I have known for some time that my girlfriend does not like Stefan. I've been listening to him for a year and a half and I have dated her for a year now. She just told me that she hates Stefan and is worried that I will become like him. After diving into this issue, it seems like she has decided to never like him and does not want me to listen to him. She has tried listening to him because she wants to better understand me and why I like him, but she always ends up angry. I don't know what to do with this information, and I need a little help. I know some people's immediate advice would be...dump her...she has revealed her true colors as a emotional leftist nut. It's never so black and white.
I met my girlfriend when I was 18 and she was 17. I immediately took to the honest, smart, hard-working, pretty, country girl and her warm and welcoming family. I went off to college and we continued a long-distance relationship. It was very hard for me to stay close to her when we were so far away. I found myself wanting to be free of her. She then came to my college and it was great to finally have her there with me, but I started to feel like she was using me to define herself. She adored me and would acquiesce to my opinions. I started to feel like I wasn't dating a real person anymore...just a shadow of myself. We broke up and didn't speak for 3 years. In that time I had graduated from college and finished up my first year of medical school. I had dated around, but every girl I met had the same peculiar lack of agency. They were lost and didn't know what they wanted or what they thought. Even in medical school, I couldn't find anybody who I got excited about. Of course, I didn't have much time to be looking. The summer after my first year of medical school, my high-school sweetheart contacted me to ask about the volunteer work I had done overseas. It turned out that I had gone to the same clinic in the same small village, in the same country she had volunteered in twice during undergrad. I had a great time catching up with her over drinks back home where we had first met. I recognized that smart, pretty, farm-girl from all those years back, but something was different. She had opinions about everything and seemed to have really come into her own. A few days later, a fishing date heated up and it didn't take long for us both to see if there was something there. One big problem was that she would now be attending a different medical school in a different state and we would be starting a long-distance relationship that would remain long-distance for the next 4 years at the very least. I was terrified. Over the next year we were each other's rock. We complained about the long days of endless studying and talked about a distant future together. Over that same year I found Stefan...and immediately fell in love. I have had libertarian beliefs since childhood and was always frustrated by the inconsistencies around me. When I heard Stefan's logical, humorous, virtuous, consistent voice, everything else started to sound like pointless squawking. During study breaks, while making and eating meals, and during car rides I became familiar with Stefan and his view of the world. In many ways, it mirrored my current views, but it also patched up the cracks that had been unconsciously straining me. I felt whole. Perhaps some of you recognize that feeling. While my relationship with Stefan made me whole, my relationship with my girlfriend started taking a turn for the worse. Discussions about my support for Donald Trump, doubts about climate change, and numerous other issues quickly turned into heated arguments that left me confused and her in tears. I realized that she had developed some sacred cows during the three years we were apart. That time was spent with a slew of SJWs while she got her degree in environmental science and took Justice and Peace Studies courses. As I explored other issues with her, I encountered land mine after land mine that would leave me bleeding and confused. I knew she was a reasonable girl. Hell, she reads textbooks all day and had been conservative on most issues her whole life. I was fine avoiding certain topics with her, and I thought I could allow a little bit of irrationality in such a rational girl. This all brings me to the other night…
Out of the blue, she told me that she had tried to listen to more of Stefan’s material and that it had made her mad. She wanted to know what it would take for me to stop listening to Stefan. I asked her why she was asking that. She said that she wanted to know how committed I was to him. I told her that I enjoy listening to his podcasts and that they seem to center me. The ones on news are sometimes the best collection of facts about an event. I told her that if Stefan started making bad arguments and divorced himself from what so far has been impeccable consistency then I would stop listening. She asked, if it ever were to come to the point where she thought I was changing, would I stop because she wanted me to. I then asked, “ Are you asking me to stop listening to Stefan?” She said no. I told her, “If I thought you were the sort of girl who would ask me to choose between a philosophy podcaster and her, then we wouldn’t be dating. She proceeded to tell me about her worries that Stefan was changing me for the worse… At one point she compared Freedomain Radio to a cult. She thinks that I blindly follow whatever Stefan says. I felt very insulted. She says that she thinks that I am a great person. She loves me and wants what’s best for me. She sees me get frustrated with the world and thinks that that means I am not happy. She said that she just wants me to be happy. I told her that both she and Stefan are in part responsible for my happiness and that she would do well to get on the same team. In the past, her arguments against Stefan start with a critique of what he says usually based in a misunderstanding or contortion on her part and then morph into a critique on the way he speaks/makes a point. I like the way he speaks/makes points, but she thinks that he is rude and abrasive and purposefully riles people up. His rudeness is only in response to rudeness. Also, he demands consistency from people, which can come across as abrasive at times, but which is necessary. The fact that when he has logical and consistent callers, the conversations are fun and amiable is no accident. To find truth, we must castigate sophists. I do understand her concern. We become who we surround ourselves with, and she doesn't like who I am surrounding myself with. She doesn't want me to change. I think that if any change has or will occur coming out of listening to Stefan, it is probably me becoming a more true version of myself.
So, I don’t know what to do. She seems pretty set in her assessment of Stefan. This may just be something we don’t talk about, like global warming or the border wall (Still no idea why). Aside from the lunacy surrounding Stefan, this is one of the best people I’ve ever met…honest, generous, courageous, smart, loving, and completely devoted to me. I know that life is never black and white, no one is perfect, and that the man who doesn’t ever compromise becomes stone. I know you can’t know her particularly well from what I’ve laid out here and that I’ve mostly presented red flags, but my underly questions is - Is her almost visceral aversion to Stefan a good look at what might be/become a visceral aversion to me? Should I hold liking Stefan as a standard? No one has the answers, but some guidance would be appreciated.