In a city dominated by politics, how difficult is it to date someone with opposing views? What are the benefits and challenges?
Michael Amesquita: I didn’t think it’d be that difficult until I dated a woman who was doing her residency at Georgetown and she’d become angry with me for supporting my candidate. Our conversations would somehow get into politics and she’d be frustrated with me. One night, she got annoyed about the bumper sticker on my car. If I recall correctly, that night was the last time we went out.
Dana Neil: There was a time when I thought it’d be nearly impossible for people with different political views to date, but I’ve changed my mind. Though it may be difficult, I think that you can date someone with a view that’s different from your own. It all comes down to respect and boundaries. As long as you both realize that each of you has come to your opinion thoughtfully and you’ve educated yourselves about the issues, then the different views can be an interesting part of the relationship. You’ll definitely have lively discussions. It’s important that each person is comfortable saying, “It’s time to move on to another topic” if things get too heated, and you have to agree to disagree.
Mark Drapeau: I’m very independent when politics is concerned and don’t have a political party; to some extent I don’t even believe in them. Mostly I enjoy learning what other people think. Except for the most extreme and unreasonable people, I’m not easily offended by anything people believe or talk about. Though I don’t think politics or religion make good dating topics, at least initially.
Sally Colson Cline: I don’t have a problem dating women with opposing views. When talking to people with whom I don’t agree, there are only two scenarios that don’t work for me. The first is being talked at—when there’s not a conversation, but another person going on and on without any interest in what I have to say. The second situation is being put on the spot and constantly being made to defend my views. I have different politics than a lot of the women I’ve dated. I’ve learned from them, and I hope they’ve learned from me.
Kate Searby: I want a partner who challenges and inspires me, not a carbon copy of myself. Who cares if that person doesn’t share the same political ideology as I do? If I want to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, I need to listen more to the people who don’t share the same philosophies and ideologies as me. That doesn’t mean I need to change my personal beliefs, but it behooves me to be open-minded and consider where other people are coming from.
That said, opposing viewpoints can make relationships extra tricky because those strong opinions are usually rooted in deeply felt personal values. I want to challenge and be challenged by my boyfriend, but I don’t want to change him or for him to try to change me. I’m still holding out for that guy who both shares my beliefs and inspires me to question them.
Lucas Wall: I consider myself to be a political independent. My political views never fit smoothly with either of the two major parties, so I’m accustomed to being around people with whom I don’t see eye to eye on every issue. There are benefits of being exposed to different viewpoints and engaging in earnest debate. That said, I believe it’d be difficult to date someone with radically opposing views or someone who strongly supports the Republican party. Given the strong stance most of the GOP has against gay rights, it’d be tough for me to intimately associate with someone of that stripe.