Home Perspectives Advice Political differences or incompatibility: a dating decision

Political differences or incompatibility: a dating decision


Dear Ella
I have a new woman in my life. For the most part we are great together, or so I thought. The U.S. election brought out such ugliness in her, and I can’t get past it. I don’t understand her support of this president-elect and why she can’t see him for what he is. Her way of thinking is so flawed that I’m not sure we have hope. I’ve put space between us, and we haven’t seen each other for a few weeks. We both wanted that. Where do we go from here?
Hate Trump

Dear Hate Trump
Relationships don’t begin or end with the U.S. election. This election has brought out the worst in some people and has caused more than its share of anger and divisiveness among otherwise normal, caring folk.

Your relationship is not about Donald and Hillary, it’s about your core values. Are the ideologies that drive your arguments so far apart that you cannot see her reasoning at all? Have you both dug your heels in so deep that you cannot respect each other’s opposing views? This is not your election, but many Canadians have been so caught up in it, they can’t let go.

You both need to decide if this relationship is worth pursuing.

It’s not realistic to totally avoid political discussions. Politics are part of living in a democratic society.

When having a political discussion, you need to be able to take a step back, take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I love and respect her and will do my best to understand her position.” Your partner must be able to do the same. If you can’t have a conversation about politics with mutual respect, if your discussion is not eye-opening and maybe even stimulating, if it reverts to name-calling, anger and judging, then you need to rethink this relationship. A partnership requires both parties to be open-minded, respectful and compromising. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, but you have to be able to respect each other’s right to a varying opinion and move on without lingering animosity. If you can’t, it’s time to part ways. A long-term relationship is tough, but the rewards should tip the scales.


Dear Ella,
Our one-month, first-date anniversary is coming up, and I thought it might be time to introduce Kevin to some of my friends, and maybe even my family?
The holiday season is a big deal, both at home and socially, and I would like Kevin to be part of the fun. We celebrate Chanukah, Christmas and New Years. On the other hand, I don’t want to scare him off, and I don’t want to give my family the wrong idea, either.
Do you think it’s too soon? If I leave him out, we may drift apart, and I don’t want that to happen.
Too Soon To Swoon

Dear Too Soon to Swoon
Dating etiquette around the holidays is personal and should be handled with sensitivity. Too much could scare away your newly found partner, while not enough could send a negative message.

You’ve been dating for a month, but is that a month of Saturday nights or a month of seeing each other most days? How much time have you actually spent together? How deep have your discussions gone? How intimate have you become? Has he introduced you to his friends and family? These answers will help you decide whether you’re ready to bring Kevin into your private circle.

Have an honest discussion, but don’t be pushy. Let him know how much fun the holidays are for you, and ask Kevin if he would like to spend some of that time together with you. Take your cues from his reaction. If he hesitates, back off. If he’s excited, proceed with caution. One month is still very fresh. Tread lightly and enjoy the holidays, with or without Kevin.

Ella is the author of Hidden Gold – A True Story of the Holocaust. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.