Our differences are what make us special, but having different political views from your significant other can be a really big challenge, especially during elections and times of political change. Whether these opposing political views cause small disagreements or something bigger, you have to figure out how to deal with them if you want to maintain a healthy relationship. If having different political views isn’t a deal-breaker for you (and it doesn’t have to be!) you’ll both need to put in a little bit of work in order to make sure that your relationship is a happy one!
Here are some tips for making a relationship work even if you have different political views:
- Be open-minded. Listen to your partner and keep in mind that they are not a reflection of the candidate or party that they support. They don’t necessarily have all of the same views on everything that the party does and you know where they stand on important issues.
- Limit time spent talking about politics – and don’t bring those conversations to bed at night. Don’t let speaking about politics take over your relationship. Limit the amount of time during the day that you chat about the current political climate and try not to talk about this before bed – keep this as a safe, politics-free space.
- Keep your emotional reactions in check. When you hear your partner bring up an issue that you don’t agree with them on, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Avoid strong emotional reactions and give them time to explain why they see things that way.
- Remember your shared values. One of the reasons why your relationship works is because you have shared values and morals. Don’t lose sight of these things that you both think are important. Assume your partner wants the best.
- Be curious about what they have to say, not angry. Be open-minded when it comes to having political conversations and give them a chance to explain why they feel a certain way. They might have very valid points that you can learn from. This gives you a chance to also look at and continue to form your own opinions and beliefs.
- Understand that it’s not your place to “change” them. It’s okay if you have different views! Don’t look at your partner as someone who is “wrong” that you must change. Continue to be open-minded and listen to each other. Acknowledge that you have differing views and use this as an opportunity to grow and learn more about each other.
Having different political views doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for your relationship; it actually gives you more opportunities to learn, grow and even strengthen your own beliefs. Keep working on it, talking and listening. Give your partner a chance. You might even end up surprising yourself!