Editor’s Note: We are excited to launch this new bi-weekly advice column, authored by Angela Morabito (@Bear2theRight). If you have a question you’d like answered, submit it using the link at the bottom of this article.
How do you navigate dating as a person with strong political views? Do you prefer to find potential partners with similar interests, or date people less political? What about dating someone of a polar opposite ideology?
First things first: Your political opinions are not a handicap in the dating world. Any person you ever date will come into that relationship with their own moral values. Hopefully, they match up.
Two people can want the same things for America – a thriving economy, great schools, national security – and have very different views about what party, platform, and candidate will get us to those lofty goals. If your belle or beau shares those same values (hard work, education, and safety in this example) then the party label you slap on those values hardly matters.
Politics will be more of an issue in your relationship if one or both partners works in the industry. Relationships are built on respect – if you think your partner goes to work every day and actively makes the country worse, the foundation of respect is probably quite flimsy.
In a healthy relationship, you can talk about things that matter to you, even if your partner disagrees. But you must also be willing to listen. You cannot tell yourself, “Well, they’ll come around” or “Oh, if they were smarter they’d see it my way.” Accept each other, and don’t try to debate your way to changing their views. To paraphrase the Obama 2008 campaign, this is change we can’t believe in.
If your significant other isn’t into politics, that’s okay. All people do not have to care about all things. Caring about all things sounds exhausting. (I only care about, like, maybe eleven things.) But if you’re dating someone, they better care about you – even if they don’t care about politics, they better support you and what you’re doing in that space.
Can we please abolish the federal government?
No. The federal government is too big, but that means “shrink it” not “nuke it.” The federal government also generally does a good job of defending our freedom, keeping us safe from foreign foes, and issuing those nifty quarters with states on the back.
You get points for saying “please,” but you lose all your points for trying to disband the most prosperous country that has ever existed on earth. To quote Billy Madison: “I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
I am about to enter my senior year of high school, which means that college applications and other big decisions are coming up. As I look at all of my options, I am not sure how to figure out my perfect career. How do I choose my major? How am I supposed to know what I was made to do? Thanks in advance!
Great question! I’ve always wondered why high schools make you raise your hand and ask permission to use the restroom, and then expect you to turn around and make big life decisions like the ones you describe. It is totally normal to freak out a little when you get a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibility in one fell swoop.
You already have some clues about your perfect college major. Think about your favorite subject in school. If it’s history, is there a region or time period that jumps out at you? If it’s English, what is your favorite kind of literature to read? If it’s math, what type, and will you teach me? I’ve forgotten all of it.
Anyway, college is your chance to dive deeper into your favorite stuff (and to also test drive some subjects you probably didn’t get to take in high school). Pay attention to what you like, and follow where that leads. Ask your professors – they’ll not only be super flattered by your interest in their field, but they’ll give expert advice on things like internships and other classes you can take.
Oh, and if you decide to change your major, that’s not a sign of failure – it’s a sign that you are narrowing down your interests, which is a good thing! I went into college thinking I’d head to law school after. I nope’d out on that plan and never looked back. Use your summers for internships and jobs if you can, because it will allow you to try on a career before you buy it – and these will give you real professional experience that’s pretty much irreplaceable on a resume.
You don’t have to know your perfect career right now – you don’t have to know your perfect career on your college graduation day, and most people in our generation will have more than one career in their lifetime. You are not locked in for life.
Your peers will be a great resource for you. If you get to know some upperclassmen, you’ll get a feel for what their majors are like. You’ll also see what they do with those diplomas when they enter the working world. Even if you choose a field totally different from your college friends (I did!) you’ll graduate with a network of friends all over the country, and you should keep in touch – their lives will go in all different directions in terms of where they are and what they do for work. I promise that some people will end up in fields and jobs that you never knew existed.
Congratulations on being forward-thinking and intentional as you start college. Most college kids show up with questions like “How can I sneak this keg into my dorm room?” and “Sleep: Is it mandatory?” You’re asking big introspective questions, and that bodes well for you in college and beyond. I wish you all the best.
Do YOU have an ethical question about friendships, family, dating, roommates, or any of the other sticky issues that young adults encounter? Submit your question to Angela and it could be answered in her next column!