Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I think this presidential election may destroy my relationship. I'm not particularly political, but my partner is. And lately it feels like all he talks about is the election. He is constantly posting about it on his Facebook page. We can't hang out with anyone without him somehow bringing the conversation back to politics.
He loves to debate and I think all my friends are about over it. Lately I've had a hard time getting anyone to even meet us for drinks or dinner and I think it's because they just don't want to be subjected to another round of arguing about Trump versus Clinton. I've tried to suggest to him that he cool it and try talking about more agreeable, less controversial topics, like summer vacation plans or work or anything other than politics. But he says more people should care about our country's leadership and policies and if he can educate people then he is doing a good thing.
Fundamentally, I agree with that. But I'm just so sick of listening to him rant about politics and I'm tired of feeling embarrassed and exhausted every time he launches into another speech and our friends get that weary glazed-over look.
And then there's this: he plans to vote for Trump. I'm Hillary all the way. So while mostly I'm just generally annoyed that there's no off switch for his political ranting, I'm also troubled that he plans to vote for a candidate I detest. I mean, how can we be so good together but have such wildly different politics?
What can I do here?
On the bright side, it's great that you've found a partner who cares so much about politics that he's trying heartily to engage and ignite others. But I get it; dense, hot-button topics like health care and abortion can be a major buzz kill during happy hour. For people who love politics – and debating business and social issues – these and other topics are thrilling. Meanwhile, the rest of us would be content to gossip about our friends and chat about sports and culture, and can't understand why these rare people like your partner really get off on the minutia of elections and public policy.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your partner's passion for these topics isn't going to be diluted anytime soon. In fact, as the election nears, it may even increase. If you love this person and are committed for the long haul, you're just going to have to grin and bear it.
As for how to reconcile your political differences: the good news is, you aren't alone. A study of singles in America by match.com found that only 17 percent of men and 20 percent of women say their partner needs to be with someone who shares their political views. And happily so, there is so much more to life than politics, and so many other platforms on which you and your partner can connect. Things like sexual chemistry and compatibility, mutually held values, spiritual connections and shared interest in activities and hobbies can help fortify you two and carry you through election season and well into the future.
So, you want to make your relationship great again? And I'm guessing you don't want to file an absentee ballot on this partnership for the next six to nine months while the presidential race plays out?
Then next time he decides to go all Charles Krauthammer on you and your friends, conduct an exit poll after his date debate. Ask him if he noticed if anyone was having fun once he started his campaign speech. Heck, ask him if he was having any fun when no one else would engage with him. I'll predict that if he is honest with you and himself, the no's will have it. But he seems so blinded by his political passions and the rising political climate that he can't be trusted to provide such clarity.
He clearly needs an outlet and you clearly need a break. So, how about we find a way for him to channel his electoral energy into something productive rather than have it filibuster the fun out of your relationship and friendships? Suggest that he stump for Trump and dedicate his time and voice to the candidate in some volunteer capacity. And also have him agree that when he leaves the rally, campaign office and his Trump pals, his politics stay there. Time with you and friends is officially the no spin zone.
Now that's some healthy romance dialogue that all Americans can agree on. I'm Wayne and I approve this advice.
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