Remember when we all thought that 2016 was a particularly terrible year? Well, if last year was like a flaming bag of crap on your doorstep, 2017 is that bag catching the whole house on fire. The news can be emotionally taxing for many, many reasons, but lately its been seeping into one aspect of my life that used to feel like pure fun and escapism: 2017 is fucking up my dating life.
Etiquette says you should never discuss politics, religion, or sex on a first date. But between near-constant attacks on women's health, a president whose mere tweeting can cause panic, and case after case of high profile sexual assault or harassment, it's impossible not to talk about these things. Politics and sex have become the big, ugly elephants in the room on every first date. And I used to love elephants. 2017 has ruined elephants. I'm pissed.
And it's not just me! My dates can't help but bring up sex and politics, either — and let me tell you, this does not make it better. Instead, I've found myself navigating loaded first-date conversations that never would have come up in another year. Gone are the days of asking about someone's last great vacation. Now we're parsing whether abortion after 20 weeks should be regulated, while wondering how many drinks is enough to just straight ask who the other voted for in 2016.
Don't believe me? Ahead, find a handful of the crazy conversations I've had in the past year. Tell me how you've handled dates like this in the comments below. Because my desire for a meaningful relationship and hot sex means I'm not giving up dating anytime soon, so the conversational hits are just going to keep coming.