How to Navigate Political Differences in a Relationship

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The uncertainty of who will be president in general election years makes for difficult times. However, increased animosity among political groups and the resultant scorn for those in the opposing party has made the previous several elections exceptionally stressful and divisive.

Since politics plays such a significant role in people’s lives, it naturally finds its way into romantic relationships. When two persons have strongly opposing political ideas, the situation can quickly escalate.

What strategies might you employ if you and your partner or a prospective date don’t agree on political issues? If you are a conservative and they are a liberal, do you even have a chance?

We’ll explore this question and discuss the potential negative effects of political differences on relationships and how to minimize them!


Rational Discussions Are Key

On most dating apps, it’s easy to discover the political views of a potential partner before we ever meet in person–a lot of people put their politics in their dating bio so there is no confusion from the jump.

But if you meet someone new and attractive IRL and hit it off right away, you might not talk politics for a while once the pheromones have subsided and the honeymoon stage is ending.

It is typical for us to agree with the political beliefs of those with whom we have a good connection. But some of us may have had a conversation later on with our partners that left us confused that we knew so little about their political leanings. 

two people having discussion

Don’t freak out if this feels familiar or if someone you love suddenly starts veering in a different political direction. You can protect your relationship from going south by taking action, even if it seems futile at the moment.

Perhaps you’re with someone whose political views are at odds with your own. If that’s the case, we’re here to help you either find out how to reconcile your differences for the benefit of your relationship’s long-term health and happiness or understand why you two shouldn’t be together.


two people talking

Examine Your Political Interest Level

Do you consider politics to be an obsession? Dating someone who doesn’t agree with your political views can be challenging, if not outright unpleasant, for someone who fits these criteria. 

Even if you don’t regularly follow politics or tune in to cable news channels, you probably still have some strong opinions after the previous eight years. A common trend on dating app bios is the inclusion of a disclaimer reading “Absolutely No Trump Supporters” or “Swipe Left if You’re a Woke Liberal.”

A 2020 study by dating.com revealed an unprecedented level of political polarization; 84% of singles said they would never date someone who held different political views from their own, and 67% said they had ended a relationship because their partners held different political views. 


Establish What You Want from a Relationship

Half of the people polled by the dating service It’s Just Lunch said they’d go out with someone with different political views if it were just casual, but they wouldn’t do so if it were a serious commitment.

If you’re looking for a casual date rather than a long-term partner, politics won’t be as important of an influence on your swiping patterns on dating apps. 

two people

two people having a conversation

Initially, Keep Your Politics Vague

Dating apps provide a platform to showcase your interest in politics and your eagerness to participate in political discussions with anyone who shares your passion. It is possible to find a unique individual who is open to discussing and learning from differing perspectives in a respectful manner. 

But–if you don’t want to air out your politics from the get-go, you can keep your political beliefs to yourself until you figure out if the person you are interested in is someone you’d want to start a serious relationship with. Until then, you don’t have to have “the talk.”


Respect One Another

While it’s common for people to have strong political beliefs, it’s important to demonstrate respect for the views of others. This approach is typically more effective when discussing political topics and can lead to a more productive exchange of ideas–especially if you are in a serious relationship. 

two people pointing at each other

two people smiling at each other

Timing is Everything

Avoid beginning a conversation with an accusatory comment about someone’s politics and why they are wrong. Engaging in political discussions can be a useful tool to determine compatibility between individuals, but it is important to approach these conversations with respect and diplomacy.


Consider Their Viewpoints

This task could be a bit challenging for someone who strongly opposes the political views represented by a Trump baseball cap or for someone who calls Democrats “Democraps.” It is entirely up to you to determine your own limitations. 

If you are currently in a romantic partnership and wish to maintain it, it is important to consider your partner’s perspective carefully and for them to do the same. Maintaining healthy relationships requires effective communication, but few people are born with the innate ability to do so. It takes practice and time to become an effective listener as well as to respond with empathy. 

two people talking to each other

If you want to have a successful relationship, you need to be able to empathize with your partner while adhering to their values without compromising your own.


two people interacting

Seek out Common Ground

Even if you and your romantic partner hold opposing political views, don’t think you have little in common; chances are, you do. 

The most effective way for a couple to discuss their political differences is during a shared meal, when they can focus on what they have in common rather than their disagreements. Finding common ground on the most pressing topics is essential, but at the same time, you should avoid personal attacks.

You and your significant other got along for a reason; feeding that reason while simultaneously working to resolve any issues that have developed due to your political differences will keep your relationship strong!


Minimize Political Talk

Establishing guidelines for discussing politics with your spouse can be helpful once you’ve discovered a way to communicate about it in an open and constructive manner. Consider setting guidelines for how often you’ll bring up the topic in your conversations.

A relationship can thrive with occasional healthy conversations and debates. However, if one person brings up politics on a daily basis, it can put a strain on the relationship. Establishing an amount of time for political conversations with your significant other is an excellent idea.

two people speaking

Final Thoughts

Having identical political views is not a prerequisite for a healthy relationship, even if you might struggle with this concept. 

To have a healthy and long-lasting relationship, it is important to accept your partner for who they are, engage in candid discussions with them on a regular basis, maintain passion in the relationship, and be willing to apologize when necessary.

If you and your partner have different political beliefs, it’s possible to overcome or at least acknowledge them by finding a way to balance each other, enjoying each other’s company, and communicating honestly and openly. 

confused woman looking at phone with question mark background and a heart-shaped speech bubble with a surprised face emoji inside of it

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