There is no escape from the current barrage of political rhetoric. Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the undecided; no one is spared. It makes for lively discussions with friends and family, but taking it into your bedroom or dating life may not be wise. In the 1950’s, less than 10% of couples considered which political party their partner supported, but that number has steadily increased, and in today’s heated political climate it can be as high as 25% to 30% of things considered when dating. During a presidential year the rate is expected to climb.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who supports a political party different than yours, you may have noticed an increase in arguments between the two of you. Politics involves values and those values are inflexible. During the debates politicians become extreme in order to win votes, but if you have a partner repeating extreme views of their political candidate, your relationship can quickly become a shouting match. Below are dos and don’ts for keeping political differences out of your bedroom.
Do: make a decision between the two of you if politics is open for discussion in your relationship. If you don’t support the same party and both of you are adamant about your candidate, it may be best to keep politics out of your relationship.
Don’t: begin projecting everything you dislike about the other party‘s candidates onto your partner. One of the leading causes of disinterest in sex is conflict. No political candidate is worth sacrificing your relationship.
Do: remember the reasons you love being together and focus on enjoying those activities together. Don’t use enjoyable relaxed time together as a way to convert your partner to your political party.
Do: discuss as honestly and openly your party differences in an objective manner. Most children align with one of the parents’ political affiliation, but that decision is theirs to make.
Don’t: It’s important to teach your children your values. Making one parent feel less than because of their political affiliation is not okay.
Do: silence your opinion enough to listen to your partner’s (listening doesn’t mean you agree with their opinion). This helps deepen your relationship by making your partner feel valued and understood.
Don’t: attacking and assuming your partner feels (on a personal level) what their candidate does predicts a long campaign year in the doghouse.
My best advice for dating is to stay mum about your political affiliation until you know the person well, and even then, it may not be an area you want to get into. There are more important virtues that point to one’s character other than who they vote for. Relationships are complicated enough; keep politics out of the bedroom.