There are few subjects that can spoil that exciting honeymoon period in the beginning of a relationship the way politics can. If two people are totally into each other, they are seeing each other through rose-colored glasses. The last thing they want to find out in that dreamy-eyed first few months is that their relationship is doomed - that once the happy haze lifts, the love will be lost to opposing political viewpoints or conflicting religious affiliations. Religion is a different topic for a different day. For now, let’s talk politics.
This is one question I hear a lot on my relationship advice forum, and….. It’s the one topic that draws a response that most people really don’t want to hear: Can you make a relationship work between staunch political opposites?
The answer: Probably not.
Obviously, a blanket ”No way!” would be unfair, given that no two relationships are alike, and some can withstand more strain than others can. But, in most cases, differences in political opinions cause tensions that are too high to overcome. The reason being that political differences are only the tip of the iceberg - political beliefs reveal a lot more about a person than just a preference between donkeys and elephants.
Republican vs. Democrat: What’s the real difference?
With so many political issues in the spotlight right now - the economy, health care, war, abortion, and gay marriage, just to name a few - the party you choose to affiliate yourself with usually also represents how you feel about these issues. If your boyfriend is a Republican, he sides himself with a party that is historically pro-life. If you are pro-choice, this can be a very touchy subject - one that may end up in a messy breakup battle.
And speaking of battles, the current global situation has created a great divide between even the least political Americans. Where you stand on the issue of war and global economics is going to determine whom you vote for. It’s also going to indicate deeper beliefs about peace, love, and the American way - beliefs that are likely going to get in the way of your harmonious union. This is because politics speaks to everything, from race and economic bracket to what types of music you like, and even the types of sex you might be inclined to have. Yes you heard me -- sex is often indicated by political affiliation!
So, if you’re dating someone from a different political party than yours, I hate to tell you that it’s time to call it quits, but there are some things you need to consider:
First, is either of you staunch enough in your affiliations to turn healthy discussions about the White House into no-holds-barred brawls in your house? If you’re both levelheaded and just like a good argument, there’s hope for you yet. But if you’re so set in your opinions that you’ll fight to the death to get your point across, it’s better to get out now. The old saying may tell you that opposites attract, but in reality, ”like” attracts ”like,” and you’ll be better off in the long run with someone who will support you in your cause.
It’s important that you get deeper than which candidate you support and with which party name you identify. It’s more about the issues than it is the name. If the two of you make a list of the top five issues that matter most to each of you and discuss which side of those issues you’re on, you may find that you agree on the critical things that are important to your relationship and your future together. In that case, it may not matter that he prefers Texas to New England, or oil to ketchup.
Conversation Starters (or maybe enders) for Political Dating!
I’d like to invite your Chief of Staff into my oval office.
My Chief of Staff would like to request permission to enter your oval office.
Have you ever wondered why the Washington Monument is so phallic?
Perhaps the designer was thinking about Bush?
Where do you stand on the issues? Maybe you can give me an oral report later?
Can I give you an oral report?
Which role do you see yourself playing President, Vice President, or Intern?—which am I?
What’s your vote on Prop 69?
I'll personally deliver your constituents Prop 69.
Sure I like a democracy—but you can play dictator any time.
I'm all about Democracy, but you can play with my dictator any time.
I’m wide open on most things… if your stance is firm enough.
I have a proposition for your (party) member….
Is it true that all Democrats like asses?
What’s the story with Democrats and asses?
Hey, raise that flag, I’m ready to salute.
Would you like to raise my flag and then salute it?
Stand at attention long enough, and I’ll let you govern me in bed.
Are your political views strictly missionary, or are you willing to change your position?
I’m taking a poll. Which is worse—a bush on a woman, or Bush in the news?
Wanted: A person who’s conservative on the issues, liberal in bed, and independent everywhere else.
I'm looking for a Liberal who's Radical in bed.
Nicknamed "the new millennium's Dear Abby" by the media, April Masini writes the critically acclaimed 'Ask April' advice column and answers readers questions on the free Ask April advice forum. Author of four books, including Date Out Of Your League (TurnKey Press, 0-9746763-0-6) and Think & Date Like A Man (iUniverse, 0-595-37466-2), April has been interviewed for over 2,700 articles and opinion pieces, radio and televions shows, including those on FOX, ABC, CBS, MSN, Telemundo and Univision -- New York Times, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Maxim and USA Today.