The definition of “Moderate” has changed dramatically in recent years. The label actually confuses rather than helps. It appears to mean what “Far right” meant a few years back.
“Libertarians” don’t seem to acknowledge the views of its founders during a public health crisis. What does it mean to that person? The label was chosen for a reason, ask them.
“Fiscal conservative” used to mean something completely different and seems like code for something else that people don’t want to say out loud. When pressed about what it means to them across the board, it seems to mean that these expenses are fine but those ones aren’t, which are rarely aligned with the originators.
People call other people “communists” or “socialists” not using any definition that the people in those groups would recognize.
“Liberal” used to mean “left of center” on the political compass (internationally) and now people who call themselves liberal are more apt to want the status quo and corporate influence, which is not even on the left of the compass.
There are more, but you get the point. The words have ceased to help us.
We label because it is easier than describing, yet it confuses us all, as our definitions of said labels are not the same.
In dating, I hear:
“I want a partner, someone who always leads.”
Did you want a leader that you follow or do you want an equal partner? You do have to choose. Egalitarian or authoritarian or somewhere in between? What would that look like?
“I want a military guy, because he sacrifices, loves his country and will be able to protect me.” Is he able to both take directions in the military and when he comes out, able to critically think and question things? That is asking a lot!! I have rarely seen a man able to do that successfully.
Is he able to think flexibly and see possible options or just one way? How capable is he of seeing your point of view, in addition to his own? Did he figure out what to do with the anger that seems common with this type of guy?
The words seem to mean something different to him than to her. Do they talk about it and explore meaning? Then she is complaining about his lack of emotion, his anger problems and his drinking and lack of respect for her when they talk. There are tradeoffs for each person you select.
“I want to be connected to a strong stoic man.”
Did you want him to be emotionally strong and capable or emotionally unavailable? You do have to choose and those tend to be the extremes. Rare that someone has everything you are looking for.
“I want a man who respects women and supports me.”
Then you have to weed out the guys who don’t do that, after you define the word, “respect.”
Did you know there are over 140 ways you can either line up or mismatch your partner. A good marriage that lasts has about 30% alignment of those. So which ones do we prioritize, trade off and which ones are deal breakers?
Are you looking for a person who is healthy, emotionally, spiritually and physically or are you looking for someone who is unaware, unconscious and cannot live in the present moment? Somewhere in the middle? Do you know what you are looking for and how to find it?
These are choices and you have to decide. Your group, growing up, reinforces what is perceived as valuable and you may or may not have had the courage to challenge your assumptions.
Welcome to the great sorting process in dating.
We’re trying to figure out if we can have it all and where the trade offs are. We learn that for ourselves and then we refine our choices as we grow. That’s the healthy path…
Different people want different things, for different reasons. You may not recognize the patterns in communication that each political group favors. Or how each political group has a slightly different view of an ideal man and an ideal woman. You might only see conservative and liberal and make the assumption that people fit neatly into those two boxes. Or you might be someone who acknowledges the complexity and the implications and is curious enough to delve deeper.
Navigating those differences requires high levels of empathy and validation, without contempt. Frankly, most people don’t have the skills necessary to do it.
Additionally, it is hard work and requires mental flexibility and decent self esteem.
People also struggle with the nuance involved and it is easier to just say the other person is wrong because of the differences.
That cluster is a big reason people are not as successful dating outside their group.