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I consider myself a very vocal person when it comes to expressing my political views. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to relationships, politics can either break me or make me. Not everyone likes someone who is “too vocal” or “too much of an activist,” but there are also people who enjoy having those political debates.

 

Personally, if a person has no opinion about politics, I will lose interest in them. For me, if a person has no interest at all in the current political system and in the things that are happening around the world, I infer that they are not bothered at all by what happens around them and around the world.

 

From this, I assume that they probably are in a place of privilege, which is not always their fault. What bothers me most about their lack of involvement was that they did not acknowledge the privilege so they didn’t feel the need to change the current reality. 

 

But what about if the person is interested in politics? Will their political views determine whether I like them or not? Would the fact that they associate with a different political party influence how I feel about them? 

 

Here are some things you should consider when bringing politics into a relationship:

Listen

Before judging, listen. Before judging someone for not voting for the same person as you or supporting a different party, listen to the motives that have brought them to their opinions. 

 

Keep an open mind while listening, as you might be surprised about what you learn. Hearing someone else’s perspective about the same topic can be extremely enlightening if you give them opportunity. Listen to what they have to say and be curious.

 

Ask follow up questions and get the answer to any of their opinions that are still unclear or that you might still be skeptical about. Listening to their thoughts might avoid many future problems.

See if what they say align with your morals

There’s a difference between having a different political opinion and not being a moral person. It is important to know how to spot this difference. To make sure that this person has the same values and morals as you, asking their opinion about things that for you are the undeniable truth is important.

 

Questions without right or wrong answers will help you identify where the person stands. Questions that you give you your partner’s moral compass may include things such as, “Is it ever right to kill another person?” or “For you, is stealing wrong if the person is doing it to survive? Do you believe everyone has the right to education?”

Know when to draw the line

You need to be careful while navigating the line between being understanding versus stepped over. For the relationship to work, you must be willing to look at the other side of politics. Remember that you also have the floor to speak. A conversation goes both ways and both of you should be expressing your opinions.

 

The same thing goes about the line between disagreeing and being intolerant. You can disagree with someone, respect their opinion and move on. What you can not do is prohibit someone from expressing their opinion.

Whether you realize that this person is a match for you or not, don’t forget to respect their opinions.

Renata is from Amazonas, Brazil, and studies international politics and broadcast journalism at Penn State. Her hobbies include reading and writing, editing pictures, and dancing for fun. She likes to learn new languages, currently speaks four, and is trying to learn a fifth. Fun fact: she wrote a book, but let’s not talk about that.
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