Dear Dating Coach,
I am dating a guy I really like, but I have an unusual concern. My family and I have taken Covid very seriously, quarantining when we were supposed to, wearing a mask when asked, and of course taking the vaccine as soon as it became available. In all ways, this guy is everything I hoped for and we seem to be really compatible. In a recent discussion however, he conveyed his complete disregard for all thing Covid, and would NEVER consider getting vaccinated. I completely disagree with him! Now I am so confused. Can we still work, or does this mean we are not meant to be?
My preschooler had a birthday coming up and the cake had to be very specific. She had a list of requests (demands) that would make any bridezilla proud. So, when the Unicorn Cake arrived in all its glory, we breathed a collective sigh of glitter. The golden horn stood proud and shiny, the icing covered the cake in a perfect shade of sparkling white, and the layers of vanilla glistened to perfection. It was magnificent, and unicorns everywhere rejoiced. “Where is the Happy Birthday sign?” my delicate sweetheart asked (one foot stomp and one head shake included). “How do I know it’s my Birthday Cake if it doesn’t have the sign?” The situation had clearly taken a turn. We approached with bomb squad level care and explained that every detail of the cake designed just for her clearly proclaimed it as hers, sign or no sign. She took one teeny tiny bite (next year Duncan Hines!) and Unicorns reassured, took flight.
We Can Agree to Disagree…
Thank you for your letter, and while perhaps not something daters have dealt with in the past, it’s certainly a topic that is relevant today. You like so much about the guy you are dating and feel a connection. Your dates were going well, and you seemed to be on the same page. Yet, after an enlightening conversation about your respective Covid beliefs, you worry that you have unearthed a divide too big to bridge: His refusal to get the vaccine or take Covid seriously, in contrast to your sincere desire to follow the guidelines, specifically to vaccinate.
But We Don’t Need to Be…
I truly shudder at the notion that Covid can take another thing from us. We have struggled for so long now, that for Covid politics and principles to invade dating is a very difficult shot to take (pun intended.) Yet, the topic is fraught with strong opinions and emotions. While many of us have complied with vaccinations, there are still those that are staunch refusers and of course all are entitled to personal values. I think though, this is less about a vaccination and more about potential differences overall. Perhaps now you wonder if maybe you are not truly compatible at all, if this one issue is already so divisive.
This is the time to sit together and have an honest conversation. If you truly connect on every other level, and can find the respect to honor each other’s perspective, then you can move forward. If everything else tells you that this person is for you, give this a shot. (Pun overkill.) If however, you now discover that you disagree on a fundamental level of autonomy versus authority, it may be time to have a broader discussion. It is impossible to expect that a lifetime together will never bring a difference of opinion, but essential beliefs are a foundation you both should share. Take the time to explore your similarities, in the hope that this match will still look like it was created just for you.