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Surviving Political Rifts During Election Year

Oct 28, 2016 08:54AM ● By News Desk

Political rifts between couples often don’t emerge until years or decades have passed, or until a firebrand candidate (such as Donald Trump) emerges on the scene. While it is common for political ideals to evolve and change over time, it does seem sensible in most cases not to start a relationship with someone knowing you are going to disagree on core values. However, you don't have to have the same political beliefs as your partner to ensure your relationship flourishes! Justin Lavelle, PeopleLooker’s Chief Communications Director takes on this conversation and offers key tips on how to survive your relationship in an election year on opposite sides:

When you're actively looking for someone to date and possibly marry, you want someone who shares a certain set of values. If you’re on opposing political sides, but your core values and long term goals are the same, don’t allow it to be a deal breaker. However, if your values and goals are dramatically different, you may want to move on. There's also more to a person than political labels, so don’t limit yourself and generalize.Let’s say you really want to be with a person who happens to be of the opposite political party, simply make a pact to keep certain topics off limits. If you know it’s going to cause a disagreement, so simply agree to disagree and leave it at that. 

If you do decide to discuss politics, respect and listen to your significant other’s viewpoints without arguing. Realize there are very few couples who agree on everything in their relationship and that’s ok.

If the person you’re dating or married to has put a lot of thought into their political decisions, whether you agree or not, respect their thought process. Even if you don’t fully agree, at least this person has taken the time to seek their own truth and stand by it. Be more worried about a person who fully stands behind someone based on sound bites they’ve heard on TV or made a decision willy nilly with nothing to back it up.

Seek out the commonalities in your beliefs. Find the areas where you can be most agreeable. When it comes right down to it, there may be topics that you can both agree on, even with differing political views. For example, you may have some similarities on social stances. You can also discuss how your two sides could come together, compromise, and help political reform. Although it may not be feasible in real life, it’s a good lesson in bringing your political ideas together for the greater good and compromising as a couple. 

Realize that you’re not going to change your partner’s mind. If you’re delving into a new relationship with someone who has the opposite political views, know its most likely going to stay that way. You wouldn’t want a partner who actively tries to change your mind instead of accepting and respecting you the way you are anyway.

Before deciding you cannot date someone with a different political affiliation, find out how vocal or active they are in a political sense. The person may be of a different party, but not overtly so. In this situation you can probably make it work just fine. 

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