The date is going so well, lots of laughter, flirting, you can’t believe how well it’s going. You walk back to your cars and for the first time you notice his truck as a “Nobama” and companion NRA bumper sticker. You’re instantly disgusted. He looks over at your Prius to see your “I’m with Her” next to the “Peace, Love, Vegan” sticker. The disgust is mutual. What happened, I thought I knew this person?! Date over.
Are political views the new deal breaker?
As a country, this year of campaign coverage and election results has made us feel so divided and that split is reflected in our dating lives. More than ever, people who are on the opposite political spectrum as us feel like they are our enemies or #deplorables.
The two topics we are told to avoid- religion and politics… but what if those are the values that we want reflected in a partner? How can we share about our beliefs but not become too close minded? It seems like conversations on dates have become more serious. We are consuming so much news and becoming involved politically. Everything seems dire and pressing.
I remember a date I had where politics was a deciding factor. It was someone I had dated for a while but never had serious conversations with, so I decided to ask him about his political stance. He was vague and said he didn’t know. I pressed on, asking who his favorite president was. He said it was Clinton. I pushed again asking “why Clinton?”. He responded, “It was a great time in my life, I was in college”. I was shocked, how could someone like a president just because he happened to be going to frat parties and the reigning champion of flip cup? This questions didn’t really reveal his political leanings but gave me a glance at how he might view the world.
According to a survey from It’s Just Lunch, the majority (64%) of singles want to date someone with similar political opinions and beliefs. At the same time, the majority (67%) believe that political opinions would not ruin a date and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. It seems like the risk is assuming you know someone’s values based on their vote. You have to find out more. It could be that he voted for Trump because that’s the year the Cubs won (and it’s a great time in his life).
As a personal challenge, when we meet with someone can we be open minded and ask about values rather than votes? Focus conversation on the issues we care about and reasoning behind them rather than personalities or stereotypes. One strategy would be to phrase questions positively, asking “What are you most passionate about?” “Who do you donate to and why?” “How are you involved in your community?”
Maybe you’ll find out you are more alike than you think: He loves Bernie and you love the movie ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’, so much in common! Of course if you can’t compromise and it’s just to important to you, just be clear in your search and if you’re online list your preferences honestly. Sign up to a site or agency that caters to your views, like Democratsingles.com or “Trump Singles, Making Dating Great Again” (https://trumpsingles.com/)… or maybe compromise and try LumberMatch “beard growers and those who love them” unite.
And so what if he’s perfect, we agree on everything BUT his family is way out there?! Just hold hands and put on some Adele.
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