People enter into relationships with their own opinions and beliefs. But how do they cope when those differences are political?
- Set up relationship ground rules for dealing with your political differences. For example, if the two of you like to debate, agree to do so in a respectful manner and within specific parameters (e.g. only at the bar with friends, never on that certain subject that turns you both into irrational psychopaths, absolutely positively never in the bedroom, etc.).
Try to understand where he or she is coming from. There is a possibility that even though you hate his position on corporate welfare, you may learn something about him or the world by examining the root of his opinions.
Look for common ground. Politics tend to speak to greater values, but that doesn’t necessarily mean different politics equal different values. For example, people who are pro-vouchers and people who are pro-public school funding are more than likely coming from the same place: one that is pro-education.
Agree to disagree when you need to. Take a time-out if need be. Go to your separate corners for fifteen minutes and decompress.
- As with all relationship hurdles, try to remain optimistic and maintain your sense of humor.
- Find a relationship role model. There are high profile and not-so-high-profile couples everywhere that have managed to make things work despite political differences. Don’t be afraid to look to them for guidance.
- If you know that neither of you are capable of discussing politics in each others’ presence without causing or experiencing overwhelming offense or pain, this may not be the relationship for you. Cut your losses and appreciate what good came from your time together.