When you go on a date, there are certain topics that are considered "taboo" to talk about.
Especially if you don't know the person all that well. One of these so-called "taboo topics" is politics. However, I was able to chat with Jennifer Wexler, dating coach and founder of "Find Real Love After 40," who says talking politics on a first date could actually be a good thing.
If you're wondering why someone would want to talk about such a touchy subject right away, Wexler shared, "Politics is going to come up at some point" and it's better to know about someone's political background right away, especially if politics is a potential deal-breaker because "It's better to know now than later."
Of course, though, that doesn't mean you have to bring it up on your first date, it's something that can be discussed at any time, but you have to decide how important it is for you to know and whether it could potentially cause problems later on if you don't. The best way to bring up politics once you are ready, Wexler suggests, is in a curious way, rather than a way that feels like probing.
When asking your date about politics, Wexler advises people to focus on values, rather than beliefs.
She says it's important to figure out where they developed their values, and what they consider important. "Be respectful and kind," she emphasized, "Explain why you voted for someone, and why you believe certain things, then ask them to do the same." This approach can also be used to talk about other touchy subjects, like money or religion.
The big question, though, is how to approach a situation in which you learn the person you're dating has different values or politics than you. Firstly, don't worry! It is possible to continue the relationship. The key to making it work, Wexler says, is in the way you respond: "It can work out if you respond with curiosity and an open mind, not if you respond with aggression. Respect each other's differences, knowing that you might not necessarily agree on issues."
Values are more often much more important than political beliefs.
Wexler even shared that her own parents have different political views, however, they share the same values, which lead to healthy debates that can be really good for a romantic relationship.
Naturally, not everyone can date someone who has different political views, so that is why it ends up being so important to talk about this early on — particularly for those who want to date someone with the same political affiliation. No matter what, you must be respectful, then choose to do what's best for you: opt into a relationship built on the same values and healthy debate on political topics or choose to date someone with similar views.
"Dating is about getting to know someone authentically," Wexler says, "You're collecting info and data and figuring out if that person is right for you." If they are, fantastic, if not, there's always the next one. But either way, you must be respectful.
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