Strange Bedfellows: Dating Someone With Different Political Beliefs
If you’re anything like no one, your world has been rocked by the breakup of Maria Shriver and Arnold Sch-whatever. If a groping son of a Nazi Republican and a Kennedy Democrat can’t work it out, what hope is there for the rest of us!?! Well, thank god those two freaks of nature are completely un-relatable. However, it does happen sometimes that you may fall for someone with different political beliefs than you. It can be quite the confusing cognitive dissonance-y type of situation, and though it can easily not work out, here are some things that might help you navigate this morally trying road:
1) People are rarely all “left” or “right”
I mean, sure, those people exist, or at least they’d like to pretend they exist, but chances are, you’re not going to be the least bit attracted to someone who is completely incompatible with anything and everything you think. For example, perhaps your significant other is conservative about financial shit, but isn’t a crazy pro-life member of an anti-immigrant vigilante group in Arizona or whatever. Also, there isn’t really just a “left” or “right”– that’s just sort of an oversimplified and more digestible way to think/talk about these things, rather than an accurate reflection of the complexities in the myriad of philosophical/political beliefs people can have.
2) You may disagree, but does it affect your relationship?
Unless the social or global issue in question directly affects your relationship– though yes, the personal is political, etc– it’s probably OK to agree to disagree. Unless your significant other is a criminal, slave owner, racist, sexist, murderer and/or warlord, it’s probably safe to say that agreeing to disagree isn’t going to make you a “sellout”, enabler, or an “accomplice to murder”, etc.
3) Remember there are also annoying people on your political end of the (oversimplified) spectrum
Though certainly there are awful things you would trade over others in terms of dealing with on a day-to-day basis (ie. mildly annoying hippies over Rush Limbaugh style sexism, etc), but really– no one’s perfect, to say the least. There are a whole lot of left-y things that can enrage me just as much, if not in eerily similar ways, to a lot of the bullshit coming out of other sorts of communities. I’ve even DATED self-proclaimed San Franciscan style “liberals” (don’t EVEN, because you KNOW what the fuck I’m talking about) whose gender politics were PATHETIC in comparison to some fucking Midwestern Libertarians I know. In other words, let the fact that most everyone is terrible be a sort of comfort to you.
4) Abortion is probably a dealbreaker, but better for you in the longrun
If there’s one social issue that most affects a relationship (or at least many heterosexual and some homosexual ones) the most is that of a woman’s right to choose. If your partner is morally opposed to abortions and you’re not– well, that’s pretty much the end of any potential relationship right there. Unless you’re stoked on keeping an unwanted unexpected child for the rest of your life. Also, chances are that that person doesn’t respect you enough to give you credit for making choices like that.
5) Try not to take things as a personal attack…unless it is
I’m probably the most guilty of taking abstract expressions of beliefs as a personal attack…but I’m working on it! That being said, HOWEVER, it’s a fucking deal-breaker if your partner makes any sort of indication, for example, that women or Black people, etc. are sub-human. Like, sorry, but that is a personal attack.
Photo courtesy of CBS Local New York