Sleeping With the Enemy: A Helpful Guide
What do you do when you're in a relationship with someone who, er, isn't quite on your political and moral wavelength? I've written about this topic before and still can't say I have it figured out even though I've had three years to puzzle it out. If having to watch an hour's worth of Lawrence O'Donnell is the worst of your issues, you're doing alright.
But sometimes the disparity is so obvious you can't help but shrink at the very thought of the awkwardness.
Carolyn Hax addresses this potentially awkward reader issue via WaPo:
I recently discovered that my boyfriend has some religious and political beliefs that differ wildly from my own. This normally wouldn’t be an issue except that when he met members of my family, he proceeded to make highly inappropriate and bigoted comments about them.Yeah, when you stop talking about the remote and start talking about someone making an ass of themselves in front of your family, you have a bigger issue than just not seeing eye-to-eye on major social items.
The question continues:
We discussed some of his views and he agreed to keep the comments to himself, but now I’m nervous about introducing him to friends and family for fear of what he might say. Is there any way to recover from this or is it a deal-breaker?Um, if you have to ask...
I, too, briefly worried about introducing my significant other to friends, lest he show up wearing an Obama t-shirt spouting off scary socialist manifestos at cocktail hour. I quickly realized that my boyfriend is actually the observing type who lets other people do the talking, making obnoxious chatterbox me putting my own foot in my own mouth far more likely than him doing the same.
As a general rule, you don't want to hang out with any one person or group of people capable of making asses of themselves when it comes to their views. Lively conversations about the world are fine but some people have real difficulty sticking to acceptable rules of banter.
There are some things that are forgivable. As a libertarian, I obviously believe no one else's views infringe on my own as long as they are just that, views. What you believe doesn't effect me at the end of the day as long as you don't believe in stealing and eating my cats or skinning girls who have a lot of tattoos or any such thing that might directly impact my life.
When hooking up with someone who does not necessarily share your views, the key is to keep conversations about hot topics to a minimum unless you're both professional debaters who get off on a good argument.
Now, if you have to ask an advice columnist if something is a deal-breaker, you probably need to learn how to set your own boundaries. Can you handle dating someone prone to making inappropriate outbursts at the dinner table? I know I couldn't. When my mildly liberal boyfriend found out I was going to a Tea Party rally, he didn't call me a Faux News-watching, Bush-loving teabagger, he told me to have a fun day and take lots of pictures. See, how hard is that?
Personally, I have no room in my life for bigots. Assholes, sure. Smart asses, definitely. But bigots? Nah, life's too short for narrow-minded jerks cluttering up my personal space.
Grow up and go hit a political rally for your next man, OP. Sounds like you aren't cut out for sharing your life with someone that different from you.