Could use some guidance on this…
I have a black girlfriend. We’ve been dating 6 weeks and everything has been great. Deep connection. Aligned values. Undeniable physical attraction. It’s the most heart centered relationship of my life.
We were driving on Saturday and she saw a Trump 2020 sign & cracked a joke. She then asked if I’m voting for him this fall. I said yes I am.
She was taken aback. I was driving but could tell she was upset & trying to process. We arrived to our destination and had a long conversation in the parked car.
She didn’t understand “how a man with a great heart could vote for a man of hate.” I explained that I’d never seen, heard, or perceived hate from him. I’ve seen the way his messages have been spun and redirected by all forms of media to distort his message and demonize him, but nothing directly from him that actually made him the evil man he’s perceived to be.
I also noted I found it odd he’s been in the public eye for decades, but only since running for office has he been labeled racist. Yes, he is brash, unlikable, and not easy to listen to. He is self righteous and has a fragile ego, but I don’t think it equates to hate. I mentioned how his policies align with my politics and how his fight on human trafficking doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
She was crying. She stated that her reality is affected by him on a daily basis because she’s a black female. “It’s not his polices, it’s him.”
She mentors female student athletes who are also directly affected by his words – “go back to your country.” She also gets comments directed toward her by others she perceives as a direct result from trumps rhetoric.
She apologized for reacting emotionally and told me although this is a major hurdle for her (what if this conversation came up with her friends & family), it’s not going to decide our fate.
The conversation was full of love & tears. We each gave space to speak and ears to listen & understand. In the end I lead us in prayer seeking love and wisdom, healing and unity.
How do I navigate this delicate quandary moving forward? We both know emotions are bound to ramp up leading up to the election.
Sad to say this situation ain’t an easy one… and my advice is very contingent based on things that may or may not happen.
First, I want to emphasize how amazing (and increasingly rare) the health of this conversation was. Although there was a bit of the moral shaming (“how a man with a great heart like you could vote for a man of hate”), overall she wanted you to speak, didn’t demand you change your opinion — and even apologized, swearing this wouldn’t affect you two.
These are very good signs that you are dealing with an emotionally healthy woman. Whether her perception of things is accurate or not, she’s not only entitled to experience, she’s a woman and she’s going to have her feelings. What matters isn’t that she expresses them, but that she allows you the space to have your own.
Which means there is hope.
That said, the situation as the year goes on is only going to get worse. And even if and when the political climate changes… there are some non-political things that are always going to be very difficult to reconcile.
I am going to make a comment here that is very very controversial (and is by no means a moral judgment).
But interracial dating doesn’t work more often than not for a reason. You guys not only have completely different cultural and ethnic experiences, but as a result of these experiences are likely to have differing worldviews — worldviews that are often predicated on a specific group identity. Interracial dating that works invariably is bound together by strong religious ties, or by one of the individuals associating with the culture of the other.
White-asian couples, for instance, tend to work more than other pairings because there is a very real phenomenon of asian immigrants assimilating into “white” culture. Similarly, black-hispanic couples are not uncommon (especially among Caribbean hispanics) as their experiences and cultures overlap.
Black and white couples, in contrast, tend to have less of this — and most importantly even have implicit antagonism due to past experiences between races.
In other words, shared values become even more essential than they already are when dating across races because there are so many other structural frictions to overcome.
To whit, I have seen successful white couples who disagree politically, but I have never seen a black-white couple survive like this. I’m sure they exist… but the point I’m making here is that the odds are not good.
This doesn’t mean you break things off. I believe you both have a lot to learn from each other, and there is a lot of opportunity here for healing larger wounds neither of you were responsible for.
But there is a real risk over time that when her emotions get triggered by political events she will view you more and more like the “oppressive white guy” due to your political orientation, despite the fact you, as a person, are offering her nothing but love. This will of course degrade the connection within the relationship, and push you apart.
Time will tell. But my guess is that the only way things will ultimately work out is if her perception of events — including the orange man himself — begins to change.What you cannot do, however, is allow yourself to enter into a position of guilt.
Holding space for her like you did is essential, but if the dynamic starts to make implicit or explicit that you are a bad guy, if blame starts to accrue — you need to do the mature thing for both of you and get out.
The difficult thing about dating is you’ll run into people who in so many ways complete you. There is natural chemistry and connection; you trust them. You might even love them.
But relationships are about building a life together. And if you are going to build a life with someone, there is no compromising on who you are.
If you need help finding a woman like this… and keeping her…
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