Dear According to T,
I’ve been looking for this person who would bring me back to a place of loving that I recently lost. I think I’ve found him. We laugh together, share personal moments, and have been intimate once, which was amazing. Here’s my personal war, he’s very plugged into social issues and is very liberated in his thinking. He identifies as queer, loves drag (and does it), and is not dogmatic. In recent months, I’ve learned that my belief system is shifting and I enjoy whimsical faith. He makes me feel free, but at times I feel his thinking is light years beyond my own and I worry that I’m shallow, even though he doesn’t see me that way. Should I try to plug myself in more to political and social issues just to be able to keep up with him?
Dear Questioning Queer,
Thanks for writing to me. Let me start off by saying that I’m happy you have been able to allow yourself to love again, or at least really like. After losing a romantic relationship, I know it can be a difficult process to bring yourself to the point you are ready to let someone in your heart again, so kudos!
And while I’m glad you have found someone and are willing to show interests in what he likes, I caution you against transforming into someone that you’re not. If continual conversations about today’s hot topics in the political and social arenas don’t appeal to you, then it’s okay to tell him that. Heck, if you like talking about The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Walking Dead, then work those things into the dialogues you two share. You don’t want a lopsided relationship where only one of you is getting to know the other.
Let me tell you about one of my ghosts of dating pasts, as it relates to your situation! A few years ago I had met a guy on one of these dating apps. He seemed really cool at first, and his thinking appeared to transcend traditional thought sometimes. Like your current or potential boo, this guy was very in touch with political and social issues. And I attempted to get more in tune with these issues, so we would always have something to talk about. However after a while, I started to feel like I was dating Freddie Brooks from A Different World. We rarely talked about anything else. I eventually snapped on him because I couldn’t take it anymore. The funny thing is, he actually felt some type of way about me not being honest about who I am. He didn’t get upset about the fact I didn’t want to discuss wars and injustices all the time. He got upset because I didn’t allow him the opportunity to get to know the real me.
Look, although it has been said “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” that’s not exactly something you should strive for in a relationship. You don’t want to transform into the person you are dating, because no matter what anyone says, no one wants to end up dating “themselves.” A real man wants to date someone with his/her own thoughts, likes, and dislikes. Given that the person you are dating said he doesn’t find you shallow for your true interests, he sounds like a real man. So be yourself!
Going forward here are my suggestions.
- If you genuinely start taking more of an interest in political and social issues, that’s great. But if you find that you aren’t really a guy that loves watching CNN or closely following issues presented by NAACP, then don’t pretend be. If you are going to build something real with this guy, then let him get to know the real Questioning Queer. LOL!
- Even if you don’t take a heavy interest in political and social issues, you should at least stay abreast of current issues. A little knowledge of such will help you when it comes time to vote.
- Reveal to this guy what your interests are too. This helps make sure you don’t run into a Freddie Brooks situation like I did.
- Do your best not to completely lose yourself in this man, or any man. Your friends should be able to recognize you as the same person whether you’re in a relationship or not.
As always nothing but love,