Activism and... Romance

IssueFebruary 2010

I did meet my partner while we were organising a demonstration and we became close during that process. That was very important because we identified something that was very important to know about your partner: that we shared a vision of right and wrong and a willingness to do something about it – though probably more in his case.
They’re both similar things, activism and romance: they excite passion and commitment and you have to keep going at it even when you don’t feel like it!
It’s definitely a good thing to get together during activism – if you stay together (two children and domestic harmony later).
It’s the same thing as any other kind of work; it is hard to keep working in the same field when you’ve broken up with someone.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend getting involved with someone at work. Work throws random people together, whereas activism throws together people who have something in common, so relationships are more likely to survive.

How many sexual liaisons with other activists have I had, is that what you’re asking?! I would say activism is a good place to meet the love of one’s life. It was for me. I know many fellow activists who have found love and romance while working for love in the world It can also damage relationships in terms of the amount of time action can take, the feeling of being impelled to save the world while perhaps neglecting your relationship.

The Climate Camp process – a whole weekend gathering once a month privileges people in relationships who are both involved in CC– because it is hard to give up that weekend otherwise.
It's a good idea and a bad idea. Good idea because you have shared interests. Bad idea because it introduces an additional complicating dynamic into the group. It's an extra tension. If the two people who are in a relationship disagree in the meeting, is it about the issue or about their relationship?
It's also hard for the relationship. You have to conduct your relationship in public. Someone once commented on my relationships in the minutes of a meeting.
It's easier to think of things to do with your new partner. It can cause conflict. Does a meeting count as time spent together? Probably not.

I went to the camp because I was interested in what they were doing there. I ended up particularly chatting to one person. His dog had just had puppies. Even though I wasn't particularly into animals, I said I would go and have a look at the puppies, and this led to us spending some time alone together….
My initial thoughts about activism and romance are that you get the same rush and intensity of feeling when you're in love with someone, as the rush and adrenaline that you get when you're doing something you really believe in. If you can find someone who wants to do those same things, then you get double the good feeling!

Topics: Activism
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