I started dating this girl last semester and I really like her. We get along great, she is very supportive, she’s intelligent, and she makes me laugh which is a bonus.
The thing is we have different political views on some issues happening in the world right now and can get into heated debates. I often walk away feeling like she doesn’t understand the reality of social justice needs in this country and consider removing her from my life. Are political views worth ending things over or are there better ways that we can work things out?
I’m glad to hear you found an amazing girl! Meeting someone supportive, intelligent, and with a similar sense of humor is always a great thing. Because last year was an election year, this country saw people with a wide range of political views fiercely debating a number of topics, including social justice. No matter the topic and no matter the relationship you have with the other person, I think the most important thing you can do is to be empathetic. Your girlfriend may hold her political views because of her parents’ and grandparents’ views, her religious views, her past experiences, gender, sexual orientation, etc. There’s hundreds of possible reasons for why she might hold political views that differ from your own. I can confidently state that if she likes you as much as you like her, she doesn’t hold those views just for the sake of arguing with you. I believe that while it may be hard, you should always respect what a person has been through and think about why they feel a certain way. Try that next time you get into a heated discussion with her. As the relationship goes on and you learn more about it, empathizing will definitely get easier. If you find that in a couple of months (or years) you two are simply too different, then maybe call it off then. But for now, I’d stick it out a little while instead of rushing into a break-up. Good luck!
This is my personal opinion and I stand by it firmly with respect to how I live my life, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right for your life specifically. If someone is in line with the opinions of Donald Trump, and if those political views contradict who you are as a person and how you live your life based on your life experiences and your background, I think it’s totally valid to end that relationship. I think in this specific political climate, the issues that are being talked about aren’t the kind that can be ignored or brushed off as a slight disagreement. The issues coming into play recently are crucial to the livelihood and survival of people all over the country. I do feel that letting issues like this exist in a relationship can breed toxicity if left unaddressed, so either try opening up a dialogue where you two can express how you feel about your differing ideologies, or take the space you need from this individual. It’s definitely better to take some form of communicative action than to let your issues with this person’s beliefs manifest in other ways that can be not as productive.
There are tons of couples where both people have opposing views, so you definitely can make it work if you want it enough, through empathizing with each other’s positions, using humor, making sure your debates are free of name-calling or personal attacks, or just avoiding controversial topics all together.
If her views make you feel unsafe, and/or you find them so abhorrent that you lose respect for her, then you definitely should consider calling it quits. Relationships are based on mutual respect, and if she holds views that disrespects your identities and/or you lose respect for her based on her opinions, it’s not healthy.
Arguments and small debate are bound to happen in any type of relationship. You might not agree with her political views and she might not either. However, you can weigh out the pros and cons in this relationship. Is it doing you more good than harm? Is it causing you stress? For a relationship to work and last, you must be happy, too! I would suggest to try talking things out and see what her opinion is before making any hasty decisions. Like you said, especially with all of the current events taking place now, these debates might be placed in the spotlight. Can you two put aside your differences and still work well together as a couple? Every relationship is different, and the way you and this girl interact with each other will be as well. If the conversations are civil and respectful, I would think about how content and comfortable you are being in the relationship. If you are constantly overthinking about it and stressing out, then I would suggest reconsidering what you would like to see her as–whether it be a friend or someone more than that. Removing her from your life is an option, but in my opinion, is leaning towards the extreme side of handling with this situation. It is also helpful to view this situation in the perspective that as humans, we have developed and learned to think uniquely many ways. Differences of political views, preferences, religion, etc., will always arise, but it boils down to whether or not these differences are negatively affecting you. Perhaps, if dating doesn’t work out, then stay friends? Definitely communicate with your partner so you both can find the best solution to this problem. Good-luck!