The Political Scene

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you’re overreacting. Those type of events are meant for him to network, not to let everyone know who his girlfriend is. It’s good that you didn’t make a scene but if you really want to be supportive let him do his thing at these events and don’t make it all about you.

In other words, don’t make comments about how he’s ignoring you, act pissed off all night, and then have a long talk about it after. That’s not very supportive.

Post # 4
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

DariaVixen:  I agree with a PP. My DH has helped out on campaigns, has contemplated running for public office himself and we find ourselves at these charity/fundraiser dinners and events occasionally. I will say, it is a high pressure situation for him. I am sure he feels that any and every move form here on out will be documented or for public consumption– including personal details of life, and that includes you! The thing he probably wants to convey is that he is suitable for the job at hand, and that he does have a personal life (you), but his personal life isn’t what he wants on display at this moment.

He is still in the credentials part of campaigning and entering the social arena. He is still new to this, he is probably young(ish) and wants to prove he has the qualifications first, the “get to know my family/SO” will come once he has some experience under his belt.

Post # 5
5800 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

If you’re not politically connected yourself, or at least extremely well known in your community, you’re going to be in the background while he does the politics thing. Even if you were married instead of just SO, you aren’t relevant to those who want to talk politics with your SO. It’s crappy, but that’s the nature of the game until the candidate is running for much higher office. Get used to being on your own at those events or opting to do something else entirely while your SO goes out shaking hands. It is not going to change.

Post # 6
851 posts
Busy bee

You are definitely over reacting. This wasn’t a social event for your SO – it was work. He wasn’t there to say hi to folks and show you off, he was there to make important political connections that could make or break his career. This is not about you, and I think you’re being pretty selfish by putting your desire to be the center of attention over his desire to be elected. 

Post # 7
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Although I’d have been just as annoyed as you (I hate mingling in large crowds I don’t know), I think PP are right.  Since you two are still dating, it’s probably wise to keep that out of the spotlight.  Once you are at least engaged, and definitely once married, you can take a more active role.  However, when people are dating, even seriously, there’s always the chance it won’t work and then not only will he have to deal with the break up on a personal level, it could become public to a certain extent as well.  Until things are set in stone with your relationship, as well as with his position (ie. in it, not campaigning), I would try to smile and take a back seat at political events. 

My mom does well with events like this with my dad.  He isn’t in politics, but he does a lot of interviewing, both in-office ones and multi-day entertaining interviews.  Their technique is that he has to be Mr. In Charge and do his thing, so she’ll hang near the back (not as much as you did, but they are married, after all lol) but makes an effort to chat and be friendly with the interviewees and their families.  Nearly 100% of the time, she picks up on very useful things that did not come out in interviews and he ALWAYS wants her take on people after the events.  Might be a good technique for you, so you can help with networking and figuring the ins-and-outs of the scene, and yet keep your distance.

Post # 10
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF

Sorry, but you’re overreacting.

Although political events are social in nature, your SO is working from the minute he gets there until he leaves. Realistically, he’s new to the field and, unless he’s very fortunate, probably pretty limited on who he knows in the arena. Breaking into the Old Boys’ Club and making networking ties is tough and many of the people that he wants to talk to probably have 50 others that are more important (in their eyes, of course) to speak with before the night is over. In other words, your SO has a limited amount of time to make an impression and get on peoples’ radars. Taking time from the networking game/political conversation to say, “Hi, this is my girlfriend of 6 months,” probably isn’t going to get him the business card of whoever he’s speaking to.

You need to accept that when he’s working, you’re not going to be a priority and either get over it or not go to the events. Being pouty and standing there in a mood is not going to reflect well on either of you when he finally does introduce you. He’s playing the game and you need to learn how to play the role of cheerful supporter. 

Post # 12
204 posts
Helper bee

DariaVixen:  I’m active in politics. I usually leave my fiance at home because I can’t be his entertainment for the night.

Think of it like your SO is working retail and you go into the store and expet him to hang out with you while you shop….not going to happen right. He would be at work and have to focus on working.

Being active in politics is like having a job (if you are campaigning it is a job) You also end up being known in your community so you are sort of always “on.” Believe me, last February when I had the flu I made the mistake of running to my local coffee shop in sweatpants, a dirty t-shirt and I hadn’t showered that day so my hair was greasy. Who did I run into but several local politicians and a gentleman running for lieutenant governer. The local people all knew me and proceeded to introduce me to the guy running for lieutenant governer (I am a bit relieved that he lost lol, can you imagine)

Depending on the size of your community ou may want to consider what his political activity means to your life before you get to far in.

As a side note two of my good friends are having serious marital issues because he is so involved in politics and she wants him to be home with her and the kids. They have major issues every campaign season.


Post # 13
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

DariaVixen:  I just wanted to say you are handling criticism (constructive or otherwise) very well and graciously.

Post # 15
2892 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

DariaVixen: Yeah, this grace is really great because if you end up his political wife, you’ll need it!

Your friends and co-workers may not understand that he needs you to be supportive and an asset to his ambitions, not a hinderance. It’s very, very demanding and it can be emotionally lonely for a partner to take a backseat. 

If you continue to go to these events and stay in the background, observe things that could be useful to him, etc. and he appreciates the heck out of you then it could work. 

Because the worst thing for an ambitious person is feeling like their partner is limiting their career. It creates a lot of unnecessary stress and leads to a lot of breakups. 

Do what you’re comfortable doing and accepting for your relationship. Your coworkers and friends aren’t part of it. If your partner fails, it’s no skin off their nose. You will have to deal with the fallout.

If having to stay in the background is something you don’t want to, can’t, or won’t deal with, that’s ok too. He might just not be the right person for you, as long as he’s pursuing a career in politics. 

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