Politics

Never before have I seen so many dating profiles giving space to politics: “no Trump supporters,” “proud Republican,” “pro-choice feminist,” etc.  Screening potential matches this way may seem silly to some.  But with one’s politics comes a set of values.  What you believe speaks to the kind of person you are.  And with everything going on in America these days, I’ve been examining my own preferences and dealbreakers.

When it comes to dating I’ve never been especially picky.  Attractive, child-free, with the right personality and sense of humor… those were the main criteria.  I grew up very conservative and never thought I’d date a liberal, yet my high school girlfriend was just that.  Things were great as long as we avoided that third rail, but I wasn’t averse to dating on the opposite side of the aisle anymore.

My politics underwent a sea change over the next decade and I emerged on the left, eventually settling slightly left-of-center.  I think of myself as an independent though.  I chalk my evolution up to disillusionment as well as my open-mindedness.  I try to avoid confrontation and be a good listener.  I ask questions more than I argue, and probe others’ opinions rather than push my own.  However… when it comes to certain things, I simply can’t agree to disagree anymore.

Trump immediately comes to mind.  Never mind his policies – it’s the blatant hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of his supporters that I find the most galling.  People on the right are making excuses for Trump that they would never make for a Democrat. Furthermore, facts don’t matter to a lot of them either. Why would I want to be with anyone like that?  Indeed I’ve unmatched several women on dating apps after discovering they were ardent Trumpers.

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What’s more, he also gives voice and cover to some of the worst elements of society.  Of course, not all Trump supporters are racist and xenophobic bigots.  But racist and xenophobic bigots are Trump supporters – such as my dad.  He’s always been a strong conservative but he’s embraced Trump with a gusto I’ve rarely seen.  Of course he would – with his remarks about women and minorities, they’re like two peas in a pod.

Then there are feminists. Now, there are feminists like JBlondie (a blogger friend)  and others that I’m totally down with, who are capable of calm discussion and can actually take a joke.  Then there are feminists who go batshit if you use the wrong word or phrase.  I’m all for equal rights, but conversations shouldn’t feel like navigating a minefield.  Not for nothing, but if it’s a micro-aggression, shouldn’t it just make you micro-angry?

I remember one girl on OkCupid getting on my case for saying “gender-biased” or “gender-specific” things and flipping out when I used the term “friend zone.”  She also groused at me for not answering enough feminist-related match questions.  Then she wanted to do weird things like paint my fingernails.  Um, no thanks.  And before you ask, she was a real person.

Then there was another feminist, who was all into “Womyn’s Rights.”   We got on well enough, but when I was trying to plan our first date she shot down every suggestion I made.  When I asked her for a suggestion, she told me that I was the man so I had to come up with something.  I could have pointed out the irony of that, but chose to bow out instead.

Then I was friends with an uber-feminist.  In between Facebook posts of her hairy legs and armpits and “I hate men” memes, she wrote something to the effect that men should embrace feminism because it equals better sex.  I was privy to a related New York Times article (Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?), so I linked to it thinking it was interesting food for thought and relevant to the discussion.

However I came back to find angry, essay-length comments from her.  Not only was she incredulous and outraged over everything in the article, but she accused me of taking time out to search for this article specifically to contradict her. Never mind the fact that I’d had it bookmarked on my computer for two years.  She also accused me of “furthering the oppression of women.”

Wow.  Nothing like confusing your friends for your enemies.  Needless to say we don’t talk much anymore.  Meanwhile I shared that article with JBlondie, and not only did she not get angry but said she could even relate to it.  That just drives home the point that when people are too far right or left they become rigid, unreasonable, and insufferable.

That’s really what I’m trying to avoid, and I’m certainly making more of an effort to do so nowadays.  But those are two groups of people I’m wary of. I’d rather not engage with Trump supporters, and I approach self-proclaimed feminists with trepidation.  Oh, and then there are vegans.  I don’t mind the passive ones – rather it’s the ones who won’t shut up about it.  Not to mention our lifestyles would clash horribly.

What are your dealbreakers and preferences when it comes to dating and politics?

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43 thoughts on “Politics

  1. People are more polarized than ever. It’s probably how Trump got elected. I consider myself someone right of center so it would be a dealbreaker to me if a potential mate demonized me over that. If you’re so solidly right or left that you can’t seem to think straight, that’s a dealbreaker.

      • I thinks that’s been true for a long time now. It was said when Clinton left office, however, with the internet and social media now it seems like it’s worse than ever now. Want to get out there into the political fray it’s going to be hard to be a moderate voice.

  2. Here in Australia a few years ago, we had a terrible Prime Minister called Tony Abbott; I proudly had a photo on my OKC account which featured two old ladies holding up a cardboard sign at a rally which said “Fuck Abbott”; I think it was my 2nd or third pic in, and I loved it. I hoped to alienate anyone who didn’t like it ASAP. Then my account got suspended because someone lodged a complaint against me for ‘profanity’… I had to remove the photo, which pissed me off so much! Political values are very important, especially with a dickhead like Trump in charge over there. G

    • I know people suspended from OKC or Facebook for similar things. And I can understand someone who doesn’t really follow politics and voted for Trump out of a willingness to try something new and being fed up with business as usual… but it’s the continued avid support I can’t reconcile.

  3. I couldn’t date anyone who was overly political to the point where it consumed them would be an instant no-no, on any side. That’s more for the same reason I couldn’t date a religious person – in some cases, that’s all they are, all they do, and all they think about. Also with a religious person, they’re unlikely to consider a non-religious ceremony if we got married. My not being expected to make vows to a god I see as fictional is as important to me as it is for somebody who believes to make their vow before their god of choice.

    • That’s exactly how I feel – anytime someone’s politics or causes become all-consuming it’s a turnoff for me. I don’t have anything against religion, but I’m very non religious and don’t think I’d get along well with somebody who was. What killed me is that I answered many OKC match questions and answered them honestly, yet I’d keep getting 90-95% matches with super-Jesusy religious types who wanted five or more kids and didn’t believe in premarital sex. Go home OKC, you’re drunk.

  4. I think values are far more important than political affiliations. You shouldn’t care which politician or party they follow, as people aren’t always what they are aligned with. The values which perhaps form those affiliations are far more important, especially if you’re thinking about raising a family.

    • I don’t necessarily care what party or politician people support, but hardcore supporters of any politician too easily and too often slip into a close-minded “my guy can do no wrong” attitude. That’s the kind of thing I’d like to avoid. And Trump supporters are a breed unto themselves. Many of them seem to have suspended critical thinking – that’s something I value, for instance.

      And no, definitely not thinking about raising a family. No kids for me!

  5. Texas primaries are today 😏 My older sister is one of those crazy feminists and lefties. She will not entertain any idea other than her own. I’m a little left of center, but I will at least listen to what people have to say. Everyone in my office is very far right (and male).

  6. Love this line: “That just drives home the point that when people are too far right or left they become rigid, unreasonable, and insufferable.” Yes you’re right. It’s the extremes and the people who think that life is black and white who are the problem. Plus people who think they are always right and want to rant on about their beliefs all the time. True wisdom lies in listening to other perspectives and being aware that life is complex. Great article 🙂

  7. Yeah a woman broke up with me once because she was a liberal and I was a Republican at the time that was 2003. Funny thing is these days I’ve completely shifted the other way

  8. Anyone who blindly follows either party line would be a deal breaker for me if I were still dating. So many people will simply follow how ever “their” party feels but have no clue about the issue themselves. I never wanted to marry a sheep but a strong willed independent thinker that could broaden my horizons

  9. Man, I’m so disappointed. I thought this was going to be a dating rant. But just remember, all those excuses you say the right make, the left does the same thing for theirs. They are 2 cheeks of the same butt

    • Sorry to disappoint for not having a dating rant…?

      And I never said they didn’t. Yes, the left does make excuses for their own too. God forbid you point out left-wing hypocrisy though. Then they stamp their feet and cry “whataboutism!” But Trump supporters are a breed unto themselves.

  10. I liked you story about the woman who rejected all you suggestions and then told you it was your job to plan the date. Sounds like the story of my life. We are supposed to keep on guessing until we get it right. Their way of sorting out the men who fon’t like to do what they want to do. Makes sense in an odd, reversed sort of way.

  11. When one of my daughters was meeting men. Her first question to them was to ask them who they voted for in the last election. Saying they did not vote was as bad as voting the wrong way. I knew a girl whose first question was what kind of car do you drive. Her future husband traded cars to get the right one.

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