According to Match.com’s seventh annual Singles in America survey — which sought responses from 5,000 singles ages 18 and older and included people of all ethnicities and sexual orientations — a vote for Donald Trump is one of the biggest turn-offs in dating.
The fourth biggest turn-on among Dallas singles, at 21 percent, was a vote for Hillary Clinton. And the third biggest turn-off at 42 percent was a vote for Trump. But worse than being a Trump supporter was complaining on Facebook (57 percent) and being too active on social media (50 percent).
“When you look at the emotion involved in the political debate right now, it’s not surprising that people are distracted from their dating lives,” Mandy Ginsberg, Match CEO, says in a statement. “We know that love and relationships often emerge as the antidote to chaos and uncertainty, so history tells us that these numbers will bounce back as singles seek that stability.”
Some of the people we spoke to claimed to be more open-minded.
Joshua W., a 26-year-old Tinder user living in Dallas who voted for Gary Johnson in the 2016 election, says whom a woman voted for isn’t as important to him as how she applies her political knowledge.
“Ignorance is a turn-off, not political beliefs,” he says, via a message on Tinder. “So if she said she voted for Trump, I ask her why and all she can say is, ‘Well, I think he’s a better option,’ obviously she’s just blindly voting. Difference in ideas and opinions and the freedom to do so and express that is what makes this country so great.”
Joshua describes himself as socially liberal and economically conservative and says he has dated on both sides of the political spectrum. He says his one big turn-off is when a woman is racist or sexist. He adds that a date has told him that she hates Mexicans and blacks and that’s why she was voting for Trump. But a vote for Trump, he says, doesn’t automatically make someone racist or sexist.
“I think he is portrayed a certain way by the media. He’s definitely done some things that are blatantly racist and sexist but just because someone voted for Trump doesn’t make them a racist,” he says in the message. “I do not support Trump by any means. I’m just being objective and unbiased.”
Johnathon Kilgore says he voted for Trump in the 2016 election, but if a woman voted opposite of him, he wouldn’t mind.
“We all do things right or wrong. Who am I to say she made the wrong choice for it?” the 29-year-old from Gun Barrel City says in a Tinder message. “Kinda like because I am Christian I should damn her for the choice to believe in abortion. We were made to make our own choices and to think for ourselves.”
We found Lily, a 29-year-old living in Irving who voted for Clinton, on OkCupid. Lily, who asked that we omit her last name, says while she hasn’t had to turn someone down for voting for Trump, it would be a turn-off. She says she would at least hear the person out, but “that’s a thin ice area for sure.”
“What turns me off about it is that whether intentional or not, a vote for Trump was a vote for misogyny, bigotry and racism,” she wrote to us on the dating site. “It was a vote against civil rights. It was a vote against many of my core values.”
While most people would probably prefer to suss out these deal breakers early on in the dating process, the senior matchmaker at Dallas-based dating service It’s Just Lunch suggests avoiding the subject of politics altogether in the beginning.
“I tell all my clients, especially on a first date, let’s keep it light-hearted. Let’s not talk about exes, politics, religion, all the heavy stuff,” Heather Greenwood says. If you feel it’s necessary to bring the subject up, Greenwood suggests flat out asking your date, “Are you into politics?” and “Which side do you lean to?”
It’s Just Lunch conducted its own survey in August 2016 and found that, when asked about their political preference in a mate, 55 percent of 1,376 people responded “Who cares? I’m dating this person, not running for office with them.”
“We’re not trying to find our life partner on the first date,” Greenwood says. “We’re just trying to feel the person out. That could get in the way of a relationship, but I think a lot of people honestly are just so sick of talking about politics nowadays, it just doesn’t come up.”
Either It’s Just Lunch’s clientele is very different from Match.com’s, or open-mindedness about our mates’ beliefs is just one more thing that has changed since November.