Do Opposites Attract?
Democrat Loving a Republican
Dear April Masini,
My boyfriend of six months is a staunch Republican. He loves all things Conservative, and is really gung-ho about the coming election. The problem is, I'm a Democrat, and when I bring it up, he laughs and says, "You can't be serious." When I try to tell him why I want to vote left, he gets uppity and storms out of the room, and won't talk to me unless I bend over backwards to apologize. What do I do? The more we watch the news and read the paper, the more I believe in my side, and the more my boyfriend believes in the Republicans. Recently I've become silent about my political feelings, because I know it will cause a fight. But I can't take it anymore. I'm so steamed, but I love him. Do you have any tips or advice for dating your political opposite? I don't want politics to affect my relationship!"
Democrat Loving a Republican
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Democrat Loving a Republican,
It seems these days that politics have made there way into every bedroom in the country -- yours is no exception.
And, while I believe it's a myth that "opposites attract” -- there are even some good arguments to be made backing up the case, like James Carville and Mary. That said, typically, an "oil and water" combo proves to be more than most can handle.
Generally speaking, while it can be exciting and interesting (at first) to add spice to our lives by dating someone whose perceptions and opinions are completely different from our own ... just wait until that initial intrigue and challenge wears off!
What you will be left with is a person who thinks, feels, behaves, and acts, in ways we don't understand, agree with, or consider to be normal. All of a sudden that exciting spice - has turned to conflict, disagreements, or dishonesty in an effort to avoid an argument.
There comes a time in every relationship when you and your significant other disagree on an issue that is very important to one of you. You’re lucky that you reached this point at the six months into the relationship mark. It can be extremely painful when this point comes after a year or more, or even after marriage - especially if it is a breaking point.
You’re probably scared that he’s going to be angry that you don’t agree with him, and worse case scenario - a Democrat wins the next presidential election. No wait, just kidding. Worse case scenario, he breaks up with you. Abandonment is a looming issue for many people, especially women. Ultimately, the only way you can overcome it is to face it. In other words, you are going to have to allow that moment to come where you say what you think and let him react whatever way he’s going to react.
How to Come Out of the Political Closet:
One way is to joke about it and let it play out that way. Laughingly say, "C’mon, honey. Is your big Republican afraid of a little Democrat?" And play with him that way. Maybe he’ll like the challenge and the playfulness and you can take it from there.
Another way to is to pick a fight with him - come out swinging. If he’s the type that gets hot debating, this could lead to a passionate time out of bed, and then in. Fighting minus the emotions is really just a lot of energy. Let the energy be sexual.
Or volunteer for the candidate or party of your choice, and let him see you running off to a fund-raiser, looking incredibly hot. Wear a political candidate button - to bed! Leave literature for your candidate lying around, and let him come to you to ask what it’s all about.
But in the end, remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about whom you vote for. That’s what makes America great. We have the right to choose. And there are times when it’s easiest just not to discuss politics - particularly in cases when you cannot "agree to disagree.” If that’s your case, perhaps that is also your solution.... Tell your boyfriend you don’t want to discuss the election any more, and that you find it upsetting and think that nothing positive can come out of it.
Having said that, if you do elect to stop discussing the topic, realize you are also electing to hold your feelings, emotions, and opinions in - you are electing to suppress a part of who you are...You’re denying him the real you, and more importantly, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to be the real you. Perhaps the truth is, it’s time to ask, ”Is this really the kind of relationship I want to be in?”
Opposites can be hot. We’ve conquered many taboos over the last decade. Interracial dating and marriage is now ho hum, when it was once a head turner. Interreligious dating and marriage is also not only not unusual, it is now the norm. Age-ism in dating has been flipped on its old head thanks to stars like Demi, Madanna and Jennifer Lopez who have made female/male age differences in serious relationships a virtual non-issue.
Take a look at my books, Ideas for a Fun Date and Romantic Date Ideas for some fun activities you can do, other than discussing politics!