Whether your politics skew to the left or the right, if you've fallen for someone who is essentially your political opposite, you might be a little bit shocked. The fact that you are dating — and maybe even married to someone whose political beliefs are radically different than yours might be causing a rift between you and your parents or friends.
Many people take their political affiliations seriously. Perhaps you were brought up to revere Ronald Reagan while your partner thinks that Reagan's decisions are what got this country into big trouble. Maybe when you were a kid you helped your family put up yard signs for Bill Clinton but your partner has no respect for that former president's policies.
When you're in a relationship with someone who is politically opposite, the potential for animosity and clashing is endless.Some couples constantly argue and attempt to sway one another to their "side." The debates can rage on and on about whose beliefs are valid and what makes more sense for the country, state, community and individual. Depending on how much you like to debate, this could be either invigorating and exciting or it may be extremely tiring and obnoxious.
Some people take their politics so much to heart, they absolutely will not consider being in a relationship with a person who holds significantly different beliefs. If this is how you feel, it is important to know and honor that about yourself. After all, many political issues hit very close to home. Everything from who can legally marry whom to who gets to make reproductive choices for women to who gets tax breaks and who doesn't can be intensely personal.
You may feel so strongly that the person you share your time (and maybe life) with needs to agree with you that this is a dealbreaker. This is essential to know before you get too deep in a relationship. It's highly unlikely that you will change your partner's mind. Yes, people's political beliefs can and do change over time but there's just as much chance that they won't veer all that much from what they've always been.
In other words, a progressive will probably stay more or less progressive and a conservative will probably remain more or less conservative. It is very importantfor yout to appreciate your differences. If being in a love relationship with your political opposite is not a dealbreaker for you, there are some things for you to remember.
1. Don't take it personally. Your relationship will be in turmoil if you make the political discussions you two have about you personally. It can help to set some ground rules for any heated discussions. For example, agree that neither of you will name call or put down the other.
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