Strange political bedfellows: could you date someone who votes in a way you don't agree with?

Election-2019-Elected-Parties.jpg

On the eve of a Canadian federal election that’s super depressing on a number of levels, I’ve been thinking a lot about how our political choices tend to align with our dating pool.

North American politics have rarely been as partisan and fraught (at least in my lifetime). I chortled when I read this piece last year (headline: “Young Trump staffers are complaining they can't date in DC because everyone hates them”) but it reminded me that our political affiliations are deeply important in terms of finding people who are compatible with us.

At Friend of a Friend Matchmaking, we almost always ask our matchmaking clients where they fall on the political spectrum — left? right? centre? Many clients tend to fall closer to the centre and/or are open to dating those with differing political views, as long as they can debate their differences in a respectful fashion.

But there are also a lot of clients who cite differences in political opinion as a straight-up dealbreaker (no smokers, nobody who still lives with their parents and absolutely no Doug Ford supporters). This makes sense: your politics reflect your values, and if a potential romantic match doesn’t share those values, you may not be compatible long-term.

When I was first getting to know my boyfriend, I discovered his politics were very similar to my own. That made me sigh with relief: I knew we’d be on the same page about a lot of important things, such as LGBTQ+ rights (obviously!), gay marriage (yay!), abortion (your body, your choice!) and the environment (keep that oil in the ground and stop buying pipelines, holy smokes!). As a result, I’ve never had to apologize to my friends about him, never slapped my forehead as a result of any of his Facebook posts and we’ve never once had an argument. No disagreements = a pretty nice byproduct of deeply held shared values (oh, and also respect and good communication, but that’s a whole other blog post).

I know not everyone is dating or married to someone of the same political stripe. Two federal elections ago, I interviewed a long-term married couple whose front lawn had two signs on it — one Liberal, one Conservative. They were, by their own accounts, very happily married. They just didn’t talk politics at home, that’s all.

What about you? Would you/could you ever date someone who votes for a party or a candidate you don’t agree with? Let us know in the comments below!