Donald Trump is not only destroying America, he is destroying my chance at romance.
As a single woman living in downtown Toronto, I meet all sorts of men. In February of 2016, however, while taking the subway to work, one in particular caught my eye. We began to chat and I found myself instantly drawn to him.
I noticed early on that our politics were different. I strive to build my life around progressive ideals -- I work for a non-profit organization, actively participate in public demonstrations and protests, and am looking for a "life partner." He was traditional, conservative, worked in corporate finance, and was hoping to find a "wife."
Such strong political differences would usually be enough to turn me off, but there was something about our connection that made it hard for me to walk away. I decided that instead of following my regular pattern of cutting and running, I would give us a chance to explore these differences and see what comes of it.
It worked out very well! What was a fairly slow start turned into something more serious. As of October, we were officially a thing.
But there was a cloud hanging over us, threatening to ruin our happiness: The 2016 presidential election.
I did my best to shelter our love from that external reality because I feared ruining a good thing. I knew that if my man in any way supported Trump, it would be hard for me to stay with him.
I chose to remain in ignorant bliss as opposed to facing the alternative facts. I even ensured we attended separate election night parties so that I could maintain my commitment to avoidance, and therefore, to him.
My expert attempts to keep politics out of our relationship worked well until Trump took office. The POTUS began to take measures that would weaken the affordable care act, environmental protections, the rights of immigrants and refugees, and women's reproductive health.
For me, all of this was too much. I grew weary and needed support to cope with the sense of despair I felt was about to consume me.
I reached out to my gentleman friend, and thus began the beginning of the end of our relationship.
Trump's decisions that I found horrifying, my fella felt were "quite reasonable." Trumps statements that I found divisive and hate-filled, my gentleman thought were "being blown out of proportion." I had concerns about the POTUS and his cabinet members' conflicts of interest, while my partner thought those same conflicts would help them "make sensible decisions."
As I discussed my dilemma with others, I learned that my experience was not unique.
As he expressed each of these beliefs, I could feel my love for him fading away. What I had suspected was made clear: for me, liking Donald Trump was a deal breaker.
I started wondering, "Am I being too picky?" "Are my standards too high?" "Am I expecting too much or just looking for a carbon copy of myself?"
I had an intelligent, kind, caring man (who, I might add, lived only an eight-minute walk from me. That kind of geographic convenience in a sprawling area like the GTA cannot be undervalued), and I am leaving him because our perspectives on Trump's actions differ???
As I discussed my dilemma with others, I learned that my experience was not unique. Trump was not only destroying my relationship, he was ruining family dinners, ending friendships, and causing rifts among otherwise collegial colleagues.
I began to ponder this phenomenon, and came to the following conclusion: disagreements over Trump do not simply reflect differences in opinion. Trump's outlandish style and disruptive decisions have come to serve as the vehicle through which individuals confront and evaluate differences between their core values.
I wasn't upset because my fella and I had political views that were not 100% aligned. What concerned me was that, in order to have said views, he must be operating by a set of values that differ so fundamentally from mine that they are almost incompatible.
So, here I am, on my own again. If there are any single, progressive-minded, Trump-hating men out there, drop me a line. Unlike the POTUS, I trust you won't grab me by the pussy.
Unless, of course, I want you to. ;-)
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