Dating Before the Election – The New York Times

On OkCupid, a dating site known for lengthy questionnaires that help people pin down potential partners, politics has become the most popular category. More than 1.2 million people who use OkCupid said they prefer to date people who share their political views. Women were more likely to say so than men. The platform recently began offering users a “voter badge,” a digital equivalent of an “I Voted” sticker.

People who have been out of the dating pool for a while may see this as a sea change. “For my generation and most generations before me, it was, ‘Do not talk politics until you’re down the path of a relationship,’” said Melissa Hobley, 40, OkCupid’s chief marketing officer. “Now it’s ‘I don’t even want to see you in my lineup of potential people to chat with if your politics on certain issues don’t align with mine, or if you are not a voter.’”

When Richard Schmitz, 31, a founder of a marketing agency, moved from New York to Scottsdale, Ariz., he said he was screened by a match. “I had a Hinge date who texted me, ‘Good morning, I think we need to get this out of the way,’” he said. She told him that most of her beliefs are very conservative, that she plans to vote for President Trump, and that if her preference offends him, it is best for them not to meet.

Mr. Schmitz was pleasantly surprised. “In New York, it’s very normal and common to see a girl who has ‘If you vote Trump swipe left. Liberals only,’” he said. In Manhattan, he found his dating pool limited and turned to Filter Off, a platform that offers virtual speed dating sessions for people with specific interests, like veganism, the ketogenic diet or a political party. After his struggles in New York City, he said the text he received in Scottsdale was “refreshing.”

Living in New York, Pat Cassidy, 27, who works in investment banking, has found that a common deal breaker for potential dates is not necessarily his conservatism but whether he helped elect the current president. “The screening question is, ‘Did you vote for Trump or are you a Trump supporter?” he said.

Mr. Cassidy finds himself having to explain his politics, which are “right of center.” “Looking back five years, I do not know if I would have tried to explain myself that much pre-Trump,” he said. “I think the political climate generally has made me feel the need to be a bit more nuanced or tactical about how I position myself.”

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