Alex Wong/Getty Images

How To Date Someone With Different Political Views

Ad failed to load

It is the understatement of the century to say that President Trump has been doing some extremely un-presidential things lately. From taking two days to respond to the devastating events in Charlottesville to saying that a neo-Nazi march was not entirely the fault of neo-Nazis (???), it's hard to imagine how someone would ever be dating a Trump supporter during this volatile political climate. But the reality is, you can't help who you fall in love with. If you're a bleeding heart liberal dating someone who voted for Trump or who still supports whatever ideology he's pushing lately (or a Trump supporter dating someone who is in the midst of organizing another women's march), you're probably wondering how to date someone with different political views from your own.

I'm a pretty diehard liberal snowflake, and during the 2016 election season, I dated someone who leaned Republican. Looking back, it was actually a really rewarding experience. I was confronted with a perspective I didn't regularly get in my own social circle, and it helped me become a more critical, well-rounded person. But it also came with its own set of challenges that I would have never faced had I dated someone who was a liberal like me. Also, we ended up breaking up, so... take that as you will.

Grant Langston, CEO of eHarmony, says that it's absolutely possible to date someone who has differing political views. "It's not an easy situation," he admits. "But plenty of couples find satisfaction with their partners of different political views, and even have successful marriages."

Ad failed to load

Langston spoke with Elite Daily about some tips for how to keep your relationship happy if political differences might get in the way.

1. Be Open-Minded

Ad failed to load

Langston compares differing political views to any other difference. If you are OK with, say, the fact that you like to go out on the weekends and your partner likes to stay in, you should also be able to handle a difference in politics.

"In order to continue a loving and respectful relationship with your partner, you have to be open-minded to views that may be different from yours, in any situation. This should be no different in the instance of a controversial election," Langston says.

It can be extremely difficult to compare political differences to other kinds of differences if you believe someone's political views say a lot about the core of a person. But just like you learned to appreciate those occasional Friday nights in, it's possible your Republican partner will teach you something you didn't know about the economy. There's no harm in creating learning opportunities for yourself, if you feel that you're able to handle them right now.

Ad failed to load

"Listen to where your partner is coming from, and express interest in learning about their rationale," Langston says. "The best thing any of us can do is to remain curious and not judgmental, and seek to understand others with differing positions."

2. Remain Level-Headed During Political Conversations

Ad failed to load

It's totally understandable if you are past the point of feeling calm about politics. But if you're truly invested in your partner, you need find a way to talk about your differences that will make you feel sane. "While this may seem the most difficult task of all, maintaining level-headedness throughout the conversation will allow each of you to equally express your thoughts and opinions on the topic," Langston says.

On more than one occasion, I used to get angry while discussing the news or something I saw on Twitter with my ex-boyfriend. In the moment, letting my emotions run wild felt cathartic. But I felt horrible afterward. Letting myself lose control like that was not OK to do to someone I loved. We had much more eye-opening conversations when I controlled my temper.

Still, honesty in a relationship is always the best policy. If one of your partner's opinions really hurt you, you should absolutely "feel free to bring your full range of emotions to the table," says Langston. "The worst that could happen would be to agree to disagree, as long as you both value the relationship over these views."

Ad failed to load

If you simply can't agree to disagree, you need to accept that, too. (And see point #5.)

3. Establish Some Ground Rules

Ad failed to load

If you can't be civil with your partner while talking about politics, it may be necessary to set some ground rules in your relationship. These rules may include not scrolling through Twitter while out to dinner, not sharing news articles over Gchat during the work day so that a casual conversation won't accidentally turn into a heated debate, or maybe avoiding the subject of politics altogether.

"If you and your partner cannot maintain a reasonable, civil conversation around the topic of differing political views, it may be best to take a safe approach: declare the subject off-limits," Langston says.

There's nothing wrong with doing this. We can't expect our partners to serve every single one of our needs. If you need to bounce your political views off of your friends or read The New York Times alone, don't feel like you're keeping a part of your life from your partner — you're just doing what works best for your relationship. Besides, you likely have plenty of other things to talk about with your partner. "When it comes to spending time with your partner, limit the conversation to other topics including religion, your relationship, values, goals, your favorite hobbies, work, and so on," Langston says.

Ad failed to load

4. Seek Ways To Get Involved On Your Own

If you're dating someone with differing political views, you may feel powerless. If you can't change the mind of the most important person in your life, how can you really affect change on a larger scale?

Ad failed to load

Well, there's lots of ways you can get involved politically without your partner, if you weren't already. Doing so will help you feel like you are making a difference. "If you are not happy with the direction things in the country are going, ask yourself, what can I do, that is in my control, to improve the situation? Can you volunteer for an organization that aligns with your beliefs?" Langston says.

Surround yourself with other likeminded people who will make you feel like you're doing something worthwhile for your specific cause. And it really is OK if one of those people is not your partner.

5. Consider If This Person Really Is Right For You

Ad failed to load

For some people, politics are not something they consider when they choose a partner. (It is a privilege to be able to exist in this world without needing to "get political," but that's a whole other article entirely.) But politics are extremely important to me. They come up in some way in many conversations I have on a day-to-day basis, and they reflect my core set of values that I use to navigate and interact with the world. Because of this, the more guys I've dated in my adult life, the more I have learned that I don't want to be with someone who has different political views from me. I need a fellow liberal snowflake. It just is what it is.

If dating someone who has different political views is draining your emotional resources too much, to the point where you're fighting all the time and you start to feel disgust towards your partner (which is the ultimate nail on the coffin in a relationship), maybe this person just isn't right for you. Or maybe you want someone who will be your political partner-in-crime — who will go to protests with you, get riled up with you when Trump says something outlandish, travel the country and make awesome documentaries with you. You're allowed to want who you want, which means you're allowed to break up with someone who doesn't serve your needs, even if those needs are political.

There are millions of people out there who share your political views, and who will make you feel supported, inspired, and connected to what matters most to you. You deserve to find one of them. And you will.

Ad failed to load

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

Why A Best-Life List Is The New Bucket List

One of the greatest things about your 20s is the flexibility and freedom to do exactly as you please. Want to go to a boozy brunch with your girlfriends? You can. Feel like spending the weekend dancing in Vegas? Why not! While I have to admit, your 2…
By Jordyn Kraemer

8 Things You Need To Break Up With In Your 20s For A More Fulfilling Life

Your life is a lot like a tiny universe. You're the center, and the people and things you care about are the planets and moons surrounding you. In your 20s, there are so many chances to plummet into black holes and give into pulls in the wrong direct…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

Mars Retrograde Will Last The Entire Summer, But Here's What You'll Learn In That Time

In astrology, every single planet in our solar system has an effect on our world. Containing their own specific power, each planet gives us a vital and irreplaceable facet to our life force. When the planets are moving gracefully through their orbit,…
By Roya Backlund

7 Things That Are Keeping You From Living Your Best Life At 25

You should be living each day to its fullest, but sometimes, it's easier said than done. Just as much as you want to be YOLO-ing your way through everything, you also remember that with life comes responsibilities. Your 20s is supposed to be a flexib…
By Rachel Chapman

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & It Will Fill Your Heart With Inspiration

Get excited, because the moment you've all been long waiting for has finally arrived. As of June 21, the sun will enter wistful, emotional, and highly intuitive Cancer, cannonballing us into the summer season with a splash. Prepare to feel your heart…
By Roya Backlund

Here's What Dads Really Think About Being Asked For Their Daughters' Hand In Marriage

The tradition of your partner asking your father for your hand in marriage before they propose might feel like an antiquated ritual to some couples, but for others, asking permission is an important sign of respect going into the marriage. Every roma…
By Jamie Kravitz

This Is Who You Were In Another Life, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you believe in the cosmos, then chances are, you also believe in reincarnation. In case you were not aware, your zodiac sign can help determine who you were in a past life. Surely the concept of living more than one life can be almost unfathomable…
By Valerie Mesa

7 Things That Are Keeping You From Being Carefree In Your 20s

In your 20s, being totally carefree is way easier said than done. One day, you're pumped about the decade and the independence that comes with it, and then you're tangled in all of your adult responsibilities, trying to figure out who you want to be.…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

A "Sistermoon" Is The Girls' Getaway You & Your Number One Have Been Sleeping On

Have you ever heard of a "sistermoon?" Well, before you hit up Google to see what celestial event is on the way, it has nothing to do with a show that's taking place in the night sky. A sistermoon is an annual getaway you take with your sis to streng…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & It's All About Expressing Yourself

Although summer doesn't officially begin until the solstice on June 21, traces of the season are swirling through the air this week. With Mercury entering Cancer on June 12 and Venus entering Leo on June 13, it's clear the planets are feeling as impa…
By Roya Backlund

These 3 Zodiac Signs Are The Most Psychic & Their Sixth Sense Is On Point

There are a myriad of ways that we perceive our surroundings. We as humans were given five senses upon birth, including sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Each reveals a uniquely astonishing layer of our world, bringing with it a vivid sensation …
By Roya Backlund

The Unpredictable Bucket List Every 20-Something Needs To Accomplish Before 30

Checking off things on your bucket list should be a top priority in your 20s. It's a decade where you dare to dream big, but also do everything you can to ensure those dreams come true. You're not afraid to stray away from the conventional paths of l…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

The Most Peaceful Places On The Planet To Vacation For Complete Relaxation

Self-care is crucial. When's the last time you took some time to yourself? Sometimes, you've gotta take a step back from life's daily demands and relax. There's nothing wrong with taking a break so that you can come back feeling better than ever. You…
By Ciara Johnson

These 7 Zodiac Signs Might Have A Tough Time With Summer Romance

Some seasons, love is in fashion. Other times, it's out. If you think that summer ought to be the season of love every year without fail, guess again. Some summers are meant for you to be in partnership solely with your self. If your sign's love horo…
By Cosmo Luce

The Best Yoga Retreats In The U.S. Will Help You Unplug & Unwind On Your Next Vacation

In 2017, I went on my very first yoga retreat in California, and it was completely magical, to say the least. And though my ultimate dream is going on a retreat in Bali or Thailand, the yoga getaway I attended right here in the United States was actu…
By Georgina Berbari

The Travel Accessory You Need This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Leaving behind your hometown and exploring the great beyond is one of the most important things you'll ever do in your lifetime. It breaks the monotony of your daily routine, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and forces you to appreciate a world c…
By Roya Backlund

6 Commitment-Free Ways To Change Up Your Look After A Breakup, If You Feel Like It

I'm married and not breaking up (I just had to clarify before I get a call from my husband wondering what's going on). However, if for some reason we ever did separate (again, not happening!), I've imagined I'd have this Eat, Pray, Love moment where …
By Stephanie Montes

Cherry Print Is One Of Summer's Biggest Fashion Trends & It's So Much Sweeter Than Florals

If there's one thing that I've had my eye on this summer it's a cool, flirty cherry-print dress. Along with versatile black tops and blue denim, the color red has become a staple in my wardrobe this year and anytime I can infuse it into my daily look…
By Ariana Marsh

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall