Image Credits: Southern TIde

As young conservative women on liberal college campuses, the probability is high that we will be forced to confront what once might have been our worst nightmare: dating a Democrat. Fear not ladies. You do not have to throw your principles away just to go on a date with a boy who’s Twitter bio says #ImWithHer. You can date a Democrat without losing your morals or your mind.  It may not be easy, but I promise that if you follow these easy tips, you will be on your way towards bipartisan bliss.

1) Be willing to find common ground in and out of politics

When a Republican dates a Democrat, it can only be assumed that there are many things they disagree on, both in and out of the political realm.  If the relationship is to last, and last peacefully, it is crucial that the two parties must find common ground. Do you both dislike one of the candidates? Do you agree about immigration, refugees, nuclear proliferation, or climate change? Great! What about Game of Thrones, long walks on the beach, or gin and tonic? Common ground is important when you are on two sides of the spectrum. Practice it in your relationship and maybe Congress will finally catch on.

2) Don’t base your entire relationship on politics

We know that politics can sometimes consume your life. Maybe you work on a campaign or write for a political blog.  Maybe he also works on a campaign or writes for the Left-leaning paper on campus.  Despite this, you need to base your relationship on something other than politics. That’s why I don’t advocate dating someone you work with, especially in politics.  Don’t make the “theme” of your relationship political in the slightest. Cool, you’re dating a Democrat. You’re not dating an alien. Base your relationship on how much you enjoy each other’s company.  Don’t start every sentence with “My boyfriend, the Democrat…”

3) Find things to do that don’t involve politics in the slightest

Every date night should not devolve into a debate watch party, news binge, or anything along those lines. It is important to build your relationship on something other than a party line. Go for a walk or something, for crying out loud. You do enough political work on your own time.  Let your relationship be about building something between the two of you. Your boyfriend should not be required, same ideology or not, to go door-knocking with you.

4) Resist the urge to fact check everything they say

Don’t sit on our phone during an argument over politics fact-checking everything someone says, especially if that someone is your significant other. Fact-checking has its place, but that place probably isn’t in your relationship. You’re not going to win anyone over by aggressively typing on your phone and saying “NO! YOU’RE WRONG! SEE!” and shoving a phone into their face. If you cannot resist the urge to prove them wrong, find a nice way to do it.  That include acting like an angry talking head on CNN. Calling them stupid and pulling up an info-graphic about it is not going to remedy the situation in your favor. If you want to do a fact comparison, make that a separate event, or send links. It gets messy in person. Trust me.

5) Make jokes about your own party or candidates

Conservatives and Republicans can often be seen as uptight or unfunny, even by those that know us best.  I have learned first-hand that the best way to combat this is to crack some jokes. I’m a big fan of joking about how I don’t believe in climate change (spoiler alert: I do). With a nominee like Trump, we have to laugh, or we’ll cry.  When something funny or absurd happens within the party, don’t be afraid to laugh or make jokes about it. It doesn’t count as betrayal, don’t worry. You can still sit with us.

6) Don’t make it a point to change their mind

How would you feel if someone was dating you with the expressed purpose of changing your hair color, or your pant size, or your religion? No decent person dates someone with the intent of changing them, for the better or the worse.  Don’t be that person. If you’re lucky, through friendly disagreements, lively discussions, and a lot of late night talks, you may bring someone over from the other side.  If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you failed. This country has been a two-party system for centuries because both sides have valid arguments on different issues. It is not your job to make your significant other into the person you want them to be.  If you’re that uncomfortable with their political leanings that you make it a point to change it, then don’t date them in the first place.

It’s not easy to be a politically active person and date someone with very different beliefs than yourself, but it is possible. You can rise above party lines and find love in a hopeless election year.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member