For me, attending a Liberal Arts college meant a lot of people asking for non-dairy milk, hating on Lena Dunham, and contemplating "the big questions" like, "Is the personal political?!" and "Should you break up with your partner over politics?" Alas, college was where I first learned the difference between capital-P Politics, like government and registered parties, and small letter-p politics, meaning daily choices and practices. Capital-P "Politics" is defined by who you vote for (or if you vote), while small-p "politics" means interpersonal interactions such as "office politics." Do you invite your boss to your housewarming party? (Ahem, Kristin Cavallari.)
In romantic partnerships, it's common to wonder if you and bae should be a united front. Can you agree to disagree?Often if partners' views align across both the Political and political spectrums, you'll vote the same and have similar tipping habits. You may have even started dating because of shared semi-political interests, like world news or working in public education. There's a lot to be said about loving someone that would have chosen the other candidate, or dating someone who doesn't vote at all. Politics can be divisive and when you're super passionate about something like immigration policy,trans rights, or reproductive justice, it can be difficult to actively date someone who doesn't share your views. It's not impossible. Andwith mutual respect, willingness to listen, and ability to see issues from other perspectives, plenty of couples make it work across party lines.
Still, when you find someone that understands you and loves you, it can be confusing to learn they don't belong to your political party. Though opposite voting habits aren't a deal breaker for everyone, I spoke with 7 women who chose to dump their past partners over political differences.