Millennials have changed the dating scene. Between the numerous dating apps matching you with potential partners based on proximity, to creating the casual hook up culture seen rampant on college campuses, their love lives have different priorities from generations before. However according to a new survey, millennials—specifically millennial women—are listing political ideology as more important than a physical compatibility.
OkCupid, a popular dating site, surveyed their 8 million users and specifically found that “interest in dating someone with similar political beliefs has gone up 165% since 2004, while having good sex has decreased as a priority 30%.” The biggest increase stemmed from millennial women starting in 2016 who nearly doubled the prioritization of politics while dating.
This jump in political party related deal-breakers perfectly corresponds with the 2016 election, and this is no coincidence. Left leaning young women seem to be swiping left on Trump supporters or anyone sympathetic to the President’s views. Ironically, I would think that bringing home a fiscally responsible partner would be a plus for most parents—but alas.
Millennials in Washington D.C. feel the polarization the most. While out on the town, Fox News reported that many young people working for the administration feel their job is a disadvantage when trying to meet new people, or potentially find love in the heart of the swamp. But Caroline and Artie, who work on different sides of the aisle decided to not let political party dictate who they love.
Caroline and Artie are not alone. Celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, both mainstream millennial icons, are polar opposites on the political spectrum. Kim Kardashian explained, “I let him have his own views and opinions even if they’re different than mine.” A shocking concept—so why is this so uncommon?
Sex therapist, Megan Fleming, thinks that it is the unwillingness to listen to others and challenge your own ideas that keeps millennials from swiping right on matches from the other side. She explains, “If you’re only exposing yourself to people who think like you, you’re living in a silo and missing out on opportunities.”
This is the same issue we are seeing on college campuses that restrict free speech. The market place of ideas is stifled when there is a monopoly supporting one political party. This unwillingness has come off as aggressive and judgmental in conversation and drives the lack of civility we see in political discourse. Singles on both sides of the aisle should keep an open mind before judging a potential match.
Perhaps it is the blooming cherry blossom trees in our nation's capital, but there must be hope for millennials finding love without the crutch of identity politics. Dating inside one political ideology is limiting, and it is a “safe space”. Venturing outside your comfort zone and listening to new opinions is challenging, but well worth it.