Jasbina, founder of Intersections Match - the Only National Elite Matchmaking and Dating Coaching Firm for South Asian Singles, responds to questions about relationships and dating.
Can Competing Political Affiliations Wreck a Relationship?
From your experience as a professional dating coach and matchmaker, do you think long-term relationships are really feasible between people with different political views? Does this issue ever come up when dealing with your clients?
That’s an interesting question. How important the political views of potential partners are is certainly one of the things we discuss during our personal consultations with clients. For some of our clients, political views of their partners are very important. To others, they are not, or are far outweighed by other considerations.
In my experience, people who have fundamentally conflicting beliefs and values have difficulty sustaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship. However, a couple consisting of varied political beliefs such as a democrat or a republican, does not necessarily fit into this category. Relevant factors include:
1. The extent to which the individuals' fundamental beliefs and values are compatible despite differing party affiliation. For instance, both people may place a high value on the responsibilities of each citizen to participate in the political process, as well as show an understanding about political issues.
2. The extent to which both individuals delight in sparring an intellectual debate.
3. The extent to which the individuals’ fundamental beliefs and values are incompatible and filter into decisions the couple must make jointly. An example of this is when a couple is faced with an unintended pregnancy. In which case, they must take into consideration pro-choice or pro-life.
4. The openness and tolerance of each individual.
5. If both individuals really love each other despite not seeing eye-to-eye politically, they can likely get past that if there is mutual respect, tolerance and a belief that despite their political differences, some fundamental values are the same.
6. Both individuals may share a fundamental belief that it is an individual's responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. A Democrat may feel that doing so is best met by social welfare programs financed by higher taxes, while a Republican may feel that the solution is to minimize taxes and make it easier for the taxpayer to contribute and donate to a charity of choice privately.
In this example, if both people make the attempt to keep this shared belief foremost in mind, have respect and tolerance for different ways of accomplishing their shared goal, a mutually acceptable compromise in actions and behavior will be possible.