Red Vs. Blue: Could You Date Someone With A Different Political View?

October 12, 2012  |  


Source: Shutterstock


What if you were dating someone for seven months and just found out they were anti-choice — a position you vehemently detest?

Well, that happened to one woman who wrote in to Dan Savage’s love column on Wednesday. The woman told Savage that when she found out her boyfriend believed life begins at conception and is strongly against abortions, she almost broke up with him. But her boyfriend, who she described as a “sweet, loving guy and progressive in every other way,” said that disagreeing on an issue is fine in a relationship. But the woman was still left uneasy and turned to Savage for help.

So what was Savage’s advice?

Well, first he said that she should tell him she’s pregnant. Savage said that most men who are anti-choice believe in their ideals in an abstract form, but “come to a very different conclusion about the importance of access to safe and legal abortion when an unplanned pregnancy impacts them directly.”

But to answer her question on whether she should continue to date her boyfriend, Savage concluded with a powerful “No.”

Savage wrote:

Women have to be in control of their own bodies—and when and whether they reproduce—in order to be truly equal. I don’t think I could date someone who didn’t see me as his equal or who believed that the state should regulate my sexual or reproductive choices. So, yeah, this Isht would be a deal breaker for me … if I had a vagina.

But in his next paragraph, he concedes:

Actually, this issue is a deal breaker for me, even though I don’t have a vagina. I wouldn’t date a gay dude who was anti-choice. Any gay man who can’t see the connection between a woman’s right to have children when she chooses and his right to love and marry the person he chooses is an idiot. And I don’t date idiots.

So is it impossible to date someone with different political views than you? Perhaps if you and your partner aren’t very political.

But then you have couples like Mary Matalin and James Carville, a Republican political consultant and a Democratic political consultant, respectively. Both are very political and not only have opposing views, but actually work for opposing parties.

How do they do it?

Carville once stated:

We have different ways of looking at politics. No doubt about that. But Jews and Catholics who get married probably have a different way of looking at God. It’s just not a deal-breaker.

To which Matalin added:

I know it’s hard to believe, but we just don’t talk politics at home.

Perhaps the only way it works is if couples, like Matalin and Carville, view their beliefs as abstractions — like opinions they came to through some sort of logic and that remain out there. But once people connect politics to their personal, emotional experiencesl, it’s impossible to see political views as simple opinions.

But what if a couples’ personal experiences leave them with different political views? I suppose a lot of empathy and a lot of talking politics at home could do the trick. Unless, of course, they just want to live in an ignorant bliss.

I think there’s a truth to the phrase “opposites attract.” Though I think that pertains to certain personality characteristics and dispositions. But having conflicting fundamental values? I’m not so sure. It would probably take a lot of time and effort — things that people with opposing views these days don’t seem to have.

*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • Mrs. Thompson

    Not only did I date someone with different political views, I married him! We have been together 12 years now. We have respect for each other but some differences of opinions. We agree to disagree on some things. Get over yourself, accept that intelligent people can discuss topics and have their say without always agreeing with each other.

  • Guest360

    It greatly depends for me. Having a differnce of opinion is fine so long as you’re respectful about it. I don’t dump my friends just because they have a different political view as me and I don’t believe in doing the same for someone I’m dating. Now if their political views influenced behavior that I didn’t believe in, that would be my deal breaker. Smoking weed/doing drugs, chastising gays, protesting in a disrespectful manner, etc. Those things would turn me off more so than their political leanings would.

  • A

    Fair enough, the way I see it matters the topic. When it comes to Abortion ,Gay rights, and so on those are sensitive topics and whatever one believes they believe strongly about.But there is no point breaking up with someone over School prayer to use an extreme example

    • Candacey Doris

      Agreed. Which is why i would prefer to stay out of the situation to start. it’s like dating someone of a different faith. If you truly believe you’re faith is right, how can you manage? I don’t mean Presbyterian with baptist, i mean christian with Hindu. If both of you truly believe you will clash over what to raise the children at the least.

  • A

    Wow what a dumb article. This is less about whether or not you could date someone with a different political view and more about bashing the pro-life perspective answer. Abortion rights is a tough topic and there is no apparent right answer both sides(pro-choice and pro-life) have there merits.

    • guest


  • IllyPhilly

    She looks just like a Republican. LOL

  • D

    “anti-choice”? Nice, unbiased phrasing.

    • guest

      right, thats like labeling someone pro-killing of babies….the person who gave the advice seems like an idiot.

  • Kayo Halana Malie

    It depends on what we disagree on.

  • Nikki

    Probably not… I believe in equality for all, not equality for some. I’ve been passionate about politics since I started high school.

  • L-Boogie

    Stay single.

    • Lonely asss

      getcha lonely asss, getcha don’t nobody love me , getcha catlady, getcha I don’t get no dickk, getcha Adele

      • L-Boogie

        Thank you.

  • lalatarea

    Depends on how hard they “rep” their political view lol

    • IllyPhilly

      LOL, right Ole boy got his colors popping!