Column: Political opinions shouldn’t be the only deciding factor for relationships

It is OK if your significant other has a different political stance than you.

Rachel Schnelle is freshman journalism major at MU. She is an opinion columnist who writes about campus-wide problems for The Maneater.

When Facebook and Twitter were introduced in the early 2000s, it was a way to keep in touch with old friends. It then became a way to connect with other single and like-minded people, and later a way to express political opinions. Now it has become an unhealthy mixture of both. This is incredibly important because political opinions matter in relationships.

According to Psychology Today, nearly one-third of all married couples in the U.S. consist of individuals with opposite-party affiliations.

“Single women were less flexible in dating across party lines, where a majority of the single men I spoke with would prefer not talking about politics at all on a date,” according to the Elite Daily.

Politics have become a topic in everyday conversation. With our president and the current political climate it has become even harder for single people to find someone with the same views as them. Instead of asking people in person, we look to their social media to figure out their political affiliation.

Political likeness is important because relationships are built on it. Finding your soulmate is about finding someone who is able to empower you because they agree with your moral and political values.

A Wakefield Research Study entitled the “Trump Effect on American Relationships” reports that 29 percent of Americans admitted to tension in their relationship because of the current political climate, according to New York Daily News.

An additional 22 percent of Americans said they knew a couple whose marriage or relationship was negatively impacted since Trump’s election in November. As well as this, some couples have even split because of direct occupations with the Trump administration. Women have split with their significant others because they were repulsed at the thought of being with someone who worked for someone like Trump.

Marriage counselors are even seeing this dynamic play out in their offices. While some couples eventually work out their differences some find it to hard to overcome and divorce

It’s not just romantic relationships that are splitting because of the 2016 election, it’s also platonic relationships. A recent Monmouth University study found that 7 percent of people have lost or ended a friendship over the presidential race.

Social media has also become a way to create political tension between friends and family members.

A shocking 109 million Facebook users put up 5.3 billion likes, posts, comments and shares related to the election in 2016, according to New York Daily News.

When looking for a significant other, I also look for someone who mirrors me. Someone who shares the same religious, political and social values. I want someone who I can talk about the state of our nation with.

I sound like I’m casting doom on the politically active singles but there is hope. It is possible for bipartisan relationships to work. The solution: agree to disagree on your political differences. If someone truly loves their partner, than politics shouldn’t matter.

As an article from The New York Times says: “Don’t give up your values to appease your partner, but do be patient and kind.”

After seeing presidential candidates argue like children in 2016, this might seem out of reach. Both sides have instilled a deep hatred for each other making it seem impossible to have a civilized, open-minded political conversation.

There is such thing as a respectful political argument and if bipartisan couples and friends have that it’ll last.

I hate to gloss over these issues, but if we truly respected each other for our political differences — the world would be a better place.

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