V's Take

Dear V: How to deal with partisan divide in a relationship?

Dear V,

I’m having a problem with my girlfriend lately because she is having a hard time accepting my political beliefs. We are great in every other way, but when it comes to being open and tolerant about the other side, she just can’t have it. She puts me down and calls me stupid for thinking differently from her and she totally buys into the smears against my choice of candidate. And now that Obama won last night, she is giving me the silent treatment and says she’s ashamed of me. Are our differences irreconcilable? Is it possible to date someone’s whose political beliefs are so different from my own?

~In the Blues

Dear In the Blues,

Relationships are about a lot of things, and respect is definitely one of them. (Remember my last column?) Without respect for each other, problems begin to arise, as you have painfully experienced. It’s a shame that your girlfriend is unwilling to acknowledge this need to respect others’ opinions and continues to act so selfishly.

Take us for example. We live in a beautiful, wonderful, honorable country where politics is divided between the blue and the red, yet, in the end, we are able to come together as one nation with one purple heart. We are the United States of America, and that’s what matters. This agree-to-disagree attitude that colors our political tradition is what has enabled us to rise to greatness and to make it through the tough times as a country united.

Much as it’s possible for over 300 million people to achieve a relationship with each other as fellow Americans despite party differences, it’s possible to do the same within a romantic relationship. And it’s not even a rare thing! Look around and you’ll notice Republican-Democrat couples are everywhere. It’s normal, it’s bound to happen, and personally, I love it.

Your girlfriend appears to be having a hard time understanding this. Help her through her intolerance by showing her that it’s okay – more than okay, it’s wonderful – and necessary to accept that there will always be diversity in thought and that that should not be attacked. Instead, take it as an opportunity to learn something new and make a connection with someone whose ideas are worthy of respect, as are yours.

Furthermore, your girlfriend has to pick her battles. Clearly, her efforts have fallen on barren ground. Her harassment has not achieved anything in your relationship, except irking you to the point that you have come to question your ability to maintain the relationship at all. Politics is a really personal thing and whether we like it or not, it’s hard to change that past a certain point in our lives. To throw it all away over such pettiness is, well, simply petty.

November 5, 2008

Reporters

V

Advice Columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Asa Martin era for the Miami Hurricanes might be coming to an end just six months after it began ...

Avantae Williams and Lorenzo Lingard punctuated Paradise Camp with a chest bump. The Miami Hurricane ...

Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami displayed tremendous defense in leading the Pizza Hut ...

June is one of the most important months in the recruiting calendar and the Miami Hurricanes finishe ...

A six-pack of notes from UM’s annual Paradise Camp on Saturday: ▪ Few Canes greats have as unique a ...

Alumna Lauren Crotty reflects on her undergraduate experience and the path that lead her to signing ...

The U.S. women’s national soccer team, competing for the World Cup in France, is entrenched in a cou ...

In the first course of its kind on a college campus, faculty, staff, and students will learn if they ...

University of Miami Libraries is working to establish a University archive of LGBTQ materials. ...

University of Miami football players and coaches mentored area youth at a free football clinic in Ho ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team earned All-ACC Academic Team distinction, as anno ...

Eight Miami Hurricanes were among those recognized by the conference with selections to the Track an ...

Franco Aubone and Francisco Bastias of the University of Miami men's tennis team were selected ...

UM forward Dewan Hernandez was selected 59th overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Draft. ...

Check out the June edition of UM Athletics' e-magazine. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.