The Hill Life: The HuffPo Addresses Cross-Party Dating

Sep 12, 2012

This weekend, a friend who lives outside the Beltway sent me an article that both perplexed and angered me.  The piece was about dating in the District, but seeing as how I haven’t dated in earnest since Bush was in office, I thought I’d solicit your opinions on the matter.

The article, which appeared in the Huffington Post, chronicled the travails of several single Republicans who can’t find love in D.C. allegedly because of their party affiliation.  Here is one of my favorite excerpts.

Looking for love can be fraught experience. But in the nation’s capital, it seems that being a single straight Republican can be an especially lonely endeavor.

Tim, who didn’t want his real name used, went out with a nice woman. They slept together. Then she Googled him.

She “broke up with me over an op-ed I wrote,” Tim recently told The Huffington Post. “After that, I just disclosed up front in the profile, and got several ‘Thanks for your note, you seem interesting, but I can’t imagine dating a Republican.'”

So you went on a date, had sex and then, she dumped you because of an op-ed you wrote?  Either that was one hell of an op-ed or this woman is one of the most shallow people in the history of time.  Because I don’t know about you ladies, but if I liked a guy enough to take him home, I think I’d give him a chance despite his party affiliation. 

Or it could be the third option, that the sex wasn’t that great and she was looking for a plausible excuse to cut the reigns?  Just a thought. 

The article also asked a Democrat what he thought about the possibility of dating a Republican. Prepare yourself for some real wisdom.

Here’s a debriefing: A 60-year-old who asked to be called “Stefan Colberts” recently posted an otherwise expansive ad on Craigslist that specified he did not want to hear from Republicans.

“I need to feel emtionally connected to someone and I can’t if they are mean-spirited and do not give a damn about the poor, as most Republicans are,” he says. (“Chomsky-anarchist-democratic-socialist” and “anti-capitalist” is how Colberts describes his own politics. “Although as you know we all have our contradictions,” he says. “I am living on some investments.” )

Oh, I see. Identifying as a Republican automatically makes me a mean-spirited person who steps over the bodies of dying children as I climb into my Platinum Edition Escalade. I wasn’t aware, but I’m glad to know that I can stop giving 10% of my income to charity and volunteering in my community.  What a waste of time and energy that is.

And just to prove that ridiculous generalizations are a truly bipartisan pastime, the writer also included this gem.

“Liberal girls love conservative guys,” he says. “We have jobs.”

I’ve never wanted to slap a complete stranger so hard in my entire life.  It’s amazing that this sincere, forward-thinking, open-minded person can’t find a date.

Look, I understand wanting to date someone who aligns with your core values and beliefs.  And I know that it is very important to find someone who you are compatible with, but this idea that every Republican is a fascist tyrant who hates gays and thinks charity is for chumps is as unfair and antiquated as the notion that every Democrat is a pinko-commie liberal who wears hemp underwear and supports Hugo Chavez.

The people who identify with a political party run the gamut from extreme to the moderate, and when you live in a political town, you have to be willing to judge a person on more than just the letter after his or her name. And if you’re not willing to give someone a chance, then that says more about you than it does about them.

Also, I think the entire premise of this article is BS.  First off, there are a lot of single Republicans who live work and date in D.C., so I don’t buy that there is a shortage like the author claims.  Secondly, I know plenty of staffers, lobbyists and politicos who’ve married outside their party.  And in my eight years in D.C., I have NEVER heard any of my friends, Dem or Rep, say that they wouldn’t date someone because he or she was a member of the other party.  So while the quotes in the article make me cringe, I find the entire foundation of the piece to be pretty ridiculous as well.

I’d love to hear what you think about the article.  Is the premise valid or is it just sensationalism?  Have any of you experienced similar prejudice from members of the other party?

P.S. And this is the last time that I ever link to an article where an interview subject asks to be identified by their porn name.


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  1. S says:

    I'd have to say it's somewhat valid. I honestly don't want to date a republican because I know myself well enough to know I judge people based on their political leanings (whether that's a good thing or not). When I saw the person who ended up being my boyfriend was conservative I gave him a shot and quickly found out that he's not actually conservative (no real conservative opinions, just thought he was because of his parents). So that actually did relieve me.

    Not sure if I could date a strong republican because I've never tried.

  2. Steph says:

    That is a bunch of nonsense. I am a Democrat, I've worked for/volunteered for Democrats and I married a conservative. He's not super political, which may help, but his political views don't necessarily define his values and I appreciate our robust conversations. We respect each other's opinions, and leave it at that. If you won't date/marry someone b/c of their party affiliation (ahem, there are plenty of conservative Dems and plenty of liberal Reps, so affiliation, schmiliation) you are waaaay too into the Beltway nonsense.

  3. Pavo says:

    Until a few months ago, I worked as a democratic fundraiser nationwide. In my home we give to NPR, NRA, and Planned Parenthood. My husband is a registered Republican and we own a home in DC. This isn't meant to boast or finger-wag, but I think that article is nonsense. We know more couples in the district comprised of members of both parties than we do two Dems/two Reps.

    Maybe the problem isn't party affiliation – it's making perfect the enemy of good and using the other person's predilection to vote elephant or donkey as an excuse to be an ass.

  4. Mrs Type A says:

    To me it would be less about the label and more about core values, as you say. That being said, many republicans (not all, but many) do not support gay marriage and are pro-life, and I cannot imagine getting into a relationship, looking towards a future with someone with those beliefs.

  5. Belle says:

    S: You're kind of proving my point here. You gave someone a chance, and he surprised you. Good for you.

  6. Belle says:

    Mrs Type A: If you consider pro-choice one of your core values, I don't expect you to rush out to date someone who is pro-life. But R and D are comprised of so much more than any one issue, so saying he must be this or she must be that because they're R/D, is like shooting yourself in the foot.

  7. Mrs Type A says:

    Exactly, that's why I said core values are more important than the label. I have friends who are republicans and support gay marriage, so I know that beliefs on these issues are not mutually exclusive with particular parties.

  8. Jenny says:

    Steph, I completely agree with you and S, it's pretty sad that you are so closed off to dating a Republican when you claim to come from an inclusive party.

    Neither Republicans or Democrats are monsters and despite what you see on cable, most folks are relatively moderate.

    I date some one of the opposite political party and there's no better way to be sure of your core values and those of your significant other than to have a little push back and have to defend them. You'll actually find you have more in common than you think… maybe this would help Congress actually get something done.

  9. E says:

    I have a few friends who say that they would never date a Republican, which irritates me because they also say “You're my only Republican friend.”

    I would date a Democrat. I think that my personal beliefs are strong enough to deal with it. Unfortunately, I have been asked by men, “As a woman, why ARE you a Republican?”

    Maybe that's the real issue at hand…men assuming all women are Democrats simply because of “women's rights issues.”

  10. Beth S says:

    Not only have I been in a cross-party relationship for the past 3 years, one of us used to work for the Heritage Foundation and one of us used to work for Obama. People are people, plain and simple. Plus I'd rather date someone who was invested in politics than someone who didn't care, regardless of party.

  11. Amelia says:

    This is crazy. I'm a very politically active D, and my very political live-in bf is an R. “How do you both do it?” has become a joke between friends and family. We have dueling Romney/Obama bumper stickers on the car, and mixed signage in our apartment–hell, we even have donkey and elephant wine bottle corks. We watched both conventions on CSPAN, as our personal commentary was far better than anything on TV. We do do argue and discuss things, but it keeps us sharp, and our relationship interesting.

    While it does sometimes really irritate me that he will argue with political ads on tv and spew off talking points, at the end of the day, we're together because we care about each other and share numerous “core values and beliefs”–I think we are both good, decent, kind, and caring people. We both love our families, friends, and volunteer for causes we believe in. He would give the shirt off his back for someone in need, and that matters more to me than his political beliefs.

    At the end of the day, we're far more similar than different.

  12. Kate says:

    Anyone in this city who considers party affiliation a deal breaker is someone you dont want to be with to begin with.

    No, I wouldn't want to date Reince Priebus (or whomever his younger, attractive counterpart may be), but the same applies to the DNC. For me, it's not a matter of which side of the aisle youre on, but more a matter of how firmly entrenched you are. In that regard, close-mindedness is never an attractive trait.

  13. Beth says:

    I married a Republican, and I am a Democrat. I often find it funny that Democrats refuse to date Republicans because of their “narrow-mindedness,” which is in itself narrow-minded. People also have asked me how I could have married a Republican, as if all we do ever is sit around and talk about politics all the time.

    We actually married because when it comes down to it, we have strikingly similar values: We both want to live in the city for now, walk our dog (a rescue, by the way) and go to fun bars, the movies and hang out with friends. In a few years we will move to the suburbs (hopefully a close one) and raise kids, if we are so lucky.

    Those are the things that actually matter in life.

  14. Ella says:

    Clearly there is a real problem – just look at the comments on the HuffPo piece. I think there's a tendency on both sides to think that disagreeing with someone is a basis for instant judgement and insults. As a moderate Republican, I have many Democratic friends and have dated a few Ds. But I also meet a lot of Democratic people who judge me immediately for being a Republican without even learning about my actual political views, and I'm sure the reverse is true.

  15. Leigh says:

    Well, it's HuffPo, so you have to take the article with a whole shaker of salt. That said, ruling someone out strictly on the basis of party affiliation strikes me as a little absurd, but I'm an independent, so it's never really been an issue for me. I have problems with both parties, but not with the people who comprise those parties (generally speaking), so why wouldn't I date them?

  16. EK says:

    “Plus I'd rather date someone who was invested in politics than someone who didn't care, regardless of party.”

    ^^ this. And everything that's been said about how much people's values vary, even within a given party. If you have values criteria that are dealbreakers – I know I do – that's one thing, but going off of a label is laughably arbitrary and rare, going by my experience.

  17. Jen says:

    I'd rather date a democrat that actually knows what they believe than someone that is apathetic or ignorantly follows a belief but can't defend. I enjoy someone that can give me an intellectual challenge and keep me thinking.

  18. helixy says:

    Yeah, I'd have to say the article is BS, too. Go figure, Huff Post…

  19. Anna says:

    I'm a Democrat and have heard many Democratic friends say they would never date a Republican. How serious they are about that, I'm not sure. Personally, it doesn't matter to me what someone's political affiliation is as long as they know why they affiliate with that party and could respect my beliefs. I think I would only have trouble dating someone who was a Republican for purely social reasons than fiscal ones, but then that would be in conflict with my core values and it wouldn't be about the party per se. I mean, if James Carville and Mary Matlin can do it?

  20. anon says:

    You know, Belle, just because you can't get a date….

    Really? You had to write about this?

  21. Em says:

    When my boyfriend and I first started dating he asked me (in a serious conversation) if it bothered me that we don't align politically. I told him (like Anna said before me) if Mary Matalin and James Carville can do it, anyone can!

    Now we are like the other couples who have commented – we have dueling bumper stickers, etc.

    Also, my job is very political compared to his (ie working on campaigns). He continually shows his support for me by attending events, etc. It means a lot to me that while he may not support my candidate, he supports my job.

  22. Chris says:

    Anon: Really? WTF.

  23. Mary-Lynn says:

    I don't think the strict R or D designation matters so much. The first example you cited is a little shallow though: maybe she wasn't turned off by him being a Republican but you can learn a lot about what someone really believes and values from an Op-Ed (that's sort of the point, isn't it?) so perhaps he outlined some positions there she disagreed with more strongly than just party affiliation.

    Personally, the affiliation wouldn't matter but certain positions do. I wouldn't date someone who's pro-life because not only am I pro-choice but in the course of a relationship what happens if I want to choose? The political sure as hell is personal in that situation and I would absolutely want to be on at least the same theoretical space as they would be. Someone who's actually going to have sex with me telling me they think I couldn't choose what I want to do with the body they've got guest access to just isn't going to fly.

  24. Belle says:

    anon: There's a difference between not being able to get a date, and choosing not to date or look for someone to date. But since looking for love on Capitol Hill or in D.C. would certainly be of interest to some of my readers, I don't see why I shouldn't write about it.

    But judging by the quote in the article, your mean-spirited attack must mean you're a Republican.

  25. Jenn says:

    Concur with Chris… very inappropriate and childish Anon.

  26. CE says:

    I have close friends who are Republicans, but I still wouldn't date a Republican (and I'm not really a D either, just a liberal). I can handle disagreements about fiscal or foreign policy just fine – that wouldn't be an issue – but the GOP's views on social issues are in direct conflict with my fundamental core values. That's too much for me to look past in a relationship. But I admire those of you who have successfully dated (and married!) across the aisle!

  27. Jennifer H. says:

    I've actually had multiple potential and actual dates in the past decide that we couldn't date or there was no compatibility – some despite ever actually meeting me and asking about my viewpoints – because I list myself as Republican. This doesn't surprise me, at least in D.C.

  28. BB says:

    “We actually married because when it comes down to it, we have strikingly similar values: We both want to live in the city for now, walk our dog (a rescue, by the way) and go to fun bars, the movies and hang out with friends. In a few years we will move to the suburbs (hopefully a close one) and raise kids, if we are so lucky. “

    Those aren't values. Those are lifestyle choices.

  29. RMS says:

    E – I HATE when people say things like “you're my only Republican friend”

    During the last election, I had a good friend who worked on the McCain campaign and to this day whenever I run into one of her old campaign buddies I get “oh yeah you're A's liberal friend” as if that is the only part of my identity. I think it's dangerous any time you label one aspect of a person's lifestyle or personality and categorize that person simply based on that. I'm pretty moderate all things considered, but instead of engaging in a real conversation to get to know me, this group decided I wasn't worth getting to know because I didn't vote for their candidate. Applying that same mentality to dating is so limiting and I think a lot of people miss out on connections that could be great.

  30. TA says:

    This is ridiculous. I'm marrying an Independent and I'm a Republican. I'm glad my fiance is not into politics too much because when I get home from work (I work on the Hill), I like to relax. For me, someone's political beliefs isn't a “make it or break it” qualification; it's about how that person treats me and others who are around me.

    Also, my favorite uncle, who died almost 2 years ago, is a Democrat. He used to work for a congressman and he was the one who inspired me. I miss having our debates over Thanksgiving dinner and despite our differences in political beliefs, we still loved each other because we're family.

  31. E says:

    Paul and Janna Ryan, anyone?

  32. Meg says:

    CE – you're assuming all Republicans have conservative social views. FWIW, I'm a pro life Dem and my boyfriend is a pro choice Republican. I'm not sure if anyone else is noticing this, and maybe it's because I live in NYC now, but many of my peers (20 somethings) are socially liberal, fiscally conservative registered Republicans. Party affiliation doesn't always tell the whole story and I think “Don't judge a book by its cover” applies here.

  33. BN says:

    I'm sorry for being controversial, but how is this any different from deciding you want to marry someone with your same religion? Sure, plenty of people marry outside of their faith, yet we never condemn someone for saying they wont consider marrying someone who doesnt practice the same religion they do (or to the same degree). Maybe the “core values” argument that's being made in the comments is applicable here, but call it what you want, people make these kinds of choices all the time. Some people wouldnt consider dating someone who didnt have a college education, is that choice to be criticized in the same manner?

    Choosing a partner is a very VERY personal decision. You're going to have to live with this person for the rest of your life (hopefully). You're going to have to make major life decisions together, about money, taking care of elderly parents, kids, where to send kids to school, charity, where to live, etc. I really don't think it's wrong to say you have parameters.

    As for the stereotypes about Rs and Ds that the article mentions — they are absolutely terrible. But berating someone for deciding that they dont want to date / marry someone because of political party is a personal decision.

  34. Meredith says:

    Let's also remember that dating someone inside your party doesn't mean you agree with them on everything, as HuffPo insinuates. I am a pro-choice, women's rights, gay rights believing Republican, and my boyfriend, who grew up in a very conservative Catholic home, doesn't always agree with me on these issues. Party affiliation is not a magic bullet for dating in DC.

  35. Annie says:

    Thank you for this Belle! This post literally couldn't have come at a better time! I've been wondering about this exact topic, and it's reassuring to hear that you know others who have dated and even married outside of their party.

  36. GB says:

    I go in the opposite direction. I'm fairly liberal but I've always had “a thing” for Republicans. Something about what I'd always perceived to be the stereotypical characteristics of Republican men (stoic, I suppose? Straight-laced?) always appealed to me in a Dharma-and-Greg sort of way. Or maybe I just like waking up to political arguments, haha. 🙂

    I'm currently engaged to a Republican, in fact, though we are so similar in our core values (crucial for marriage, I would think) that it has seriously challenged my belief in the idea that Democrats and Republicans are really all that different.

  37. Amanda says:

    Political affiliation is tool to keep the politics of the country organized. We rely on it as a crutch to identify ourselves. Ask me about my morals, values, things I care about? yes, you will probably be able to predict who I am going to vote for in the next election. That article just makes me laugh. Everyone is entitled to date how they want but, please, don't come crying home when you haven't found 'the one' while you're busy pushing people away with your political party's baggage.

  38. Belle says:

    BN: The way I see it, your religion is a core value. Your political party is an affiliation based on core values.

  39. s says:

    I realize that there can be differences within a party, but the way I feel is that even if a republican significant other was socially liberal (I believe these are core values), I'd have an issue with them supporting candidates who are socially conservative. So realistically, there are very few scenarios where I'd be ok with dating a republican. I agree with what someone said above in that its similar to religion. If you can date someone with different beliefs, good for you, but don't judge me for not.

  40. Jess says:

    I find that the whole Democrat/Republican dating thing ridiculous as well. But then, I believe that a two party government isn't right for the US either. In my experience, (conservative by the way) the people that I know from both sides of the line actually lean more towards the middle. Neither party has all the solutions, and it is too bad we can't come up with something better.

  41. Nina says:

    “Someone who's actually going to have sex with me telling me they think I couldn't choose what I want to do with the body they've got guest access to just isn't going to fly.” – I love this comment so much. Choice is a dating dealbreaker for me D or R, and I went to a religious university so I know lots of anti-choice Ds.

  42. M. says:

    I love when Democrats/liberals say that Republicans/conservatives do not care about the poor, are uncharitable, etc., considering study after study shows the opposite! Conservatives donate much more money to charity than liberals.

    Here's a good op-ed, written by a NY Times Democrat:

    Just my 2 cents, from a moderate-leaning-slightly-to-the-right gal. 🙂

  43. CE says:

    Meg, I guess I should clarify to say that I wouldn't date anyone who is conservative on “social” issues. Choice and gay rights are both bright lines for me. D/R is really just a convenient screening tool, but I wouldn't date a “pro-life Dem” either. As Liz Lemon would say, that's a dealbreaker.

  44. Jan says:

    I agree with those people saying it is most important to share core values. But there are a lot of partisan political issues that I consider core values. And the opposing political party does not support these values. Even if my significant other agreed with me on these issues, he obviously doesn't prioritize them to the same degree if he's able to vote for the opposing political party. I also couldn't date someone of the same political party who didn't agree with me on some of these core values.

    I also think its unfair for other people to be judging those of us who don't want to date across party lines. If you don't want me to judge you for dating someone who cancels out your vote, then don't judge me for wanting someone with a similar political opinion.

  45. ES says:

    The funny thing is that often times R's and D's can have very similar opinions on an end, but the means to achieve that end are different- ie, myself and my Dem friends may both agree that a certain program should exist, but they feel that it is more secure if the government runs it whereas I believe it should either be privately run or a states issue…. The whole 'republicans are women hating ogres and Dems are peace-pipe smoking animal lovers' mentality keeps us from getting to the heart of the issues and prevents bipartisan solutions.

  46. K says:

    This is an amazing quote. Unfortunately, it is way too long to tweet. I'll have to settle for praising it in other ways!

    “Oh, I see. Identifying as a Republican automatically makes me a mean-spirited person who steps over the bodies of dying children as I climb into my Platinum Edition Escalade. I wasn't aware, but I'm glad to know that I can stop giving 10% of my income to charity and volunteering in my community. What a waste of time and energy that is.”

    Excellent post, Belle.

  47. Moosita says:

    I would never date someone so ignorant or self-important that they couldn't get pass a difference of opinion. Since when is the worth of a person defined by their beliefs on certain issues or partisan affiliation? And frankly, who cares that much? There is more to life than campaigns and conventions and the 24-hour news cycle.

    One of my favorite quotes is by Aristotle: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

  48. CH says:

    @BN – I think the difference is that the people interviewed in this article are demonizing (or at least making sweeping generalizations about) the other party. That's like saying, “I want to marry someone of my own faith because all other religions are devil-worshipping degenerates.”

    The point this click-baity article is making, as I see it, isn't “people like to date someone who shares their political beliefs” but “some people in both parties say ridiculous things about people in the other party.” Wow, HuffPo – newsworthy.

  49. Karen says:

    While I vote Republican, I actually identify as a conservative-leaning Libertarian. My fiance votes Democrat almost exclusively, but he identifies as a Moderate (he isn't. He's a regular, run-of-the-mill Liberal except that he supports civil unions–with all legal benefits–instead of gay marriage). I'm fiscally conservative, pro-life, and don't care if they call it marriage or a union as long as the rights are given.

    When we talk about politics we can get into heated discussions and debates, but it's all fun. We know what values we're going to instill in our future children and that's the important part. While I would (obviously) date someone of a different political affiliation, I would hesitate to marry someone who wanted to raise our kids to believe something that I think is flat-out wrong. No reason not to give someone a chance, though.

  50. My fiance is apolitical who was registered republican when we started dating (before he moved to VA with me where you don't register with a party when you register to vote). I worried about it for, oh, an hour when we first started dating since I am as liberal as you get but realized that our connection is much too good to worry about that. Every once and a while I'll roll my eyes at him when he says he's not going to vote or both of the candidates are exactly the same but otherwise, we don't talk politics and its all good.

  51. chicago, not dc says:

    ” Conservatives donate much more money to charity than liberals.”

    Conservatives donate more money to church, which is different. Plus, simply donating money does not a supporter of the poor make. Many social policies (which conservatives often do not support) go to help the poor, and one may donate things other than money, such as time, to real charities.

  52. Emily says:

    while it's incredibly dumb and hypocritical I definitely know girls who won't date across the aisle. I'm a dem… and for some reason only seem to be attracted to Republicans (opposites attract maybe?) But my roommates have openly bashed me for dating R's. While I don't agree with them on dating across the aisle, there is something to be said about marrying someone from a different party. For me politics are very personal and a core value to who I am. I don't know that I could marry someone if we dramatically differ in our core political beliefs (sure maybe a few, but certainly not a bunch). It's interesting to think about. Thanks Belle.

  53. AB says:

    After reading the article in HuffPost yesterday, and then the blog post and corresponding comments today, a thought occurred to me: I wonder if the views portrayed in the article on HuffPost are held more by the older generations, given that the ages of the people in the article are 40, 41, and 60. I feel like most of the people who probably read this blog will generally range from college age to 30s. And based upon the comments, we all mostly agree that we all want partners that have the same core values…regardless of where that shakes out on party lines.

    Also, I feel like the article found extreme people needed to support the point…kind of like the crazy people you always see interviewed on the street by the local news, and think “where did they find THAT guy?” I think the only valid spin on the argument made would have been using population data based upon the fact that DC has a large population that votes Democrat as well as the a Democrat Administration currently being in power. If the article would have said, Republican women have a harder time finding Republican men–if they want them–based upon population data, I might have been able to buy into that argument a little more.

  54. Monica says:

    The article's premise does seem shallow and ridiculous….but maybe a lot of this kind of polarizing muck would be minimized if we had a multi-party system! Like a real one. If you could stand with the Social Liberal/Fiscal Conservative party instead of one giant platform that changes by the political climate of the election year then maybe we wouldn't be so quick to judge someone based on their party, especially when it would require people to really look at what matters to them, and not just the party of choice in their family/town/state.

  55. Beth says:

    “Those aren't values. Those are lifestyle choices.”

    BB: Maybe I should expand on my point. Our values are that we value our marriage before anything else. We value starting a family someday, we value doing right by kids should we eventually have any. We value being a good neighbor and treating our neighbors with respect. We value spending time together, value our friendships. I think those are values that are more important than how somebody thinks social security should be funded.

    Also, I'd caution people not to put someone's beliefs into a perfect box just because of the party they affiliate with. Not every Republican is against gay marriage, and not every liberal is pro union. Don't automatically assume labels mean anything about someone.

  56. E says:

    As a Capitol Hill Democrat, I dated a very serious conservative for two years; we even lived together. It wasn't so much that we had different political affiliations, but that fact that deep down, he wanted everything I worked on to fail. Sure, he was happy for me in my day-to-day achievements, but I knew that he hoped my work would not be successful and that his positions would win-out.

    I can't say this is the reason our relationship ended, but it certainly didn't help. I think political affiliations probably matter more to people in this town than anywhere else in the country since so many people's jobs are wrapped up in politics.

  57. Valerie says:

    I feel like everything related to party affiliation gets magnified in D.C., when so many people are involved in politics in some form or another. I was a “bipartisan kid” (one parent was a registered Democrat, the other a registered Republican), and I don't think political views really got in the way of my parents' marriage. Sure, I remember some interesting dinner conversations about political views, but had they been so rigid and dogmatic in their own opinions, I wouldn't exist.

  58. Dallas says:

    I wouldn't break up with someone I already liked because they were a Republican, but I tend to not enjoy spending large amounts of time with politically active Republicans. It comes down to, as many people have stated, a lack of agreement about core values. If someone is supporting Mitt Romney, they're probably standing in opposition to pretty much all the things I value. And while I have no problem with this trait in friends, I'm not going to make out with someone who does. Personal preference, I suppose.

    I don't know that this is any dumber than the litany of other reasons people break up early in a relationship: she chews oddly, he talks too loudly, I hate her friends, he spends too much time watching football, etc. etc.

  59. Colli says:

    As a conservative, originally from Massachusetts, who works in health policy, I can say that a lot of this is very true and has happened to me personally, professionally, and academically. I tend to play my political beliefs close to the vest because I've had more people judge me the second they know that I'm a Republican than I can count. It always amazes me when, after I've known someone for several months, a liberal says that they've, “never met a conservative/Republican who was so kind / thoughtful / non-judgmental / insert kind words here.” I've heard this MANY times over the last 10 years, by the way.

    Now, I've known some Republicans who are idiots with extreme, radical beliefs. I've also had Dems throw stuff at me, call me every mean name in the book, and stop speaking to me or dating me just because they find out I'm conservative. I guess that people on both sides of the aisle can be judgmental…

  60. Mara says:


    Do you honestly see a huge division between those things and 'how social security is funded?' You value your marriage and your family, but what if your partner didn't respect the ability for your family (if gay) to get married. You value starting a family, but what if your partner disagrees on how that should happen (availability of contraception)? You want to do right by your kids, but what if you and your partner disagree on public school funding and education? You value being a good neighbor and treating your neighbors with respect, what if your partner doesn't respect the contribution of neighbors who might be illegal immigrants or doesn't believe that there should be national healthcare which might allow your elderly neighbor to maintain their health?

    You can say they're just labels, but people decide on them for themselves, and they say a lot about people. No, not every Democrat will believe one way and not every Republican will believe another, but in general they stand for certain outlooks on life and if you find one incompatible with yours, it's perfectly legitimate to not waste time on that avenue and concentrate on people you're more likely to get along with.

  61. Mara says:

    Also, Belle, seriously, you wonder why people might think you're mean-spirited and hate the poor when you are associated with a party that has gone completely off the deep end. I mean into la la land. It's one thing to be fiscally conservative and believe in smaller government, but it's another thing entirely to be associated with a party where members are constantly spouting disgusting comments on women's bodies, race, gay rights and is willing to push the U.S. government off a 'fiscal cliff' and destroy the economy of the country rather than compromise. I am a rabid west coast liberal (if you can't tell), but even the excesses of the Reagan era are far preferable to the attitude the Republican party has now. If you want to get into those sweet sweet Democrat boxers, all the young Repubs need to do something about this craziness.

  62. Belle says:

    Mara: I may not agree with a lot of what is happening with my party right now, but there are still good people in the party, and if we're going to change it, it's going to be from within, not the outside. So if you don't like the things you hear coming from some Republicans, then you shouldn't be chastising those of us who are trying to promote an alternate view from within the party.

    So don't hate.

  63. Emili says:

    I think it all depends on your past experiences in dating someone of the other party. If the person isn't that political, then it shouldn't really be an issue. That being said, living in DC most people are.
    The last guy I dated seriously was a Republican and I'm a big Democrat. He was a liberal Republican, which is why it worked for so long and wasn't a huge problem had our relationship continued (we broke up for other reasons). Though I can say that was the basis of most arguments we did have, so we tried not to discuss it much.
    Now that I'm single and looking to date again, I can say that I would much prefer to date a Democrat, since my job (and likely his) is political based.

  64. Rachel says:

    “I mean into la la land.”

    Mara (and several other comments here) are stunning and disappointing examples of self-righteous, entitled liberal bigotry. Your reply to her rude, condescending comments was pure class, Belle.

    Mara, may I suggest you worry about the “disgusting” parts of your own party first, like Floyd Corkins the shooter at the FRC. Or the violent rapes and the very anti-female assaults at the Occupy protests, just for starters. You assert women's rights and gay marriage, but 4/6 female governors in office are Republican women and Obama was miserably slow to endorse gay marriage. I'd say you have plenty of work to do in the Democratic party first.

  65. KH says:

    This is an interesting debate to read, especially as a Canadian. Most Canadians do not pledge allegiance to a particular party so I can't quite imagine having the opportunity to make such sweeping generalizations.

    That being said, I would not (ever, ever, ever) date someone who does not support gay rights. I hold this conviction in the same regard as refusing to date someone who is racist/sexist/etc.

    I know that doesn't fully answer the question at hand but that's what comes to mind!

  66. Gay Republican says:

    I agree that this it mostly nonsense. However, I will say that has a Republican lesbian in DC, my party affiliation does cause some problems. Most women are shocked that I can support a party that they view as oppressive to them. However, if they aren't willing to listen to what I (and other Republican's) actually believe, then I am not really interested in dating them anyway.

  67. Sam says:

    <i>You'll actually find you have more in common than you think… maybe this would help Congress actually get something done.</i>

    Man, I love this idea: Rebublicans and Democrats in Congress forced to socialize! The singles could have mandated after-work dinner dates. The married ones could take turns hosting family dinners at home for the others' spouses and kids.

    I'm sure it happens to some extend, but gee, it would be nice if it happened between the representatives themselves more often….

  68. Ann says:

    I know a lot of people (honestly mostly Dems) who would not date outside their political affiliation.
    In my experience it can work out as long as the two members of the couple don't get into mean-spirited arguments. My DH and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum and tease each other good-naturedly. I will say, “Look over there. It's Man-Bear-Pig!” That's a South Park reference for global warming. In 2008 DH got himself a McCain T-shirt to wear around the house because he knew it would get him a lot of hugs from me.

  69. LPU says:

    Articles like this just perpetuate the notion that everything in DC is caught in the partisan BS that Congress has put on display. That's simply not the case. I work for a Democrat-only company, but many of my friends who work in politics in DC are Republicans. Despite what HuffPo seems to think — D's & R's don't all have a visceral hatred for one another.

    That being said, I'm a die-hard liberal & I dated an R for nearly 3 years. Everyone asked (& still asks) how we did it. Ultimately, the demise of our relationship had to do with our polar opposite political affiliations (among many other things).

    Would I date a Republican again? Probably not. But you can't say it's because I didn't try!

  70. mira says:

    KH is right – this is fascinating to read as a Canadian. We're watching your election because it does affect us politically and financially.

    Granted, we've got more choice – Liberals, NDP, Green, BQ (for Quebec), Libertarians and Conservatives, which can be broken down to red and blue Tories. But bottom line is values. I wouldn't date anyone who didn't believe in choice, gay rights, equal rights and universal health care. Other than that, I don't care who you vote for but I do care if you don't vote.

  71. Another Beth says:

    As a non-religious, gay-friendly, conservative young woman who dedicates a lot of time and energy to supporting vulnerable populations, I think being so quick to judge people based upon their party affiliation is complete and utter nonsense. Like Belle and others have pointed out, both parties encompass a VERY wide range of views. It kills me that rampant partisanship has become such a killer of meaningful political discussions — not to mention relationships.

    Great post, Belle — thanks.

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