As the United States anxiously awaits the results of tonight’s presidential election, it seems apropos to discuss the ups and downs of politics within the context of a relationship. I know many successful bi-political couples, and just as many folks who refuse to date outside of their political ideology. (We even shared an infographic about politics and relationships!) Regardless of your stance and that of your partner, I think there a few easy rules to follow when heated debates and election season rolls around.
1. Be respectful. As a political science major, I find politics really interesting and will happily discuss them with anyone. This includes my significant other, family, friends, and strangers on the street. But the key part to discussing politics is to allow everyone to share their opinion and beliefs without the threat of retaliation or a fight. It would be hard to date someone who didn’t respect the things I believe and it would be especially hard to date someone who argued with me all the time.
2. Educate yourself. Political discussions are one of the best ways to learn new things. When a new idea or opinion is shared with you, take the time to research it more in depth. I’m not an expert on every issue in this election but I spend a lot of time reading and trying to understand things so that I can be a better informed voter. This also strengthens your credibility if you need to defend your beliefs to your partner (or if you’re trying to convince them to think certain things!)
3. Make voting a priority. Standing in line for hours to vote is not the sexiest way to spend your day, but if you bring a friend or a significant other with you to the polls it makes the process a lot less painful for both of you. Grab a coffee and a donut before you head out, and it could be the start of a wonderful tradition!
4. Don’t take it personally. If your candidate wins and your partner loses, or vice versa, someone is going to be upset. Don’t let this interfere with your relationship! Neither one of you single-handedly decided the election, so chalk it up to democracy and have inter-party make up sex. How’s that sound?
What are you doing to maintain your sanity during this election?