With more than 50,000 students enrolled here at UF, the spectrum of political philosophies is understandably broad.

It would be an understatement to say that these have been somewhat divisive times. These days, we are facing the politicization of the killing of BIPoC, wearing masks in public and everything in between. On top of all this, we are in the midst of an election year, which of course only aids the bitter divide that seems to grow larger every four years. With more than 50,000 students enrolled here at UF, the spectrum of political philosophies is understandably broad. But, what role do they play in romantic relationships? Are cross-party, cross-ideology relationships likely to happen? 

For Vance Osteen, a 19-year-old UF telecommunication junior, the answer is a little more nuanced than a simple yes or no, blue or red, left or right.

“I think whether or not I’d date someone whose politics don’t coincide with my own would be conditional to whether or not I was already romantically interested in that person,” he said. “It would also depend on how extremely their politics differ from my own, I think.”

For Vance, romance, connection and attraction are of the utmost importance before politics can get in the way. Yet on the other hand, the prospect of dating outside party lines is simply a no-go for many. 

Mary Grace Gunnels, a 19-year-old UF communication sciences and disorders junior, finds that politics and identity are often intertwined and cannot be easily separated. 

“I don’t think I would date somebody of too differing political beliefs because in my opinion, it tends to boil down to morals,” she said. “If our views differ on the rights of any group of people, it will have to be a hard pass.”

One look at your Twitter feed will show you that Mary’s viewpoint is not out of the ordinary. It can be difficult to find common ground with someone on the other side of the aisle, let alone invite them to the other side of your bed. 

Even if politics are not essential to your relationship, the relationship itself can be politicized by others, as pointed out by Ryan Karczewski, a 20-year-old UF architecture junior.

“Being a gay male, people can consider my act of having a same-sex relationship as political,” he said. “Therefore, I feel that pretty much cancels out a lot of people who would have largely opposing viewpoints from me.”

 At the same time, there’s still some wiggle room for Ryan.

“Given that I have dated someone in the past who had some opposing viewpoints from me, I can personally get past them, only in small cases, though,” he said. “Overall, I would date someone with opposing viewpoints, but only very small and minor things."

It looks like opinions on political views in relationships are just as varied as the political philosophies themselves. Whether you extend your hands across the aisle or keep it within party lines, be honest about your views, for yourself and for your partner, and don’t forget to vote in November.

Contact Alyssa Archard at [email protected]. Follower her on Twitter @Alyssa_Archard.