Dating is a chance to escape political bubbles
I was happily exchanging messages with someone through an online dating app recently. He looked attractive enough in his pictures, and the conversation was interesting. “What do you do for a living?”
“I have my own business – what about you?”
“I’m a journalist at the Guardian. Are you a newspaper kinda guy?” Then, there it was: “More of a Spectator reader than the Guardian.” Gulp! Online dating is how adults meet these days. And what’s great is you get to meet people outside of your bubble: different backgrounds, occupations etc. Yet politics is becoming increasingly important. Not long ago I spent a happy weekend bantering with someone until we agreed to meet on the Monday. It was only hours before the date that I asked: “So where do you stand on Trump?”
“I think he has some valid points. At least he’s a leader. There hasn’t been any leaders since Thatcher.” Gulp! A survey by US dating app Coffee Meets Bagel found that “70% of singles who identified themselves as Democrats said politics are impacting their dating lives ‘slightly’ to ‘profoundly’, alongside 55% of Independent singles, and 43% of Republican singles.”
So how important are shared political values? My family is politically divided and I still love them. Similarly, I have friends across the political divide: one delights in calling me a communist. And we’ll all happily still share a bottle of wine together.
When it comes to the most intimate of relationships, must I confine myself to those of the same stripes? Where’s the zing in that?