The 2016 election erased a lot of taboos about politics. Once upon a time, it was considered uncouth to discuss who were voting for in the workplace, at dinner, or even with family. Now, people are practically shouting their political affiliations at anyone who will listen. But there’s still one unanswered question in this great political debate. Can you talk about politics with someone you’re dating? If she supports Trump, is that a deal breaker?
There are several very public instances of divisiveness within relationships. This guy’s boyfriend of 6 years dumped him for supporting Trump. And this woman claimed the Trump campaign brought out her boyfriend’s racist behavior. There’s even a Change.org petition for people who pledge not to date Trump supporters. But is all this necessary?
While the current political climate is one of the most divisive in history, this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, during which people with different political beliefs initiate romantic relationships. For some, it’s a matter of wrong or right. For others, politics is a separate entity from their relationship. Whether or not is matters in your relationship is up to you.
Your priorities, your time
Where does politics rank on your list of priorities? If you spend your free time watching C-SPAN broadcasts, it’s safe to say you’re passionate about D.C. And you need a partner that respects that. It’s highly likely you’ll want to engage in political debate at the dinner table. But it’s also important to remember that it’s your interest. Your significant other isn’t your political sparring partner. If you have differing beliefs, find a way to stay up to date on your own without sabotaging your relationship.
Establish some rules
Maybe there’s a time and place you discuss politics. And there are times and places you don’t. When it comes to relationships, there will be other topics beyond politics that you don’t agree on. Disagreements don’t mean you should run screaming the other way. But it’s important to figure out how to argue and how to have discussions respectfully.
Remember the rest
Odds are, you didn’t choose your partner because she voted Democrat down the ballot. There’s physical attraction, intelligence, and common interests that reeled you in. And there’s plenty more that convinced you to stay. Your political debate might get intense but that’s not all there is to your relationship. Remember the good things, and remember what made you fall in love in the first place.
Politics in any relationship can be highly sensitive. However, your home life doesn’t need to be as divisive as Congress. Do what’s right for you and your relationship, and find some common ground.