Opinion

Sleeping with the enemy

politics

Can a relationship survive if you can’t agree on politics?

I have three deal-breakers. She has to compliment me at least twice a day, look at me 90% of the time and if she orders a sharing platter… does she even know me?! But what do you do if you find out that your partner, who is practically perfect in every other department, votes for a policy or party you find abhorrent? Do you sign a petition to end the relationship or still believe you’re #StrongerTogether?

In these politically divided times, when we’re engaged in a messy divorce with Europe, Trump is getting faux pas and fake tan all over foreign policy, and Scotland’s threatening to ghost the UK, not only are diplomatic relations on rocky terrain, our love-lives are too.

I asked DIVA readers if they’d stay in a relationship where they disagreed on politics and 52% voted Leave. Sophie’s hot date turned into a hot mess when she discovered the object of her desire held wildly different opinions. “Her views were far to the right of mine. I thought about making a move on her anyway – it had been a while – but realised that I couldn’t have lived with myself if I did.” Damn morals, always getting in the way of a good time. Similarly, my friend Jen is such a die-hard Labourite, she wouldn’t even get to the first date stage with someone who wasn’t totally cray for J.

If political views are indicative of core values, maybe referendums are really a kind of abbreviated Cosmo compatibility quiz. Or can a Brexiteer and a Remainer live in harmony? Is domestic bliss possible if one of you joins Women For Trump while the other knits a pink pussy protest beanie? When Brexit erupted, dating apps like Remainder and Better Together launched so that Europhiles could meet up in Italian restaurants and sing East 17’s Stay Another Day to each other in Dutch. It used to be rude to talk about politics with someone you’d just met. Now it’s perfectly acceptable for your dating profile to read, “Seeking non-smoking F with GSOH for long walks on the beach and mutual agreement on government policy”.

Of course, it all depends on your priorities, the vastness of the ideological chasm between you and the nature of the liaison. While Sophie couldn’t bring herself to sleep with the enemy, for a casual encounter I’m pretty laid-back as long as she’s voting for a night in the sack with me. I tend not to grill a woman on her politics before progressing to under-the-bra action. The exception? If I caught sight of a swastika tattoo during foreplay and I wasn’t shagging Piper from Orange Is The New Black, I would be alarmed. The only kind of extremist I’m interested in is someone extremely good looking.

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