Dear Dr. Date,
As I’m sure everyone knows, the primary election was yesterday. I’m very active in politics and have been canvassing for my candidate all week, along with asking everyone I know if they planned on voting. Needless to say, when voter turnout was so high and my candidate was successful across the country, I was thrilled.
My girlfriend, however, was not. She’s aware of how politically active I’ve been in the past, but we haven’t been dating long enough to go through an election together. Every time I slipped a pamphlet under someone’s door or asked a cashier if they had voted yet, she sighed and rolled her eyes. The entire time, I thought it was because she was annoyed I was doing this in public — aka, I was embarrassing her.
Alas, the reason wasn’t that simple. As I rejoiced at my candidate’s victory party on Tuesday, my girlfriend texted me “We need to talk.” She then told me she’s exactly the opposite of me politically, and has been growing angrier the more I talk about how much I support certain policies. She may not show her viewpoints in real life, but is apparently a prolific Reddit user on certain subreddits, some of which have urged her to end our relationship.
She said if I don’t stop being so vocal about my political views (aka sit down and shut up), she would break up with me! I love my girlfriend, but I’m not sure we can overcome this. What do I do?
Reach Across the Aisle
Dear Reach Across the Aisle,
Hey, at least you got people to vote, right? Ignoring the ideological problems between you two, this could potentially be worked out. Couples have certainly overcome political differences before, but only if both parties agree to respect each other’s ideas, not tell the other to shut up. The fact that she’s giving you an ultimatum on something that might be able to be worked out is not great — plus, she’s listening to internet strangers rather than discussing it with you. If you want to save the relationship, tell her that you’re more than willing to hear her arguments as long as she agrees to hear yours.
However, I’m starting to question how well you two might work together long-term. You can overcome political views, but if you both have major fundamental differences backing those views, you should probably reconsider if the relationship will work out in the future. Either way, the country is almost 50/50 — there’s always more Democrat or Republican fish in the sea.