I’ve always said that having differences of opinions about topics is good for a relationship. Too many times I have heard that a couple stopped dating “because he/she thought ______. I mean isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard.” No. Breaking up with them over that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard – or one of the top ten. I know someone who told me years ago that she couldn’t go out any more with the “guy” she had been dating because he pronounced the “l” sound in the word “almonds.” Excuse me. What? You stopped dating someone because of how he pronounced a word? And I suppose you pronounce everything perfectly? I still can’t believe that the girl stuck by her reasoning and still does to this day!
It doesn’t take a political science major or someone glued to cable news to figure out that the world we are living in today is much different from the world even three years ago. A person has to watch every syllable that comes out of his/her mouth and they have to be careful that their actions aren’t misinterpreted by a stranger on the street, or that some “Karen” won’t jump out at them from behind an aisle in the supermarket or from a bush in the park telling them that their face mask isn’t up to code or that they don’t think you are six feet apart from them – even though they were the ones who jumped out towards you to verbally ambush you.
Why should the shidduch world be any different? Whatever happens in the secular world makes its way into the frum world, and in this case, the dating world. Please read on.
I don’t even know what to say. This is a crazy situation. Maybe you can help.
I’ve been dating someone for a nice stretch of time, almost two months I think. It’s the longest relationship I have ever had. We aren’t very serious, talking marriage yet, but we are serious enough for me to be worried about this.
On our last date, four days ago, the conversation turned political. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but apparently our views are opposite. This was a huge deal for the guy. He kept saying that he couldn’t believe that I thought this way (I won’t tell you what each of our views are). I said that I could say the same about him. But I didn’t really care. I told him that we can still feel whatever we feel as long as one doesn’t try to convert the other. I thought that was adding levity to the situation.
Well, it’s been four days since I’ve heard from him. I texted him the next day, not realizing he may be upset. I just sent a usual type of text. I didn’t receive an answer. Later that night, I called and left a voicemail message. He never responded to either text or voicemail. I called my friend who is engaged to his friend, which is how we met in the first place. I asked her if her chasan has heard anything. I told her that the only thing I could think of that he may be annoyed about is the political issue, but he can’t be avoiding me for that – can he? My friend said she would find out from her chasan. She reminded me of how busy my boyfriend, I guess that’s what he is or was, is with school and work (He’s going to school at night to earn his MBA). I added that I knew, but it takes only seconds to send a text. She agreed and said she would let me know.
My friend called me when she knew I wasn’t going to be available to take calls, leaving a message like, “Hi. Call me back when you can.” I did. But I haven’t heard from her except for a text message that said, “I’ll call you soon.”
You don’t think that he broke up with me by ghosting me because of political views, and my friend is too afraid to say something. Do you? As more time goes by, that’s what I’m feeling.
Shari, thanks for your email.
I don’t know what to say. You had been dating someone for almost two months without an issue, and after an argument about politics, he’s gone radio silent. Your friend doesn’t seem to be much help either, if indeed she specifically called you when she knew you were not available to speak.
What I do know is that politics is a minefield of a topic, and I don’t look good wearing a bomb squad heavy suit, so I stay clear of that topic. All I have to do is turn on Fox News or CNN or even a local CBS station and I guarantee you I will see a story about how someone was attacked verbally or even physically for voicing his/her political opinion. Sometimes the person doesn’t even have to say anything and will get attacked because of something he is or isn’t wearing. I am not joking when I say I do not touch that topic with people other than my husband, father, sister, and nieces, and even among that small group there are differences of opinion.
When I began my new job, one of the first questions my assistant asked me was, “Trump supporter?” I told him I wasn’t answering that question – not because I am or am not, but because I’m not going to find out in the first five minutes of meeting him that I couldn’t stand him and now we’d be stuck together until one of us quits or is fired. He didn’t care. He told me his views. I didn’t tell him, but I can tell you, I share his views.
Shari, I’m at a loss for words. Unfortunately, I can understand that this may have happened. I don’t know how much of a disagreement you had or opposing your views were from the fellow, but nothing surprises me these days. Maybe this fellow needs some time to calm down and get used to the fact that the woman he is dating has formed her own opinions and beliefs. It’s sad, but some may have a hard time accepting that. Or he may be busy, as you hinted, but too busy to send a ten-second text? No one is that busy. I’m bothered by your friends’ actions, as well. Just the fact that your friend hasn’t really gotten back to you, because let’s face it, at the end of the day, she has not attempted to reach you when you were available. If she was able to find out that your thinking was dead on, she may not want to be the one to break the news to you. But she would only be dragging things out by putting it off. Maybe she doesn’t want any type of discord close to her wedding, because both of you play an important part to the couple. It can also be that your friend has poor timing. I don’t know.
A lot of unknown variables here: What side of the political aisle you and this fellow are on, how strongly you each feel about your opinions, how he felt about your differences and then his reaction to your opinion, is he really very busy that he can’t text? But prepare yourself for a grim reality. He may have broken up with you (the cowardly way). Yes, I will say, “Better that you found out what type of person he is now, rather than later, when you get deeper into the relationship or engaged.” I’m only saying that because it is true; but I also know that it’s going to hurt. It doesn’t matter if he ended things because of the color of your shirt or because you had a real disagreement; this was someone you liked and he basically disappeared from your life. In time you will feel as the quote I quoted said, but right now and for a little while it’s gonna be hard. Your heart will break. Maybe listen to some Sarah McLachlan music or watch The Notebook or Dear John with Amanda Seyfried. (You thought I’d say Channing Tatum. Puh-lease, why go for the obvious?) If I had to make a judgment call about this with only your letter and a minute to think, I’d think he is breaking up with you. But I really hope I’m wrong.
Please send me a follow-up email in a few weeks just to let me know how you are, and if I am wrong. I will gladly eat humble pie.
Hatzlachah to you all!