How To Be With Someone With Different Political Views
Some might say that the two major political parties have never been more polarized than they are today. The left and right have always been, naturally, on opposite sides of many issues. But it seems like since this recent election, each side has gone to the furthest ends of their arenas. It can feel like the left and right won’t even speak to one another. People are unfriending anyone with differing political views from their own on social media and making sweeping statements about the personality types associated with each political party. Meeting in the middle has never appeared more difficult because everyone is standing very, very far from the middle. So you can imagine that dating or marrying someone from a different political party is particularly challenging right now. Here are tips for dating or marrying someone with different political views.
Limit the subject with your friends
You probably have friends who are mostly on your political side. You won’t do your partner or your relationship any favors if you tell your friends that your partner is on the opposite side. You want your friends to love your partner, remember? And they aren’t as close to him as you are, so they may make a brash judgment about him based on his political views.
Don’t watch the news together
Nobody will win if you watch the news together. You’ll want to watch the channel that leans in your direction and he’ll want to watch the one that leans in his. Watching each other’s preferred news channel will only cause fights. Go to your separate corners/TVs/laptops and watch the news separately. Watch Netflix together.
Make donations out of your separate bank accounts
If you like to use your funds to support your party, that’s great! Just agree that you’ll both take those out of your separate bank accounts so neither has to feel resentment about their money boosting the other side.
Declare the subject off topic
You could always just declare the subject of politics off the table. The two of you, fighting over your kitchen table, won’t solve the country’s problems. So why let the country’s problems affect your intimate, loving relationship?
Let him speak without interruption
Ask your partner why he leans the way he leans, which topics he feels strongly about, and let him speak until he is finished. Do not cut him off. Cutting him off can cause an argument that may have been prevented if you’d just heard him out.
Stop trying to convert one another
Abandon the idea of converting each other right now. Just don’t do it. Perhaps life and historical events will convert your partner, but you, alone, shouldn’t be trying to do that. You won’t succeed, and then possibly, neither will your relationship.
Watch the sweeping judgments
Even though you sometimes feel the need to say, “Everyone in that political party is insert several insults and judgments here” don’t. It doesn’t feel good when people say those things about your party, right?
Thoroughly research both sides
Anytime you hear a piece of political news that upsets you, before jumping to conclusions (aka berating your partner) thoroughly research both sides. Get the facts. You owe that to your partner.
Attend some events with him
This one may sting a little, but attend a couple of events with him pertaining to his political party. It’s important for you to meet his friends and realize that they’re not monsters—in fact, they’re probably nice people.
Probably don’t tell your parents
If your parents have the same political views that you do, don’t mention politics around them and your partner. Your parents might become very tense at the idea of their grandkids being raised by someone of the opposite side.
Keep it out of the home
You probably don’t want your partner putting up artwork and embossed pillows representing his political party, right? So then it’s only fair that you don’t do that either. Keep politics out of your décor.
Let your kids decide for themselves
Let your children decide for themselves which political side they’d like to be on. Give them plenty of opportunities to research and learn about politics. Trying to convince them to take your side will be very isolating for your partner.
Remember, the sides weren’t always this polarized
Keep in mind that your partner may have been in his political party for decades, and come from a family that’s been in that party since the days when the left and right weren’t quite as at odds. He might just be holding onto tradition.
Don’t get mad at him, when you’re mad at his party
Don’t yell at your partner when you’re mad at his party. He isn’t the embodiment of the leader of his party.
Find common values and pursue those together
Focus on the values and beliefs you do share and find ways to pursue/promote/cherish those together.