I Almost Fell For A Die-Hard Trump Supporter But Dodged A Bullet

I broke up with my last boyfriend a few weeks after the 2016 presidential election. Once Trump moved into town, so did a lot of his supporters, and subsequently dating in historically democratic D.C. got… tricky. A profound progressive and feminist, I was shocked when I found myself accidentally almost falling for a Trump supporter.

  1. I have a “type” I usually go for on dating apps but I decided to take a chance. When I met this guy on Bumble, he didn’t really seem like the type of guy I usually swipe right on. I’m usually all about social justice warriors with glasses and cute smiles, but he was a buff military veteran. He also had a picture or two that showed him wearing camo and holding guns, which I don’t love, but I grew up in Michigan, so hunting is pretty standard. Still, he seemed genuine and sweet (and pretty cute!) in his profile, so I went for it.
  2. Our commonalities are what stood out to me. On our first date, we talked about our mutual faith and strong bonds with our families—things that were at the core of why I felt so attracted to him. I told myself that these were the most important qualities to have in common and allowed myself to overlook our basic incompatibility.
  3. He made me feel like I was at home. I grew up in a small town in the midwest and it honestly felt really nice to relive my high-school, small town, country song experience. Cuddling in the middle of his pickup truck and the sugary sweetness of holding hands and going on long walks without any strong sexual undertones made me feel nostalgic for a time when things were so much simpler.
  4. I let romance get in the way of what I really want in a partner. After a string of terrible dates with man-children, dating him felt like making dating great again. (Get it?) He seemed genuinely interested in seeing me again, made concrete plans, and treated me respectfully. It was like a whole new world.
  5. I ignored the red flags. Sure, there weren’t obvious signs like a confederate flag on his truck or a Pepe phone background, but there were definitely signs that something was amiss. When he talked about working on a submarine in the military, I asked him if he had any women in the crew (since women won the right to serve on submarines a few years ago, should they choose) and his reaction should have clued me into our extreme differences in political leanings. He honestly believed that women didn’t belong on submarines because it “complicated” things. While I would never willingly spend more than an hour on a submarine, I believe women should have equal rights to men as a base standard.
  6. I relied on being polite instead of asking him to clarify the weird stuff he said. Too often in my life, I exercise my privilege by just “letting things go.” Not everyone is “woke” but certainly digging into concerning speech is something that’s key to a relationship. Why I ignored some of his more questionable opinions, I don’t know, but I did.
  7. He knew I was a “Liberal Elite.” I was writing for a feminist website during the day and going on dates with him at night. I talked to him about work and things I was writing and he kept pretty quiet about work on his side. While I’m not perfect, dissent and standing up for the rights of others are obviously basic tenets in my life. I never knew he was a Trump supporter during our first dates, but 100% knew where I was on the political spectrum and didn’t seem to mind.
  8. When I found out about his love of Trump, I wasn’t actually that shocked. On our way back from dinner one night, we passed the Trump Hotel, which conspicuously sits in central downtown D.C. I was reminiscing on a time when the beautiful old building used to be a post office that Washingtonians would visit for a beautiful view of the monuments and downtown. When he asked why I couldn’t still visit, I disgustedly replied, “I would never step foot inside that place now.” He seemed shocked, so I kept explaining that it would make me feel like I was supporting Trump if I ever visited. “Well, I voted for him and I think he’s great,” he replied. It shocked me that this guy I liked so much would support Trump, but suddenly it all made sense.
  9. I allowed myself to finally speak up. Instead of ghosting, I aired my concerns and called off the relationship. The feeling was mutual. While those in long-term relationships may have a tough choice to make on what to do when the person they’re involved with disagrees with their beliefs or political leanings, the only choice for me was to get out now before we went any further.
  10. The fallout was civil, but I realized something about myself. While having political differences in a relationship is fine, dating someone that supports a dangerously volatile leader has no place in my heart. I encounter people with differences in opinion every day, but I can’t support a partner who supports someone that actively strips people of their rights and stands directly in the path of justice. Dating a Trump supporter in 2018? HARD swipe left.