Not all people allow politics to blend into their personal lives.There are those who are low key in expressing their beliefs, while others are fiercely passionate about politics and make this a major force within their universe. When in a relationship and on different sides of the aisle, many feel that ideological loyalties can and may trump love. If politics plays a major role in your life, or your partner's life, here are some thoughts to consider to keep the political peace with the election just around the corner.
• Communicate with consideration. Some people live for verbal acrobatics, others do not want to go there. If you engage in discussions with your significant other about the candidates or issues, do so in the form of a respectful debate. Points of view can be illuminated sans chest beating fervor. Each of you may offer up the reasons behind your beliefs without descending into a version of televised talking heads screaming.
• Be open to your partner's views. Don't adopt a "your way or the highway" posture. Simply put, this is a classic bridges versus walls scenario. It is important in any relationship to listen to all points of view. This rule goes way beyond elephants and donkeys and it will trickle into every other aspect of your partnership. Be aware that the way you speak to each other about politics will inevitably be an indicator as to how the two of you communicate about issues that reside outside of the political realm, ie. child rearing, values, money, etc. Will you agree to disagree and compromise, or pound your feet until your partner sees things your way? Can you come together in the middle? There is a vast color spectrum that exists in between red and blue, embrace it.
• Balance politics in your relationship. Even if you reside in opposite camps, start dialog by establishing how your views align and then discuss where they go off into different tangents. This is a great way to get a stronger understanding of where each of you is coming from. Has your upbringing affected your point of view? Are either of you open to voting for the candidate rather than via a straight party line? Every election cycle brings with it new players and new issues as they relate specifically to a given moment in time. No political party is perfect nor is a relationship. It is paramount that you give respect to the person who votes the other way.
Your house should not become a political battleground. Couples ought to enjoy intellectually stimulating conversations and still be able to hold hands. If you are a duo who is highly charged during election cycles, remember that there is a reason why the curtain is closed when you vote, so respect each other's privacy. Most importantly know that love is bi-partisan.