As a proud resident of the best baseball city in America, I’m super excited to be in the midst of playoff season. This is a particularly exciting time for all you Chicagoans who get to experience this magic for the first time in many, many years. My home team is the Cardinals, and we’re in the middle of a series with the Cubs (at the time of my writing this post) – and as baseball fans know, this is quite a rivalry!

I have friends and family in Chicago, and I know how divisive this issue can be. These kinds of loyalties and rivalries run deep – potentially deep enough to affect relationships.

If you’re a left-wing Democrat, could you date a Tea Party supporter? If you’re a Montague, would you date a Capulet? (Ehh, maybe not the best example…) If you come from a family who pronounces it “kugel,” could you ever marry into one that says “keegel?”

As I thought about this more, I started to wonder if I brought home a Cubs fan, would my mom accept him? After all, her criteria for my suitors are that they be Jewish, smart, and a Cardinals fan, or at least not a Cards rival. Is a relationship with a diametrically opposed partner doomed for failure?

No, not necessarily. For me personally, sports teams just aren’t THAT important to cause a rift. So, sorry Mom, I might theoretically date a Cubs fan, assuming that was his only red flag. (Or actually, blue flag?) Even political rivals can maintain a courteous and respectful relationship (see James Carville and Mary Matalin), although it no doubt takes some extra effort, especially during election years.

It is important, however, to identify your personal deal-breakers. I might be able to handle a relationship with someone who holds opposing political views, for example, but not if his livelihood, entertainment, and conversation solely revolve around that issue. Similarly, you can applaud if your team scores – but I’m not putting Cubs logo curtains in my house. And if you know that you absolutely under no circumstances could tolerate a Republican, or an Ohio State fanatic, or whatever, be clear about it in your profile. But advertise deal-breakers very sparingly and try to keep an open mind.

Hmm… when I started this post during the exciting game 3 of the NLDS, we still had a chance. But the Cubs just won… I may need to recant my public tolerance of their fans!

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