Political differences in relationships have the potential to enrich your life. It can teach you about different perspectives and different value systems.
But—It can suck too.
Recently, Meghan Markle has been in the spotlight for her and Harry's political differences. Lady Colin Campbell shared with "The Daily Beast" that Meghan Markle's liberal political views conflict with Harry's friend's political beliefs.
Just over a year ago, I told myself that political differences shouldn't matter in relationships. I believed that inclusivity meant learning about views that were not my own.
My intercultural communication professor inspired me to have empathy for other belief systems.
"Everyone loves their children. People of all political views are trying to leave the best legacy for their children," he said.
I was wrong.
I dated someone with whom I shared very few political beliefs. We disagreed about everything from inclusive language to our thoughts on the role of the federal government.
At first, I thought it my relationship was interesting. I learned about his point of view and he learned about mine.
Then, it got exhausting.
I quickly came to realize the impact of disagreeing with my partner on a regular basis. Instead of him being a confidant and a support system, my relationship was more conflict.
Beyond our 1:1 relationship, it wasn't always easy to socialize with other folks. Our mutual friends knew that we didn't agree on most things related to social justice or policies.
More often than I'd care to admit, people would pull me aside and ask where I saw my relationship going or how I could date someone with a different set of beliefs.
It's hard to defend your partner when you don't agree with their choices.
In the end, our political differences are not what ended our relationships. However, it didn't get easier over the year we were together.
If you're considering dating someone that you don't share a belief system with, consider how those differences of beliefs will impact your life.
Ask yourself: What do I value most in life? Can my partner support the things that I value most? Can I support my partner in their actions and belief?
My parents share many beliefs, but don't 100% agree with their political views. Their differences of opinion were not a problem in my childhood. I believe it is because they could support each other in their beliefs even if they weren't always the same.
I believe the Duchess of Sussex is up for the challenge, are you?