DEMOCRAP! REPUBLAMORON! Ahhh, the sounds of love, right? Not so much. In the US, we live in a climate now where people feel defined by their political stance. More and more people are pushing you to take a one side or the other stance.
Now, we’re not a political website, so we’re not going to debate whether we think that the cut and dry approach is right or wrong. But, what we are going to talk about is how this is starting to permeate into the world of dating.
Can you date someone with different political views than you? Is this an “opposites attract” type thing or is this a recipe for disaster and World War 3? Well, in this guide, we’re going to take a look at that. We’ll talk about the different factors you need to consider when deciding if you can date someone with different political views. Then, we’ll talk about what to do if you decide it’s something you want to pursue.
So, let’s put the name calling aside for just a few moments, and discuss dating with different political views.
3 Questions to Ask About Dating With Different Political Views
Where we’d like to start our discussion is helping you to decide if you’re in a good position to date someone with different political views. We’ve included three questions to ask yourself that can help you figure out if it’s something that’s going to work or a potential disaster.
1. How important are your politics to you?
The first thing you need to look at when deciding whether you can date someone with different political views is how important those views are to you.
Are you someone who casually watches the news to stay up to date on the happenings or do you Feel the Bern or have a MAGA hat that you refuse to leave the house without?
If you fall into the latter category, it’s probably not a good idea to date someone with wildly different political views than you.
For some people, politics is just something that we address every two years, and they go with the flow. Others—politics is life. And that means that it’s going to permeate over into their dating life. In past years, we’d say that more people fell into the category of going with the flow with spikes of interest every couple of years around election time.
But, as time has gone on, it seems that more people are actively getting involved in politics. Unfortunately, a lot of those people are adopting the “stick in the mud” stance on everything. Basically, it’s their way or the highway (on both sides of the aisle). If you don’t believe us, go on Facebook or social media and see if you can find anyone convincing someone to change their mind on anything political related.
If you’re on the fence about dating someone who has a different political view than you, take some time to look inward and figure out just how important your politics are to you.
Here’s the bottom line on this:
- If politics are extremely important to you—stick to dating people who share similar viewpoints as you.
- If politics aren’t that important to you—you can probably branch out and date anyone with views that don’t contradict the few things you do find important.
This is 100% an area where an opposites attract mentality does not apply.
2. Are politics a moral issue for you?
Something else you can look at when determining the level of importance of politics to you to in turn figure out if you can rationally date someone from a different political party is whether or not politics are a moral issue for you.
For some singles out there, politics are a “government” thing, and while they agree and disagree with some things, it’s something that stops there. It might be important to them, but it doesn’t dig into their moral fibers.
But for a growing number of singles out there, politics is becoming a moral issue. They find certain views by the other party to be morally reprehensible. Things like abortion stances, immigration stances, treatment of the less fortunate, etc. Take your pick.
If politics for you revolves around a lot of these emotionally charged moral issues, dating someone that is on the other side of the political aisle could be a disaster waiting to happen.
Would you date someone who had different morals than you (politics aside)? Probably not. So, if politics is a moral issue for you, should you date someone that has different politics than you? Again, probably not.
We can’t tell you whether or not politics is a moral issue for you or just something that you can agree and disagree with people on without judging their moral character for their different views. But, this is the key to figuring out if you can date someone from a different political party.
3. How far apart are you and your mate’s political views?
Another good indicator of whether things will work or not is looking at how far apart your views are. Just because they call themselves the nasty D word or the repulsive R word (their words, not ours) does not mean you know their stance on everything especially the issues that are important to you.
Our society almost forces people to pick a party to stand behind. It’s CNN or FOX or else you’re a lazy racist tree hugging communist (we tried to throw in as many buzzwords as possible) who doesn’t care about the world.
But, in the real world, it’s not as cut and dry. There are a lot of people that might identify with one of the parties, but have wildly different views than that political party’s base does.
How do you find this out? You ask. You have an adult conversation. Don’t go into the conversation looking to argue or change their mind on anything. Just tell them you’d like to see where they stand on some things.
The more adult you can be about this, the better. If you’re incapable of having this conversation without losing your mind and going nuts, then you probably should just go ahead and assume you cannot date anyone from the opposite political party.
If you differ on major issues, it’s less likely that a relationship will work out. But, if you only differ on smaller issues or issues that are of lesser importance to both of you, then it can probably work. But, you’re never going to know any of that unless you have a conversation about it.
Remember, the purpose of dating is not to make the other person happy or impress them. The purpose of dating is to figure out if you are or are not compatible with someone. Dating is a win as long as you get to one of those conclusions.
A Relationship Takes Two People
While this isn’t a question, it’s something you need to remember as you address these questions in your life.
A relationship takes two people. You can ask these questions of yourself, but you also have to consider that your potential mate might have different views about this as well. Politics might not be a moral issue for you, and you might be completely okay with someone else having different views on major issues. But, they might not.
While it can be touchy to discuss politics early on in a new relationship, it might be something worth doing to avoid more potential heartache down the road. Sure, mama always said not to talk about politics, money, or religion with someone you just met, but that seems like some outdated advice to us. Mama didn’t realize just how politically charged our nation’s climate would be these days.
How to Date Someone With Different Political Views
So, let’s say that you’ve gone through the above vetting processes and you’ve decided that the person you’re interested in dating who has different political views is worth it. How do you go about handling this? Do you just ignore the elephant (pun intended) in the room or do you address it? Well, let’s take a look at what we recommend.
Here are five tips that can help bridge the gap and make it work.
1. Don’t Ignore it or Pretend it Doesn’t Exist
This may seem wise, but it’s a big no-no. Doing that can hide potential problems without you even being aware of it. The purpose of dating is still to see if you’re compatible and while you’ve both chosen to give things a go, you still have to see if it’s going to work in practice.
We would recommend having an initial sit-down conversation (without alcohol!) about it. Air out any concerns and make sure that you both realize that you’re going to have differing views most likely forever.
After the initial conversation, there’s really no need to bring it up again unless you start to have concerns or issues arise. You shouldn’t ignore talking about political issues if you want to, but there’s no need to force conversations. Once you air it all out, the issue can effectively be put to rest.
2. Verbally Admit You’re Not Going to Try and Change Each Other
Yes, you need to say this out loud to each other. That way if one of you ever tries it, the other can bring that up and put the other in check before they do something to damage the relationship.
And make sure it sinks in what you are saying.
Do not go into a relationship agreeing not to change each other’s political views with secret ambitions that “they will come around.”
If you agree that you’re okay with their different viewpoints, you need to mean it. If you really aren’t okay with it, then you need to get out of the relationship or stop pursuing them and move on.
We’re not trying to be harsh here, but if you don’t take the appropriate steps, you are just setting you both up for pain later on down the road.
3. Realize Politics Isn’t Everything
The news media and many on social media would have you believe that the entire point of life is to trash the other political side as much as possible. Here’s a newsflash. They are wrong. While we commend them for taking up an issue, it’s not the meaning of life. And again, we are talking to both sides of the aisle.
There are many other joys and reasons to live. If you can’t get past the political stuff, then you should only date people in the same political party as you. The bottom line is that you need to be honest with yourself at all stages of a new, forming, or existing relationship. Failure to do this will cause a lot of problems down the road.
4. Understand Disagreeing On Some Issues Is Okay
Believe it or not, disagreeing on issues with your significant other is okay—with some caveats. While we advised you to fish out all of your political deal breakers in the first part of this article (before you start dating), that doesn’t always cover everything. There may be issues you didn’t think to talk about or there could be new political issues that come up.
This means you may find yourself in a relationship with someone and newly found political disagreements may come up. What do you do in these situations? Start by not panicking. It’s okay.
What you need to do next is determine how important the issue at hand is. Is it something built into what morally makes you who you are? Or is it something that maybe annoys you a bit but isn’t a deal breaker for you. Determining this will determine if the relationship can succeed with these different political views.
We do recommend that regardless of the level or importance you have a calm discussion and really hear your partner out. Maybe they don’t fully understand the issue at hand, or maybe there is a smaller aspect that is really their sticking point?
Don’t just assume that everything is black and white and that their single statement of disagreement means a total loss.
After the discussion, then you can decide if this has any effect on the future of the relationship. If it’s something you won’t be able to get over and no one wants to budge, you may need to start looking into breaking up. If you can work past it, put in the work!
Good luck out there. We vote for love!
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, NBC, FOX, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.