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PlentyOfFish Study Explores The Dangerous Mix Of Dating And Politics

POF (Plenty of Fish)
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Are you a Trump supporter looking for love? PlentyOfFish has some bad news for you.

The dating site recently surveyed more then 4000 American singles over the age of 18 to examine how love lives can be affected by political affiliation. It’s often said that politics (along with religion and exes) is not a first-date discussion, and POF’s research confirms it.

According to the data, singles are hesitant about dating someone with drastically different political views than their own. Twenty-five percent steadfastly refused to do so and thirty-one percent said they are unsure if they would even attempt it. Cross “the U.S. election” off your list of conversation topics if you don’t want to rock the boat.

Donald Trump supporters are having a particularly rough go of it on the dating scene. Fifty-eight percent of men who hope he will be America’s next president said they’re willing to date a Democrat, but only 19% of Democrat women said they’d give the guys a chance. Just one third of the women polled were willing to date a Trump supporter.

POF added the numbers up to determine that, by being pro-Donald, men are immediately losing access to 40% of their dating pool.

Sound painful? The dating and politics divide could get worse over time. Some believe that America is becoming increasingly politically polarized and that online dating is accelerating the process.

“Decades of scholarship have found that children tend to share their parents’ political beliefs,” writes Politico. “Now, for both biological and social reasons, more and more people are also picking mates who share their political ideologies.” If that process continues - people choose like-minded mates and have children who adopt their beliefs - logic says that the population will polarize further between two political extremes.

Now add online dating to the mix. Dating services offer a swath of demographic data - age, income, race, hometown - that can sometimes hint at political affiliations. Some users even blatantly include their political beliefs on their profiles. Potential dates can then be pickier about who they deem worthy of meeting, even if they align on a lot of other factors.

That’s important for two reasons. One, according to Shanna Pearson Merkowitz in the Pacific Standard, is that “when people are exposed to divergent political viewpoints from people they spend time with, they tend to be far more tolerant of opposing views.”

The second is simple - practically cliched at this point. If you pass over people based on one factor alone, you could easily miss someone who is actually a match. Consider seriously whether that's a risk you're willing to take.