She was a Hillary Clinton supporter. He’s been a Donald Trump supporter.

Does this relationship have a future?

A Meet to MarryTM participant recently met a man who seems just right: He shares her vision for the future; he meets her emotional needs. Everything seemed to align.

Except for one thing: He voted for Donald. She voted for Hillary.

Is their relationship doomed, or should they move forward?

She and I talked this through.

Yes, they voted differently during the last election, and each still stands by those decisions.

But do they share common ground personally? Do they hold common values? Do they share a harmonious vision for their future?  

Good news here. It turns out that they do have deeply-held values in common–like appreciation for family, respect for education, and commitment to living lives of compassion toward others.

Those are important things to have in common. These two people know what matters to them.

Truth is, you don’t have to be on exactly the same page politically, because that’s rarely what day-to-day life is all about. When you have a foundation of shared values, mutual respect, and meeting each other’s emotional needs in a healthy way, you have a great deal. With honor and respect for each other’s opinion, you should seek common ground, meet each other in the middle, and avoid taking the extreme position of “my way or the highway.”

3 ways to know if it will work

  1. Do you respect each other? You should listen carefully and honor the other person’s opinion, all the time. Remember, presidents come and go, but your commitment to each other will have to outlast them all. 
  2. Do you have a shared vision for the future? Together, you’ll agree on what you want to create as a couple–what kind of home, family life, community. You’ll know what it feels like to be together as true best friends. 
  3. Do you share core values? These are the deep and lasting things. In the case of this client, she and the man she is dating really value family, they prize education, and they strive to be compassionate. Core values are positive, they motivate us, they are part of what make our lives meaningful–with or without a partner.

My husband Michael and I happen to be on the same page politically and in most other ways. We think alike. We continue to learn together, experience together, read together, and over time, we’ve continued to grow together. For instance, we came to embracing a fully plant-based diet from different motivations: I was deeply saddened by learning about animal cruelty and confinement. He is concerned about environmental impact, and we both care about health. We’ve listened and grown from each other’s knowledge and commitment, and now we’re both fervent about animals and the planet and promoting health for all.