Brandon and I both did our fair share of dating before coming to the (quite correct) conclusion that we are pretty darn good for each other. We were trading tales from our more hedonistic days awhile back and came to the conclusion that dating as a democratic socialist has its own peculiarities (looking for what the heck democratic socialist values are? Try here).
For example, splitting the check. Seems obvious, right? It’s the most fair way to handle the bill. We both had really different experiences with this. Brandon actually had young ladies tell him they had a great time on a first date, but didn’t want to go out again solely because he didn’t pay the whole bill. For me, as a lady, I had more than one gentleman take it as a sign that I didn’t like them and did not want to go out again.
The pervasive nature of a belief system is such that it touches everything you do. With regards to socialism, this often means that you have a relentless awareness of class struggles and inequality (it’s like that Futurama joke, “you watched it! You can’t unwatch it!”) that you just can’t get past. I once found myself on a first date where I was involved in a heated debate with a restaurant owner about paying servers a living wage…. While my date was waiting impatiently to order a bottle of wine across the table from me. He could not understand why I would want to be a part of that, but to me life is all about starting those kinds of conversations. I was accused of being too serious and a pessimist, even though I am by my nature a pretty light-hearted person.
Thinking about all of this made me wonder if I could date someone with really different beliefs from mine… And I think I could, as long as they were reasoned and passionate. Apathy is just not attractive. That said, I am very happy that I found my comrade in Brandon.