Like it or not, it’s almost impossible to turn on the television and NOT hear about the upcoming election. My twitter feed has been bombarded with political tweets about the RNC/DNC conventions, pictures of chairs, and even my favorite local sports radio station can’t seem to talk about anything else. And hey, look at me, I’m writing about it right now! So, as you probably know, people tend to get downright nasty over politics. I’ve seen many a holiday season turned sour because of political “debates” turned sour. We probably all have at least one friend that doesn’t agree with us on some kind of political level, right? But what if your significant other was on the opposite end of the spectrum?
I mean, if the person is polite, respectful, and you have a great time together, does it really matter?
To be honest, probably not for most people. But it’s a deal breaker for me. I used to think that it didn’t matter, until I dated someone that was my political opposite for almost a year and a half. At first it was something that didn’t we really talk about; we were getting to know each other, and it just casually came up. I suppose that it didn’t help that we met during an election year either. I was a bit surprised that he was so conservative about economic issues, mainly because he couldn’t even keep a positive balance in his bank account… but I figured that I was just being judgmental. I shrugged it off, after all, we had just started dating. And to be honest, I was relieved that he had an opinion about something. So many people I know just don’t seem to care at all. It wasn’t until a holiday dinner (gosh, isn’t it ALWAYS a holiday dinner), when the political discussions started, specifically about women’s rights and gay rights. I was pretty shocked, to say the least. The whole time he was talking about how women should stop complaining because they can get any job they want now, how he doesn’t believe birth control is right, and that if a woman wants to have an abortion, she shouldn’t be allowed to do it without her partner’s permission. He also didn’t think that gay people should even be allowed to have civil unions or list their partners as their “in case of emergency” at the hospital. I mean, we would hang out with one of my friends and his boyfriend all the time. Did he really think that my friend shouldn’t be allowed to see his boyfriend if he is in the hospital? Yeah I was pretty shocked. Here we are, in a serious relationship, actually starting to talk about marriage, and I’m hearing about all of the things he doesn’t believe I should be able to do, buy or take without his permission. And how he thinks my friend should be treated differently because of who he loves.
If you agree with any of these things, I’m not saying that I think you’re a horrible person. And I’m also not saying that every conservative person shares these beliefs. I want to make that EXTREMELY clear. But does that mean I want to date you? To be completely honest… hell no. And it’s not because he was conservative… it was the fact that he was so insensitive about subjects that affect myself and the people that I care about. The relationship eventually fell apart. While his political leanings did play a small part in that, I just never really felt that he valued or respected me. After seeing him get so angry and heated about how he felt about women, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Obviously his feelings about women stemmed from something deeply rooted in him. I doubt it was simply his political views. After all, your political leanings don’t determine how healthy your relationships will be. Honestly, who knows what his problem was.
And in case you’re wondering, I’ve been in a happy relationship for a little over two years now. We don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, but we agree on the issues that are the most important to us (and affect us the most). I still can’t convince him that the Beatles beat the Stones, but I guess I can’t have it all.
So Lovelies, have any of you dated or are dating someone who is your political opposite? Would you ever date someone on the opposite end of the spectrum? How would/do you deal with it? Do you think it’s an issue?