When you’re in the early stages of a new relationship, there are certain differences that you can put aside. Some, even, are healthy – it would be boring if you both had the same opinions on everything.
Dating someone who has different hobbies, views and past experiences can open your eyes to an exciting new world.
But things get personal when it comes to politics.
Those of us who are politically minded pride ourselves on knowing our stuff. There’s no one who has researched for longer and harder into the current political state of the country than us. Ask us anything, and we’ll tell you what you want to know.
But that also means that we’re avid supporters of a certain political party – and because of how well-informed we are, it can naturally feel like we’re right in who we support.
Now, you’re obviously not going to fight with strangers in the street if their political views differ from yours.
But when you’re dating somebody, their opinion matters. It can be frustrating when they don’t see eye-to-eye with you about something you care so passionately about. It’s especially exasperating when they refuse to even consider the concepts you’re trying to explain.
So what do you do if you find out the person you’re dating has opposing political views? You’re compatible in every other way, but will politics ultimately lead to the breakdown of your relationship?
Certainly not – or not unless you let it, anyway!
One woman who knows all about living in a household with contrasting political opinions is Jeanne Safer, a psychologist who has been in a mixed political marriage for four decades.
While Jeanne is a Democrat, her husband is a Republican – and not only that, he’s also a senior editor at the conservative magazine, “National Review.”
Jeanne definitely has experience in this field, so much so that she penned her own book: “I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics: How to Protect Your Intimate Relationships in a Poisonous Partisan World.”
According to Jeanne, it’s harder for people with opposing views to get along nowadays.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, she said that the world has become a place “where people do not talk across party lines”.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. Jeanne followed up with some incredibly insightful knowledge that can help us all to get on, regardless of our political views.
She explained that the reason why we get upset when someone we love disagrees politically is because we have a “fantasy” that our intimates will be the same as us in every fundamental way.
Of course, this isn’t true – and our relationships are more interesting because of our differences.
But discussing politics, according to Jeanne, isn’t a good idea if you know it’ll end in an argument. If you can be civil, without raising your voice, on the other hand, then go for it.
There’s no reason for political talk to ever result in a dispute. Jeanne’s tip for when you don’t agree with a particular opinion is to simply say: “We just see this very differently.”
Having differing political views certainly doesn’t mean the end of a relationship – just ask Jeanne.
You can read her full Wall Street Journal interview here.
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