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Dating is like an interesting game of bingo. You are sitting there with your empty card of expectations and what you want to find in a significant other to win the game. Are you attracted to them? B4! Do you have similar values? I12! Do your friends like them? N22! Does your family like them? G 36! As you're sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for that last ball to come out with the O, THE BIG P COMES OUT! That’s right. I am talking about politics! Usually, politics while dating is considered a taboo topic and one you might want to tread on lightly. However, these five tips can help you make the talk about politics a little more palatable!
I had the opportunity to tune into the live-stream of Match’s 6th annual Singles in America study at The Rickey at Dream Midtown which covered Politics, Sex & Dating. Throughout my tips, I offer some statistics that this study found!
Don’t automatically rule them out
The game isn’t over just yet! DO NOT clear your cards! This does not need to be a make or break in the relationship. It is beneficial for a couple to have some differing opinions which can make for a stronger bond. As mentioned in Match's 6th annual Singles in America study, millennials really want to get to know everything about the other person before it moves on (Match). So throughout the dating process, there will be many tidbits you learn about the other person you may not agree with. It is better to just hear them out and work through it. I know this is easier said than done, especially when he might be an extreme Republican, and you are a set Democrat, but take the time to hear each other out. In fact, it is very likely that most couples have different political opinions and “35% of people will not consider dating someone who does not have an opinion on critical political issues” so it should be encouraged that they have an opinion on the matter (Match).
Don’t take it personal
Try not to see your significant other as just their political party. There could be a deeper significance to their decisions that give them such a strong opinion. Take that time to hear why they believe the things they do and the importance to them. Be sure to share the importance of your opinions as well with your significant other because there may be a deeper meaning behind yours. In your conversation, you might be able to find an overlap in values that can lead to a perfect compromise. However, if you are not able to find common ground, just remember that their political views are not an attack against you personally.
You are not going to agree on everything in your relationship, so politics should be no different. As mentioned before, it helps to have some differing opinions about the relationship. Plus, it creates a sense of comfortability in your relationship knowing that whatever opinion you hold, you will not be judged by seeing things in a different way. This does not only apply to those in different political parties. Individuals in the same political party may still disagree on some issues. The political make-up of singles is “40% Democrat, 19% Republican, 15% independent, 2 % Libertarians, and 24% non-affiliated”, so the chances of you being in the same political party ranges and having the same complete opinion varies just as much (Match). It is just very important to listen to your significant other versus forming a negative opinion against them.
Balance the conversation
Instead of only voicing the positives of your political decisions, try also to hear the negatives that your significant other might suggest. This could help to either strengthen your decision or direct you to a different candidate that you had not thought of before. Over 80% of singles discuss politics, money, and religion, so it helps to be able to discuss these things with an open-mind and to hear what each of you both have to add to the conversation (Match). Try to give each other time to equally speak on both of your beliefs and critiques of the candidates. You both want to feel able to speak about what you believe in, but you should also be open to hearing their opinion. If you absolutely cannot come to a compromise in discussing politics, then maybe this something you do separately.
Get educated on the topic
Make sure you educate yourself on all the candidates and issues. Be sure to listen to your significant others viewpoint because it may be something you had not thought of before. Try not to jump to conclusions based on their decisions. Hear them out. If you both do not have a clear stance, take this an opportunity for you and your significant other to do some research together to see all facets of the candidates and their views. In researching together, you make come to an even middle ground. So get educated!
If their opinions are not too big of a deal breaker for you, then be sure just to support them. It is nice to know that even through differing opinions, you have got each other’s backs and support them in whatever decision they choose to make. It could be detrimental to your relationship if you do not support them because there will be times in other situations where you do not agree on something, but you still need that comfort in knowing you still have each other. Plus, it is proven that if you both have a passion for politics, no matter the stance, you will very likely have better sex than other singles! (Match)
So at the end of the day, politics is not the biggest piece of your relationship, but it is important to identify where each of you stand. Having different opinions can be beneficial to the relationship and create a stronger bond than ever before. In the end, we're all trying to make the world a better place. So in using these tips, you should be able to conquer the politics conversation and stand up to shout BINGO because you may have yourself a winner!