Politics has now become a two-headed snake in our lives: it has either successfully managed to coil itself around your daily news updates or it has slithered away from your clear disregard of Kellyanne Conway’s latest endorsement of Ivanka Trump as fast as it could. In your own bubble, you could despise politics or people from another party, and not be expected to answer or reflectively discuss the reasoning behind these decisions.
However, on Valentine’s Day–particularly this Valentine’s Day with Donald Trump as President of the United States– all bets will be off the table, and you could be confronted with the very possibility of discussing it with your first or second date or significant other.
So, how “dangerous” is political discussion on Valentine’s Day? Well, according to the responses we collected, it comes down entirely to your date, the type of personality you have, your significant other’s personality and your party affiliation.
“I hate small talk really. When I’m on a date, I want to get to the good stuff and start learning about the other person,” said Sana Dadani, a journalism junior. “If that person supports a different party than me but can still talk openly and civilly about his views, it’s all the better.”
John Kangerlu, a post-college med student possesses a similar approach to Dadani’s ideas and believes couples should be able to share their opinions on world affairs with one another, especially if one partner thrives on “debate, disagreement, and a general exchange of ideas.”
“It’s perfectly fine to have a disagreement – in fact I prefer it to constant agreement, which can get sourly mundane,” said Kangerlu.
Some, like Film student Corey Lea who is in a relationship, said they don’t necessarily bring the topic of politics to the table all the time but know they see eye-to-eye on issues with their partners.
“When it comes up in conversation, we talk about it. It has never caused any issues between us but it is important to talk about,” said Lea.
Kartika Upadhayaya, a neuroscience student, on the other hand, feels a relationship between two people of different political party affiliations “could be normally discouraged” in a Trump-less epoch but with Trump on board, “a level-headed and reasonable debate between the red-blue lines is essential” and a “passion for politics could even spill over into our passion for one another.”
However, individuals have different personalities and others pointed out that political party affiliations, amount of dates and the way they met their partner could be the ultimate decider of whether they wanted to pursue politics on Valentine’s Day or not.
“It depends on who the person is. If it was a blind date or I didn’t really know the person, I probably wouldn’t talk [politics],” said Anthony McMillan. “But if I knew them in a platonic setting before the date, then yeah I probably would.”
Another male student who preferred to be “anonymous” agreed he would talk politics freely with someone he knew “before dating” as well but had a whole new rule for blind dates: the third date will be the date he opens up politically.
But, for Nikki Link, a senior French student, personality holds greater importance than politics during dates. “Such conversations can be jarring to many people, and more than often are uninformed. Defining a first date with a political discussion is unreasonable,” said Link.
Yet, for others who are intent on taking a more light-hearted approach to the ever cold heart of politics, “a date and romantic future could pose a deal-breaker” if their partner was “apolitical or political in a stridently different manner,” said another college male student, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Nevertheless, the real question of politics and Valentine’s Day comes down to you. In the same way that you are able to decide if you like Betsy DeVos or not, you have the choice to ask your partner to not discuss politics on a date, move it to another date, date someone from a different political party or approach it light-heartedly.
Politics is usually a game of sharp tongues and witty schemes. This Valentine’s Day, let a little love take over, too. #Valentine’sDay2017