Unless you live in a cave or on a raft in the middle of the ocean without any connection to the real world, it’s hard to avoid the myriad of political headlines; whether it’s Hillary or Bernie, Donald or Jeb, they’re everywhere.
But what happens when you mix politics and dating? Depending on who you’re talking about, who you’re supporting and which side you lean, can determine if you’re heading for love or war. A new survey of thousands of singles by the dating website Zoosk.com, reveals the impact the upcoming presidential election could have on relationships.
Talking Trump could lead to a full on debate: Conversation lagging? Bring up Republican candidate Donald Trump. 77% of respondents stated they’d likely begin a lengthy, productive conversation about politics if their date brought up Donald Trump’s campaign, while 17% said they would run in the opposite direction. Only 5% said bringing up the real estate mogul would spark an argument.
Women care more about politics than men: 20% of women were more likely to respond with “very important” and “somewhat important” when asked how important political party affiliation was in their online dating profile or during conversation.
Young men were more likely to change political beliefs: Men between 18 and 24 years old were 20% more likely than any other group, to admit changing their political beliefs due to their partner’s influence.
Dating across party lines: The majority would, with 75% saying they do date across political party lines.
The younger, the more open minded: Daters between 18 and 24 were more open to dating across party lines, while the old respondents were 20% more likely to admit that a person’s political party affiliation has kept them from starting a conversation, even if they were originally attracted to the person.
The younger you are, the less likely politics will be a problem. Political beliefs can take on more importance later in life when you want to plan a future with someone. How your taxes should be spent and what schools are teaching children, suddenly seem to matter.
Similarities, in general, are better because they limit the amount of things you will inherently fight about, says psychologist and host of the new radio show “Girls in Heels”, Dr. Cooper Lawrence. “They say you should never talk religion, money or politics at the table because people are extremely passionate about all three and those cause fights. That said, the reason similar political beliefs are important in a relationship is that the two sides (Dem/Rep) have too many dissimilarities and there is very little middle ground,” she says.
But that doesn’t mean a liberal and a conservative can’t live happily ever after. As long as you know your boundaries and stay away from those hot-button political issues (abortion, marijuana…) that can be virtual landmines for your relationship.
“It’s not about the fact that you disagree, that can still be ok. It’s about how you disagree. If you can hold different intellectual ideals and have a mature debate, and also if politics is not the most important thing in the world to you, it can work. You can still have a healthy relationship while disagreeing about lots of things,” says Lawrence.
The key is for each of you to respect the other’s beliefs. And if politics is a big deal, let the other person know early on, so not to ignite a third world war, later on.