With Election Day just around the corner, I’ve noticed a lot of my Facebook friends being way less tolerant about political views that differ from theirs. I’ve witnessed “un-friending” announcements and call-outs in the comments of politics-related status updates. With dating and relationships on the brain (as always), of course I found myself wondering how this political climate is affecting our love lives.
Through the interview process for my latest vlog, Is Politics a Dating Deal Breaker?, I learned that political differences can cause conflict in a relationship, but that they don’t necessarily have to be a deal breaker. Here are 3 political problems I heard about, and solutions to get past each.
Problem #1: My partner sees EVERYTHING as political—and I don’t.
You know those people who make everything into a conspiracy by the government, or who can’t get through dinner without pointing out all the ways the restaurant is not “green”? If you’re not as passionate about the same issue, this might get old really fast.
Solution: Remind your sweetie that being present and in the moment (with you!) is just as important. Interviewee K-Swift has to be reminded of this sometimes:
Problem #2: The views of our families conflict.
You can choose your mate, but you can’t choose their family—or yours, for that matter. So what do you do when grandma makes a racially insensitive statement at Thanksgiving dinner?
Solution: Pick your battles and remember there is a time and place for everything. Natasha’s take:
Problem #3: We just don’t see things the same way.
Probably the most common conflict of all: You think you’ve found the one, but every time you talk about your political beliefs, the “love” seemingly goes out the window. Sounds like an impossible situation, but does it have to be?
Solution: Decide it’s okay to agree to disagree. Or, in the words of Obama, disagree without being disagreeable. Henry, tells us how he (a conservative) and his wife (a liberal) make their relationship work:
How does politics affect your relationships (romantic or otherwise)? Could you see yourself in a “bipartisan” relationship?
Originally posted over at Bedsider on 11/01/12.