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

I Rejected The Idea Of "The One" & Found A Whole New Method Of Self-Care

After my third date with a guy I met by swiping right, I had one question burned into my brain before I agreed to a fourth. Was he the one? Now, before you call me a total stalker, hear me out. In New York City, third dates were rare. I'm talking blo…
By Brittany Leitner

Finding Adventure In Your 20s May Be More Important Than Searching For A Soulmate

Your wanderlust is calling, so what are you waiting for? Being 20-something is all about finding your passion and purpose in life. Maybe you went to college and figured it all out between the books and long nights spent in the library. Or maybe you'r…
By Marisa Casciano

I Tried A Laughter Yoga Class & I Nearly Peed My Pants From Giggling So Hard

There's nothing funny about yoga, except for the fact that, if you look at yourself in the mirror while your body twists like a giant pretzel you'd nibble on at a baseball game, you do look kind of funny. Well, actually, you look a little like you're…
By Jen Glantz

Experts Say Doing This One Thing In The Morning Will Make You Way More Productive

I don’t know about you, but I don’t initially wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy; that whole “up and at ‘em” mindset takes work on weekdays. I will say, however, that I am a morning person by nature, and fully believe in the benefits of stic…
By Julia Guerra

A Psychic Read My Crystals & Said I'd Die Alone, But Then Everything Changed

I love my girlfriend for many reasons. She's the most amazing person I've ever met. She makes me feel safe. She screams the soundtrack to Dear Evan Hansen with me when we're riding in her car. But TBH, one of the main reasons I love her so much is th…
By Theresa Massony

This Instagram Star's Famous Lip Art Actually Has An Incredible Emotional Backstory

In a post-Kardashian world, every millennial thinks they have what it takes to go viral, but few consider what that online fame actually looks like in a person's daily life. In Elite Daily's new series, Life Behind The Likes, we speak with the people…
By Lilli Petersen

A New 'This Is Us' Theory Claims It's All Happening Inside Jack's Head & OMG

Ever since This is Us revealed how Jack died in their post-Super Bowl episode (damn you, Crock Pot) fans have been desperate to know where the show is headed — and if there are any other major twists they should be prepared for. The Season 2 finale i…
By Claire Spellberg

If You're Broke In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Right

It can be pretty disheartening when you're broke AF in your 20s. The silver lining in that constant struggle with currency is that you are doing what you want during this time of your life. Money isn't everything, and creatively and memorably using w…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

How You'll Be Proposed To, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Forever and always starts with getting down on one knee. Wedding season is right around the corner, and with it comes a lot of love stories. When you're watching the two do their first dance, or looking through old pictures, you remember where it all…
By Marisa Casciano

Gen Z Yellow Is The New Millennial Pink, So I Tried Wearing It All Over My Face

A few months ago, everything from makeup to clothes and even home appliances simply needed to be Millennial Pink. Being a millennial myself, I totally bought into the color craze, but there's a new hue (one that technically doesn't represent me at al…
By Stephanie Montes

These Theories About What Khloé Kardashian Will Name Her Baby Are So, So Good

The Kardashian family's future is most certainly female. The world was overjoyed when Kim K introduced us to her daughter, Chicago. We cried tears of joy when we found out that Kylie was in fact pregnant all along and had a baby girl named Stormi. An…
By Karen Ruffini

This Pup Is Going Viral Because People Think He Looks Like A Human

We all know our pups at home are beyond special. If you post pictures of your pet on social media in hopes that everyone notices just how cute your furry friend is, you're really not alone. You probably receive a bunch of comments with people gushing…
By Rachel Chapman

This Is What Staring At Screens All Day Could Do To Your Eyes In The Long Run

By now, you’ve probably heard all about how bad the glaring blue light from your smartphone and computer screen is for your sleep cycle. These claims are true, BTW, which means if technology has the power to creep inside your brain and mess with your…
By Julia Guerra

Kylie Jenner Finally Answers All Your Questions About Her Pregnancy & Stormi Webster

If someone has a baby, but you never got to see them go through pregnancy, were they really ever pregnant? It's a question I find myself asking over and over again since Kylie Jenner welcomed daughter Stormi Webster to the world. I'm so excited that …
By Hollee Actman Becker

These 3 Zodiac Signs Burn Through Relationships The Fastest

It's hard enough to find love in this dog-eat-dog world. You write the perfect bio for your Tinder profile, dress to impress, go on dates with strangers that your friends set you up with, even fork over thousands of dollars to a professional matchmak…
By Roya Backlund

Find Out Which 'The Office' Character You Are, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Long before mockumentary was NBC's favorite comedy style to produce, The Office introduced its fans to the groundbreaking style in its 2005 debut. Because it is such a realistic-looking show, the characters felt even more lifelike than most comedy ch…
By Kristen Perrone

Khloe Kardashian Shared Tips For Looking "Skinny AF" & People Are Pissed

Anybody interested in looking their best on social media might be curious about Khloe Kardashian's tips to "look skinny" in photos. When somebody takes a picture of me, I tell them to snap away as I strike one pose after another. When it comes to pos…
By Stephanie Montes

6 Things No One Tells You About Moving In With Your Partner That You Need To Know

If you’ve reached the point in your relationship where you find yourselves spending most of your time together — either at their place or yours — there’s a pretty big chance you’ve thought about living together. Taking this next step in your relation…
By Tayi Sanusi

How To Plan A Life-Changing Trip That'll Stick With You Long After You Return

When it comes to traveling, it seems like everyone is doing it for the 'Gram these days. As you scroll through your Instagram feed, it may seem like travel is all about getting that perfect shot or jumping from one bucket list destination to another.…
By Ciara Johnson

These 4 Celebrities Are Actually Twins & You Definitely Had No Idea

Mary-Kate and Ashley. Tia and Tamera. Dylan and Cole. There are some twins in Hollywood that have become super successful thanks to the fact that they are a pair. Two is better than one, right? But some A-listers have a twin who isn't in the public e…
By Karen Ruffini