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February 19, 2003

Politics and Relationships


I have decided to steal your excellent idea and write about the topic of politics and relationships (hey, you snooze, you lose). The topic came up in a comment by Laurel on your post, “Free Reads -- Chris Bertram” in which she discussed breaking up with her boyfriend over Iraq.

In my own relationship with my loving wife, politics isn’t much of an issue because (1) we agree and (2) my wife sees no reason for me to waste time discussing something we agree on when I could be doing household chores or driving the kids somewhere. But even turning my memory back to my misspent youth, I could only remember one relationship in which I’d had heated political disagreements, and those only seemed to lead to sex, so in retrospect I’m not sure if we were really arguing or conducting foreplay.

To try to get a more objective view, I conducted a lightening poll on entirely unscientific grounds among my employees. These were the results: of 6 people surveyed (3 men, 3 women) 3 considered political differences to have been an issue in one or more of their relationships and it was a factor in one breakup. On the other hand, disagreements over religion had played a role in 4 people’s relationships, and it had led to at least 4 breakups.

So it would appear—if this ludicrous survey is an indication of anything—that religion is a much better relationship-buster than politics.

Another topic for future blogging.



posted by Friedrich at February 19, 2003


My significant other and I try to avoid, like the plague,discussing politics, as she is a traditional Liberal, and I am a "recovering Libertarian"-turned-rabid-running-dog-hedonistic-conservative. Why waste time discussing politics when their are more meaningful, pleasurable topics to discuss? The more I avoid politics, as well as most of what passes for the day's "news", the better mood I'm in.

Posted by: Michael Serafin on February 19, 2003 2:20 PM

The Wife prefers talking about people, relationships, emotions and food. And I'd guess that 9/10ths of the time she dictates the subject of our conversations. Beguilingly and entertainingly, but still. When I do manage to get a word in edgewise, and I occasionally raise the topic of politics, I usually discover that we're pretty close, though our real bond seems over our shared dislike of people who are too overbearing politically, or who insist on politicizing everything. Then I'll get really optimistic and try to talk a bit about art, but by that point it seems I'm running out of credit, and pretty soon we're back to relationships, feelings, and food. I think the unspoken deal is that she feels she deserves about an hour of chat on her own topics for every five minutes I get on one of mine.

But it's a good topic to wonder about: are your romantic prospects better with someone who at least semi-shares your political views? I suspect they are, but what do I know? It sounds like Michael Serafin has something nice worked out with his lefty girlfriend. And his avoiding-the-topic tactic certainly seems wise...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 19, 2003 7:13 PM

OK, now...I've heard about this "talking to your wife" stuff before from other men, but I've never really believed them, because their eyes get all shifty. Mostly, I find I just sit and listen and nod at the appropriate juncture, and occasionally throw in a sympathetic grunt or a "Yes, dear...". Any other attempt at verbal comms on any topic of any weight gets an All-Star-class head-fake from her, and we're right back to her favorite subject, her. Not that much different from any other girl I ever dated or married in my entire life.

Love sure does have some strange ways, don't it?

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on February 19, 2003 9:41 PM

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