Political Elections and Dating
By Frank Kermit
Elections — a time when choices are made, protests have audience, and friendships destroyed (we hope temporarily) over loyalties to political stances.
For some it is a time to face the realities of government policies that may affect the quality of your life (depending on the stage of life you are at) and for others it is a time to hide your head in the sand when the campaigns to make your vote count come knocking.
The one question that comes up in my practice during this period is what to do when you are dating someone that had different political views, or supports a different political party.
As always, the answer is, it depends.
Even the best of couples may disagree on topics that could be more important than not.
However, although common interests and aligned thinking are necessary for long term relationship success, that does not automatically mean that a couple must agree on everything. That type of picture-perfect partnering simply is neither realistic nor necessary.
The first question is what the nature of your relationship is to begin with. If you are involved casually or dating someone in a manner where you are enjoying mutual companionship, but the desire to have a future together is beyond the scope of the couple in question, then voting for different parties is a moot topic.
If you are at a stage of your life where you are past the point of seeking a life partner to have children with, and aren’t even looking for a live-in partner, then those relationship categories of non-committal casual couplings really do not require that the partners be on the same page at all when it comes to politics.
In those cases, these relationship categories simply take the dating dynamics for what it is; a valued togetherness that simply has limits when it comes to certain expectations and short-term commitments.
When it does matter is when a dating duo are seeking a serious long term alliance, whether it be a candidate for living together, having children or forming a blended family unit. In this case, the particular political parties may actually be irrelevant per se, and it is more about the compatible value systems of the couple.
Could an individual who wants limited amounts of government involvement in general day to day live have children with someone that pushes for more government policy at the cost of individual privacy? Can a person who values new independence build a future with someone that wants to maintain the status quo?
Well, given that people who are compatible and have similar backgrounds, can still struggle with commitment and end up divorced, it really comes down to the couple in question, and not how passionate they are about hot topic politics.
Also, given that the platforms of various political parties change over the years, or that politicians themselves switch parties (not necessarily personal beliefs), the best the aspiring couple can do is identify their own belief systems of good and bad and be able to communicate where they individually draw the line about what is right and wrong for themselves.
If and when such a self actualized human being finds a like minded romantic partner, then compatibility and chemistry can work together in an alliance to make love happen. Couples who make the extra effort to know themselves, and learn about each other on that deeper level always get my vote.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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