What Brexit Says About Your Love Life

Brexiters v. Remainers. It's a tribal thing…

Generally, post-coital conversation runs along the lines of, “Wow, that was fantastic.” or “Mmm, we should do this more often.”

But not since the referendum.

“Do all these numpties who voted to leave the EU not understand the implications?” ranted David the other day before we’d even stopped panting.

Being from the U.S., not able to vote here, and much more concerned with the possibility of a Trump presidency, I freely admit I’ve remained ignorant about what the outcome might be if the UK leaves the EU.

“Darling, I’ve never heard you get your panties in a wad about anything. I find it fascinating to see you apoplectic about this.” I pulled up the duvet and wrapped an arm around him. David is one of the most patient, pragmatic and practiced men I’ve ever known, especially concerning matters of the heart. He spent three years living with Pygmies in the Congolese jungle doing anthropology research. Now he’s active in the Conscious Kink community. The man is as open-minded as a Bodhisattva.

David went on to list off what he felt Brexit would do; trash the economy, leave Europe vulnerable to an aggressive Russia, not to mention keep out all the skilled labourers who were finally bringing Britain’s plumbing up to 21st century standards. I lay there and listened. But as he caricatured the 52%-ers as xenophobic, uneducated and ignorant, I felt a need to challenge his beliefs.

“Look, everybody wants to feel like they have their own tribe. The EU has blurred tribal lines and a bunch of people want to re-establish their sense of sovereignty. But here’s what I think is really going on: you don’t want to be told to be monogamous.”

It sounds silly, but I’m going to boil it down to this: the Brexiters are solidly, traditionally married. They are faithful to God and country and to one person for life. So devoted to this idea of fidelity, anything that threatens their relationship with the home country should be fought, their beloved defended. Too much outside influence could erode the ongoing love affair they have with all things British. They want the security of coming home to the same familiar, if not increasingly saggy, face of their spouse. Let’s admit it; many of us want the comfort of an exclusive relationship with no outside hanky panky.

The ones calling the Brexiters simple-minded surely see themselves as more sanguine about long term relationships. ‘I love you, my dear. But people change. We won’t possibly be the same at 50 as we are now at 30. Let’s do our best, keep each other informed of our needs, and negotiate the differences. Now, laters. I’m off to meet my French lover.’

So I must say, on perhaps a completely numpty-minded note, I understand these people who opted to vote ‘Leave.’ They are the traditionalists in love, the romantics who want to preserve the marriage, the fighters against the marauding invaders who want to steal their virgins. That’s not to say I agree with them. I’m terribly irritated that the old school traditionalists are attempting to dictate the kind of relationships the young people of this country should have: towel on the bed, missionary position – now that’s the way it’s done, kiddos!

Personally, I prefer blurring the relationship lines and moving seamlessly from one culture to another, working with people who don’t think like I do but want to enjoy the conversation nonetheless. I like going to a party and flirting with the crowd.

And besides, the French really are better kissers.

Love, Karin

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