"He's for Trump and I'm for Hillary,” my client shared with me. She laughed as she added, “…And I forgive him for that."
These days, it’s rare for someone to be so accepting. Politics were previously taboo to discuss on a first date — but now my inbox is flooded with messages from clients saying things like, “Can you believe I went out with a Trump supporter? I’ve decided that’s a deal breaker for me now.”
Politics have divided us, even in our pursuit of love. Often, your political party is an indication of your values — and when you and your date’s values don’t sync, it can easily become a deal breaker. But the reasons people choose one candidate over the other are dramatically varied this year. It can speak to values —but it doesn’t necessarily. For example, some have chosen to vote for Clinton because they don’t want Trump in office. And others have chosen Trump because they want radical change. These varying reasons are inordinate and the candidates don't necessarily represent their party’s values as clearly as in the past.
A client of mine recently went on a date with someone who supported the opposing party and he wasn’t upset at who she was voting for – but he was upset at the contentious attitude she showed during the conversation. He won’t be asking her out again. Yet some married couples will vote for two different candidates. Approach political discussions from a place of curiosity rather than conflict. If you set this tone, your date likely will follow. If they don’t, try something like: “Hey, I want you to know I’m not judging you. I’m actually curious about your opinion, and I’d love to tell you about mine because it’s fun to discuss. So let’s keep it a healthy debate, OK?”
Should this emotional presidential race that lasts for only a few more weeks stop you from falling in love? Sometimes we need to learn to laugh at our differences, rather than letting them hold us back.
Laurie Davis Edwards is the founder of eFlirt, an online dating concierge service, and the best-selling author of "Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating."