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You Asked: Are His Political Views a Deal Breaker?

Dear Sugar,

Are political views a deal breaker? I've been dating my boyfriend for eight
months but I'm just now starting to realize how different his political views are from mine. He's got strange conspiracy theories that he thinks are facts about the Clintons and he shoots down everything I say about politics. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't tell me I'm wrong per se, but he immediately disagrees with whatever I say. Should this be a serious thing to consider when thinking about our future together? — Difference of Opinion Olivia

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Difference of Opinion Olivia,
Many people say the two big things to avoid in conversation are religion and politics, but I happen to think anything that sparks an educational conversation or debate is a good thing. I think having different political views is just fine, even disagreeing on a few things is OK, but if he's condescending when talking about your differences of opinion, well that's another story.

At the end of the day, you and your boyfriend need to agree on the matters that will affect your relationship such as money, family, religion, how to raise your kids, etc. The only way your difference of opinion will be a deal breaker is if he doesn't respect the fact that you're entitled to have your own point of view. You can vote Democratic while he votes Republican just as long as your family and relationship values are the same. Differing on politics can push you to learn about each other's points of view, so listen to what he has to say, make sure he listens to what you have to say, and sometimes you're just going to have to agree to disagree. I hope this helps.


Join The Conversation
Grandpa Grandpa 9 years
My wife and have had our votes cancel each other out 38 out of 43 years. I think your differences on religion are something you MUST work out as far as raising kids are concerned before you even consider marriage. Nine times out of ten the guy is going to let his wife raise their kids in her religion, that one out of ten can lead to divorce. I have seen it happen twice, both times after the kids were born. The funny part is before they were married none of them had any strong feelings on religion at all. I have noticed over the years that it is liberal women who have trouble with a relationship with conservative men. I can't think of a case off hand when a guy cared, or even a conservative woman. My guess is that conservative women are more secure in their positions, and are fully capable of arguing cogently. While SOME liberal women are more guided by emotion, and therefore not willing to compete in the area of ideas, which is a shame. Guys are more concerned about getting his date in the sack, if she is good there, who cares how she votes.
Fitmari Fitmari 9 years
i'm so glad you all agree with me on this! i've been thinking about how much political views would matter in my relationship too, since i grew up in norway where most people are social democrats and we're all for sharing and taking care of the poor and my bf is a republican. any way we would be a worse match politically is if i was a communist. but we just dont really talk about the stuff we disagree on, and he does listen to me, i've just been thinking about it anyways. but now i'm alot less nervous about it! thanks guys!
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 9 years
I'm in the same boat, and I have to say herjoiedevivre's response is most helpful. My boyfriend does everything to try and be the best boyfriend he can for me, but when it comes to politics, he sure sticks to his guns... almost figuratively... thanks GOD he doesn't dissagree with me on abortion. I'd have to leave the man I love. I would.
I could NEVER date a Republican. I talk politics, and if I married a Republican I would be arguing with him all the time.
frieddumpling frieddumpling 9 years
Then don't talk about politics if you can't handle a disagreement! You don't expect your boyfriend to be your clone and agree with everything you say! It's good to be passionate about politics and like any other thing, there's going to be different views. If this was about music choice, would it be a dealbreaker? I would think not in most cases. If it bugs you so much, then avoid the argument or deal with it. It can't be the sole reason for a breakup unless there's something else wrong in the relationship too. Don't use this as a shield to hide other problems.
carak carak 9 years
i agree with Dear! my boyfriend is conservative and i'm liberal. we don't usually talk about politics too much because i never really pay attention to it because all politicians are really the same. he'll bring it up if there is something on tv, but i don't usually say anything because it might be on something i haven't really researched. and if i'm going to get into a political debate i want my facts straight so i can win! as long as you two can agree on more important things in your relationship, like the things Dear said, then everything should be fine.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
They can be... it depends on the views and on the people. My ex was a hardcore conservative and an evangelical Christian - I'm a left-wing liberal and definitely not Christian. We were fine talking about most things, but any political or religious or moral or ethical issue that came up just turned into a vicious back-and-forth between two completely opposite viewpoints, and we both ended up backing down just to keep the peace - but we weren't able to have any sort of discussion, which was a bit upsetting - like Bella, politics are a big part of my life! That said, if you're less diametrically opposed, then maybe it's not as bad. But if he just refuses to hear you out - while forcing his views - then there's other problems than your politics.
retrodiva retrodiva 9 years
I think differing opinions are great in a relationship as long as both parties are respectful of the views of the other person. I'm not sure it's possible to agree on every single political issue; or perhaps there are people luckier than I am in that regard. But I enjoy debating these things with people who have different views, because I can almost always learn something, unless they are just completely closed-minded. I've had many interesting conversations with my husband about political subjects that we don't agree on. But at the end, it's not personal, and we don't always have to be in agreement on every single thing.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
It shouldn't be a dealbreaker so long as you are both able to be respectful to eachother and both able to acknowledge your own fallibility. If either of you believe that you are absolutely right in all your beliefs and you can't tolerate anyone who is "wrong", then yes...definite dealbreaker. But, think how boring life would be if you could only stand to be around people who were just. like. you. :O
pinkroxmysox82 pinkroxmysox82 9 years
Politics are a big thing and for now it's not a big thing that is going to hurt your relationship, but I could see it getting into a problem with your relationship. If I were you I would take a stand and say that you believe in that person or that nominee and talk with him and see what he likes according to politics.
Marci Marci 9 years
As long as I'm entitled to my opinion and we can agree to disagree, I'm fine with being with someone whose political views aren't the same as mine. But your boyfriend doesn't sound like he can do that. So it's really up to you to decide if you can deal with that or not. I would find it exhausting, personally.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
Politics and religion... the two things people shouldn't matter in relationships but really do. I've seen both of these and trust me, the fights aren't going to end if he's opinionated. If you guys just have slightly different views and he doesn't push his on you, that's fine... but you said he's always shooting down your opinion. Your opinion should be every bit as respected as his. I dated a guy once who your guys sounds like... if he's as opinionated, trust me he'll never get off that soap box.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Politics are a big part of my life, so while I'm cool with some differences of opinion, I couldn't be with someone with whom I fundamentally disagreed. I have no idea how Mary Matalin and James Carville make it work. Or if they're actually a real couple. Imagine the screaming matches over dinner.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
To me it's cultural-- where I'm from things are very very conservative, but people live in a bubble. When I left the bubble and dealt with the real world, my opinions changed. Politics now are very important to me because I see politicians' choices directly impacting my life, whereas before it was all idealism and symbolism, and tied directly into the strict religious upbringing I had. I'm not sure I could be with someone who was constantly undermining and voting against things that I sincerely believed would make my life better. Not to mention, if our finances are combined and we're in the same socioeconomic group-- that really matters when voting. My SO doesn't really care about politics like I do, but we live in an immigrant neighborhood in Brooklyn and see things every day that impact us and our collective quality of life.
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
It all comes down to raising children. Will you both be able to give your views? Will he strongly push his? Will he put your opinion down in front of the children?
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I think it depends on the couple. For me it would be really difficult if the man was ultra conservative as I am very liberal. I think it is OK to disagree from time to time, it is very healthy.
omilawd omilawd 9 years
I'm moderate. My boyfriend is very liberal. We rarely talk about politics, but when we do, we're sure to argue about something. I don't really care how he votes on things, and he feels the same way. There's other things to focus on.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 9 years
my guy and I have been dating for 2 years now and since the beginning, politics were always...argument hotbeds for us, lol. I'm liberal and he's a strong conservative, and you'd be surprised as to how these choices manifest themselves in applicable ways in real life. however. after a while, when we realized that neither of us were going to change viewpoints, we both stopped being condescending and approached it as more of a discussion, or a debate. you'll never run out of things to talk about and discuss, that's for sure, as long as both of you can do it respectfully. I think that's what your guy needs to learn how to do. ask him why he disagrees. try to draw out conversation, but monitor him for any type of condescending manner. call him out on it if he does. you're both missing great chances to find out more about each other and about where you really stand on the issue. but that won't happen if he all he does is shut you down and disagree.
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
It depends on the severity of the political views of you or the other person. I have considered dating a guy until I found out that he was extremely conservative and did not want to rationally discuss abortion or the death sentence.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"My husband and I are both conservatives, vote republican usually, but we aren’t “married” to the party, I usually go for the best candidate." This sounds like us. We don't have identical views, but we have very few fully opposing views. That ones we have that differ still go together well enough.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
My husband and I are both conservatives, vote republican usually, but we aren’t “married” to the party, I usually go for the best candidate. That being said, he reads a lot about “conspiracies” and we have heated discussions about them, I tend to be more of a realist, he is always looking for alternatives. I don’t think I could be married to someone who was the complete opposite of me politically. Like greggie, alot of my politics are tied to my religious stance, and to go against them is going against my beliefs I really don’t know who I am voting for this election coming up…I do know its not Hellary or Obama!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
For me, it is. My political views are rooted in my religious views, and that's very important to me for creating a family unit. Your situation doesn't sound like political views, though. If he's "shooting down everything you say" he's not very respectful, period.
kia kia 9 years
I think his treatment of your opinions is more of an issue. Folks with differing political views can get along great if they are respectful to each other (think the Gubernator in Cali and his Democrat wife). For me personally I have discovered that someone with similar views and values works well for me. I don't think I would want to be with someone on the other end of the political spectrum.
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
i could so not deal with anything more than a small difference of political opinion. i'm a feminist and progressive political ideals are extremely important to me and there's no way i could really even date a conservative. (fortunately, my bf is more liberal than i am, which is awesome.) if he's not going to even try to respect your political beliefs, you need to find someone who supports the same causes as you. otherwise, it's going to spread beyond politics, and it's just not going to work.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
Differing political views? You need to deal with this cajun style!
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