Relationship Issues: Politics and Dating

October 17, 2011 by

Relationship issues are hard enough without getting politics in the mix! That may be why more singles are likely to admit they are overweight than to share information on their political leanings.

But it turns out they may be better off listing it, since married couples share political views more than any other trait except religious affiliation. When we seek a mate for life, we seem to place more importance on sharing similar values and beliefs than other factors like personality and physical traits.

It was previously believed that this was a result of “interspousal persuasion,” meaning that over time partners adapt to one another’s beliefs, but research showed this wasn’t the case. This similarity tends to exist from the very early years in a marriage.

It’s likely we seek this compatibility because we believe it increases the likelihood that we will be able to raise children together successfully by reducing the amount of relationship issues we confront along the way. So while we may consider dating someone whose political views are opposite our own, we don’t want to have a long-term commitment with that person.

Dealing with Relationship Issues Caused by Your Political Views?

Are your political beliefs similar to your spouse’s? If not, it can be beneficial to learn to understand your partner’s point-of-view. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or change parties, but it may help you to have more respect for one another’s opinions in other areas of your life. When you have differences of opinion that threaten your relationship, most often the threat stems from your discomfort accepting that your partner doesn’t see things your way. Part of being an adult in a relationship is that you are capable of allowing your partner to think for his or her self, and showing respect for the differences. If it is a challenge for you or your partner to accept those differences, then consider seeking Portland marriage counseling. We can help you over your power struggles and through your relationship issues.