Love — Or “Political Compatibility”?

A study recently was released that indicates that a compatible “political ideology” is one of the strongest scoring factors that people look for in deciding who will be their spouses.  The only factor that gets a stronger score, according to the study, is how often the individuals in question go to church.

I’m a bit skeptical of this study — and not just because my lovely wife of 29 years and I do not share the same political views.  The study notes that political compatibility is a more important factor than matching physical characteristics, such as body shape, height, and weight, or matching personality traits, like introversion or impulsiveness.  That may be true, but so what?  Do you know anyone who selected their mate because they shared similar looks?  I don’t.  In fact, I think those would be pretty darned weird selection criteria.  Why would I want marry someone who looked like me (God forbid!) or acted like me (even worse!)?  It may simply be that “political compatibility” scored better than criteria that scientists apparently made up for testing purposes but that no one uses in real life.

Kish and I aren’t exactly at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but we do have different views.  It’s not a problem, and I think one reason for that is that we just don’t consider politics to be that crucial.  It certainly isn’t as important as other qualities that you would want in your spouse.  Anybody who is limiting their range of potential partners because of political views is being very short-sighted — and also isn’t recognizing that political views can change over time.

Incidentally, the study also says that parents play a strong role in shaping their kids’ political views.  In that respect, too, the Webners are out of step.  Neither Richard nor Russell agrees with me on politics, either — yet somehow we all manage to get along.

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2 thoughts on “Love — Or “Political Compatibility”?

  1. Interesting post, Bob. Leah and I have radically different political ideologies, and I hope that doesn’t doom us, although it does trouble me from time to time. She is a Reagan Republican, obsessed with taxation of pretty much every other issue. She even likes the Defense of Marriage Act because it means we get a big tax break as a same sex married couple living in a community property state. Sigh…..

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  2. Well, if Kish and I are any indication, you and Leah are not doomed! I think being married to someone with different views helps to make you a bit more flexible in your outlook and a bit less likely to demonize people who disagree with you. What’s wrong with that?

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