How online dating changes during election season
Posted July 23, 2016
A contentious presidential election is in full swing, and online daters are growing more concerned about their potential matches' political views.
"In a survey of users of the dating site OkCupid, 25.5 percent of respondents who are 'looking for love' now say that having similar political beliefs is more important in making a good match than physical chemistry, up from less than 17 percent back in 2012," Bloomberg Politics reported.
Politics has always been a difficult subject to broach with a love interest, but therapists think the topic is getting trickier as the gap between Republicans and Democrats widens.
"Most people would agree that our country's politics are becoming more polarized," said Dan Cole, a licensed marriage and family therapist, to Bloomberg Politics. "Folks are more strongly red or blue, and their commitment to that position is more essential."
However, this new reality doesn't mean that daters should avoid politics all together. As the new survey shows, political compatibility matters, and it's better to get on the same page from the start.
Additionally, researchers have previously noted that calm, clear conversations about election season can help love blossom.
"A 2015 study by Match.com found a good-natured political discussion could boost the chances of a second date by 91 percent," Thrillist reported earlier this year.
The Match.com study also showed that many daters are prepared to deal with political differences, even if the thought of a Donald Trump presidency freaks them out or if they think Hillary Clinton is a liar.
"The study found that 79 percent of singles don't have a problem dating someone from a different political party; only 6 percent of those polled felt it necessary that their partner have the same political beliefs," The Washington Post reported.
Most online dating sites allow you to put your political preferences on your profile, but users should still be prepared to explore their views with love matches, relationship experts said.
Meaningful conversations about politics require good listening skills, positive thinking and respect, Thrillist reported.
"At the end of the day, your significant other should have the freedom to vote however they would like. There's a reason why you're not allowed to go in together to vote," the article noted.
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