Welcome to our first date, Shippensburg (it’s OK, we’re nervous too). We hope that from here on out this column will serve as your new destination for relationship, sex and dating advice and information; provided from the very different perspectives of three of our staff members.

With election season in full swing, we have started to see more and more people voicing their political opinions. Some people view this dedication to politics as a positive, while others might see someone with a differing opinion from them as a turn-off. Which poses the question: does someone’s political affiliation have an affect on your attraction to him or her?

Meredith: I had a boyfriend in the past that did not agree with my opinion of gay rights. Hearing him disagree with my opinions was not easy, but I tried to always be open to what he had to say. In the long run, it is OK with me to date someone who has different views from mine, but where the issue arises, is when the other person seems to always be shutting you down or ignoring your feelings completely. Relationships need to have open lines of communication, and if your significant other cannot even make an attempt to understand your opinions, that is when you need to call it quits.

Kelly: I avoid all things involving politics, so I looked for a partner who could deal with my avoidance. I did not quite find that, instead I found a man whose life is based around studying politics and every word that politicians say. Yet, for some reason, his strong opinions and my passive approach balance each other out. When talking to friends, the majority of them also agreed that other factors override political beliefs. Maybe, if we can all learn to see past the intensity of someone’s political beliefs, politics affecting relationships can become a thing of the past.

Ann: I have been a fairly political person my whole life, although I do not have a tendency to express these views when I first meet someone. For me, a lot of having strong political views is about the passion behind them. I do not think it is crucial to agree with someone’s views as much as to make sure they have them. I appreciate the passion and dedication it takes to hold strong views, and to me, I think it is important for us to see past the views themselves, and into the emotions behind them.

So, there you have it. To some, politics is what you say, and to some, it is how you say it. Most importantly, we all believe that to make it work with someone who holds different views than you, you need to be able to balance each other out, which can be done simply be being open to communication. After all, if Mary Matalin and James Carville can make it work on a national level, who’s to say you cannot make it work in Shippensburg?

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