enthusiasm be a good thing?
Maybe it wasn’t the political talk. Maybe it wasn’t the over-analysis of the debates. Maybe it wasn’t the unicorn picture. Maybe he met someone else. Maybe he didn’t like my hair. Maybe he didn’t like my clothes. Maybe he wasn’t interested in a relationship. With me. It’s hard sometimes when we don’t get the answers to questions we have in our head. This wouldn’t be the first time.
But what I do know is this. I will continue to be me. I will continue to be passionate. I will continue to care, deeply, about what matters to me.
Last night I watched as President Obama won another four years and as Massachusetts voted for its first female senator, Elizabeth Warren. And these two incredible victories reminded me that the whole is made up of smaller individual parts. Those victories were victories because of every single person who voted, who made phone calls, who went door to door, to talked to their friends and family, etc. And just as no person in this country is the same, no one part of me entirely defines who I am. I am made up of many colors. And I find comfort in that and in the idea that there may still be a person out there that will appreciate all of them.