Nearly a year ago I answered the letter of a JDater asking for advice about a date who was voting for Trump. Could she see past it, or if it was a dealbreaker? I recommended that this “Potential Trump-Dumper” find out more about why her date was voting for Trump and see if they agree on issues and have shared values or not. I ended with the advice that if this could blow over after the elections, then perhaps she should let it go and accept his offer of a second date.
A year later, that advice may not be enough anymore. This election has grown so contentious that marriages are ending, families are being torn apart and (gasp!) many people are clicking the “unfriend” button on Facebook.
Election Season Dating Drama
So how do you date during this electoral drama? It’s nearly impossible to NOT talk about the election during a date, so if you find that you disagree on the big issues, then the date could very likely be over before it begins – and that may not be such a bad thing. These elections have been polarizing, but they also have been enlightening. Want a quick way to know if your date is pro-choice and believes in women having equal pay, or that gays and lesbians should continue to be legally married, or believes in global warming, or their views on universal healthcare, or foreign affairs, or immigration, or anything else you can think of? Ask them who they are voting for this year.
Choosing between dating a republican and dating a democrat doesn’t always have to be a dealbreaker. After all, lots of people make it work when they have an interfaith family, which comes with its own set of challenges. But if you can’t line up on the big political issues now, especially those that are near and dear to your heart, it’s probably not worth pursuing that second date.
Your Plan Of Action
Before you ask your date about their voting plans, think long and hard about how you’re going to respond to what they could be answering. First, you need to pick your own stance and be armed with the knowledge about why you are supporting a specific candidate. If you’re unsure, find out where the candidates stand on specific issues by going to their websites and clicking on the “issues” page.
Second, I suggest not entering into a debate with someone who vehemently opposes everything you stand for. There’s a pretty good chance that you’re not going to be able to change their mind and that you will be left aggravated about both the ensuing debate and the terrible date. Choose to maintain your dignity; if you aren’t into that person because of these differing views, then respectfully say so and excuse yourself from the date rather than allow the discussion to become contentious and hate-filled.
If, say, you’re voting for one of the two main candidates and they are voting for a third party candidate (or vice-versa), then see if you can enter into a calm discussion and both show respect to the other. You may find you agree about many issues between your two candidates and can continue the date with confidence and a sense of relief.
Finally, remember that life will go on after Tuesday’s election and as a country, we will have to come together and move forward regardless of the outcome. Perhaps this election helped you weed out some prospects sooner rather than later, and as such you should be grateful for the help! Gotta find that silver lining, right?
You may also be interested in Fighting Fair: Dos and Don’ts For Fighting In Relationships