After the election, I took a month off from dating.
Like many others in the country, particularly here in my delightfully liberal NYC enclave, I woke up miserable on November 9. I spent most of the day–the better part of a week, really–in tears. The thought of trying to converse, let alone flirt, with an unknown human was inconceivable.
Before the election, I was dating like it was my job. Really. I started working with a matchmaker in late September, and “dating” is an actual line item on my bullet journal’s habit tracker.
Now, though, when I’ve pulled myself together a bit and am trying to get back out there, it’s tough even to find someone to go out with. January is usually peak dating season, not yet in that awkward Valentine’s Day avoidance lull and right after people make resolutions to be better, to do more. This year…crickets. The matchmaker confirms that it’s not me–in the city, at least, no one is swiping, no one is matching, no one wants to be set up.
When I have managed to land a first date, it feels more akin to a therapy session at worst or a political rally at best. There is no line of conversation that doesn’t lead to a discussion about how scared and angry we are. And once that starts, it doesn’t end; there are too many dark alleys to explore: the failings of the Electoral College, the future of the Democratic Party, the complicity of the media, a thorough analysis of every single Cabinet appointee.
That is not sexy. I have yet to transition from that conversational quagmire into a hot makeout session.
And yes, since I can feel you rolling your eyes, I’m aware that we have bigger problems right now. But when the world has turned into a much darker, more ominous place than it was three months ago, I’m even more envious of my friends who have a safe harbor at home.
So who knows. Maybe we’ll eventually embrace an eat, drink, and be merry philosophy, and all the single people will get some end-of-the-world sex. Maybe I’ll meet a cute, liberal, feminist guy at one of the many organizing meetings I’m now attending. (My free time is yet another unexpected casualty of the Trump administration.) For now, though, my love life is just another reminder that things are not normal, and we are not okay.