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Can Trump and Non-Trump Supporters Still be Friends?

 

Can Trump and Non-Trump Supporters Still be Friends?

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A new politics study from Pew Research Center confirms the pain that many of you have been feeling both online and offline; friendships and romance are feeling stressed when the subject of Donald Trump comes up, and inevitably it will.

The Pew poll of over 2,500 adults conducted from June 27 – July 9, 2017, and released on July 20, 2018, shows that a majority (52%) of American’s are paying attention to politics since Donald Trump was elected president, with almost 60% of women driving the political conversations.

Almost half of the Democrats in the study admit that supporting Donald Trump is putting a strain on relationships, and members of both parties believe that someone supporting the other party didn’t share the same values and goals as they did. Most of us know someone who has lost a friend or romantic partner due to differing politics, right?

Pew Politics Study
 

I believe this strong divisiveness is a reality that isn’t going to go away soon.

While researching my upcoming book, Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, I have seen similar findings, with women being less willing to date across party lines than men. I’ve also witnessed the testing of friendships, and people who quickly unfriended and blocked people they used to be close with on social media.

As someone who’s in the business of forging love relationships, I believe in taking an inclusive approach, and for people to be open-minded about listening to another point of view, but I’m even more aware that the struggle is real, and the stress that Pew has confirmed is as intense as the reality show that our country is living in.

RELATED: Love and Loss in the Age of Trump

I’ve gone on record as saying politics ranks higher on the dating totem pole than dating a smoker who could quit.  In addition, we’ve added the subject “politics” to all of our dating coaching consultations, and have found the majority of liberals said they wouldn’t date a Trump supporter, with the majority of conservatives said they’d prefer not to talk about politics.

Pew Politics Study
When dating site OkCupid asked the simple question of “Trump?” in their online questionnaire, the majority of their members who answered said, “Hell no,” and since 90% of their members support the ACLU, singles are proudly including the #RighttoLove badge in their profiles as part of the partnership with the ACLU.

If you’re single and living in D.C., there will be slim pickings when it comes to dating. Politico reports that if you work for the Trump administration, it’s hard to find a date,  but this isn’t happening just in D.C. I see it everywhere.

These days, on Facebook, even a political cartoon can result in a visceral reaction from your friends.

When I posted the meme of Bob and Sally on Facebook, I was trying to get a temperature reading from my friends. The meme went viral, and the comments poured in, with the majority saying “No, we can’t be friends with a Trump supporter.” Many took it a step further and said, “We can’t even be friends with someone who is friends with a Trump supporter.”

Bob and Sally - Politics
I was told I wasn’t taking a strong enough position against my Trump-supporting social media friends, even though the majority of my friends did lean to the left.

I have strong views and opinions where it comes to our current administration but have an even stronger desire to make sure love prevails past Trump’s current or potential future term.

RELATED: SURVEY: Singles Would Rather Have Bad Sex Than Date a Trump Supporter

If Politics is Important to You, Wear it Proudly

Yes, Donald Trump has polarized our country, our families, and our friends. Wearing a political baseball cap including “#NOTMYPRESIDENT” or on the opposite side, a “MAGA” hat, are now both front and center on dating profiles.

OkCupid profiles are proudly filled with the #RighttoLove badge, and singles now instruct potential partners to “swipe left if you voted right.”

This presidency has brought the conversation about values and attitudes to the table, and I believe that’s a good thing. Finding someone like-minded about the issues that are the most important to you will help you find a partner to join you on this turbulent journey in Trump’s America.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and is the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. She’s the author of the upcoming book, Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships and has been coaching singles for almost 25 years on finding love online.

Contact Julie

FOLLOW @JulieSpira

SURVEY: Singles Would Rather Have Bad Sex than Date a Trump Supporter

 

POF Political survey

I’m a believer in truth-in-advertising, and as I said in my essay, Can Love Survive Trump, the challenges of dating in Trump’s America have been painful, and have resulted in reducing the dating pool by 50% for those with strong opinions on either side of the political spectrum.

This new survey of 2,000 singles in the U.S. conducted by online dating site Plenty of Fish shows that people are living and dating by their beliefs.

When I read the study, which claims that 34% of singles would rather have bad sex for the rest of their life than date a Trump supporter, I quickly realized this heated subject isn’t slowing down.  Our commander-in-chief still affects the way singles select their dates online.

The Conversation survey breaks it down further and states:

  • 59% of singles won’t start talking to someone whose dating profile promotes a different political opinion.
  • 52% of Republicans and 65% of Democrats won’t start a conversation with a political opposite.
  • 84% of singles find it’s best to openly discuss their divided views with their partner.

RELATED: DOES LOVE TRUMP POLITICS? MATCH SURVEY SAYS YES

I asked POF’s Conversation Expert Celeste Headlee to weigh in and elaborate on these findings in the Conversation Nation 2018 study, to help answer questions that my dating coaching clients always ask.

Julie: Should singles post their political opinions in their dating profiles?

Celeste: It may not be a good idea to put your politics on your profile. As we can see, many people make quick decisions about dating based on political issues, and it’s much better (and less likely to cause friction) if you talk about them face-to-face.

Julie: When should someone bring up politics? Before a first date? In their profile? On the first date?

Celeste: It’s okay to choose one issue that you know you’re passionate about and bring it up on the first or second date, as long as you are kind while you do it, and have no intention of arguing. Let the other person know you’re just trying to see if the two of you are compatible.

Otherwise, leave that political conversation for the second or third date and don’t argue or yell at anyone. If they disagree and you can’t see yourself with that person, be honest and be kind. 

Julie: Why has dating a Trump supporter become such a hostile issue?

Celeste: Dating a Trump supporter can be an issue for people because he’s the culmination of a long trend toward polarization and division in politics. Whatever you may think of him, the evidence shows he is the most divisive president in US history.

RELATED: LOVE VS. TRUMP: IS POLITICS POLARIZING RELATIONSHIPS

He has taken some extreme stances on many issues and that means he’s upset and offended people. So, it’s common for people to say that they can’t date a Trump supporter, or will only date a Trump supporter. We think that knowing someone’s position on the president tells us more about them than it really does.

Julie: Why is politics a bigger deal-breaker than bad grammar?

Celeste: One of the surprises in this study is that more people are turned off by bad grammar than by bad sex. But the number of people who won’t date across party lines is larger still.

At this point, it’s very difficult to avoid talking about politics, as nearly every aspect of our lives has become political: what we eat, what music we listen to, what movies we watch. So, it’s important to talk about politics with your date, but be prepared to listen more than you talk and not try to change anyone’s mind.

Julie: How can you communicate in a healthy way with someone with different political beliefs.

Celeste: If your goal is to learn about the other person’s opinions, instead of talking about your own and arguing your position, you’ll be much more likely to have a healthy conversation. If they say something you find troubling, you can say, “I disagree with you, but I’m interested in learning why you believe that.” It’s difficult and sometimes scary to talk about politics with other people, so be kind and be welcoming. 

Julie: How can liberals and conservatives co-exist in the dating world?

Celeste: Liberals and conservatives can date each other and be happy. The most common reasons for divorce are money, cheating, and a lack of together time, not politics. If you can learn to allow the other person to have their own thoughts and opinions, to discuss without arguing, to stop trying to change their mind or convince them they’re wrong, you will get along just fine.

What happens in government will not, in the long run, determine the success or failure of your relationship. If you create a party loyalty test for all of your dates, you may end up walking away from someone who is a perfect match for you in every other way.

On that note, has dating in Trump’s America affected your choice of daters, or caused tension in your relationship?

We’d like to hear from you with your stories, so contact us at CyberDatingExpert.com/contact

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 24 years with her Irresistible Profiles programs.

FOLLOW @JulieSpira for dating advice on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.