Joshua Snodin, 25.02.2016

Are your partner's political opinions important?

What do political values matter for partner choice? Is politics a no-go topic for your first date? We wanted to find out in our latest member survey. While politicians may not be the most attractive of propositions (in fact just 40% told us they like the idea of dating one), our members indicated they are both tolerant and interested in hearing about their partner’s political views – even when they meet for the first time.

How much do political opinions affect attraction? 

Several elements influence people’s search for the right partner. Similar relationship goals, personal chemistry and compatibility without doubt establish whether you are a good match. Being like-minded certainly helps couples get on, but how closely should people match in regard to their values, especially in their highly personal political opinions? 

In one part of our recent survey, participants were asked to rank the things they look for in a partner from ‘Unimportant’ to ‘Vital’. Voted as only the 6th (out of 8) most important, British singles seem unaffected by their date’s politics. Just 1 in 4 told us that political opinions are particularly ‘important’ for love, while just 5% voted them as ‘vital’ and even a date’s taste in food was chosen as more important. 

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Should you talk about politics on a first date? 

It may often be said that talking about politics is too personal and even impolite, yet with political issues always arousing interest, sticking close to such supposed dating etiquette is difficult. But is it really that bad to talk politics when you first meet? 

According to UK singles, not particularly –at least if talking policy means skipping topics like your ex, money or marriage. 65% of survey respondents see no big problem talking politics on a first date, while 27% even said they’d specifically want to find out about their partner’s point of view on at this stage. The British are in fact the keenest to discuss politics– it was only 17% of our global respondents who agreed with the Brits that the sooner the better. Just 9%, meanwhile, told us that politics would be their one subject to avoid, compared to the 45% who want to avoid talking about an ex, 15% who chose money and 12% who want to avoid talk of marriage. 

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Shared life, shared values?

Let us assume the first date was a good one, you’ve discussed the finer details of welfare policy and soon it’s obvious there’s a future between you. What if you don’t share the same values? Our survey suggests that men may be the more tolerant sex when it comes to their partner holding diverging views. While 34% of women said they’d be happy to clash politically, 54% of men can envisage no problem– even if their partner held an entirely different political opinion. 

How about dating a politician? 

Though singles might be happy to accept some disagreements over politics, the appetite for a politician in the house is smaller to say the least. Just 38% of women and 45% of men think a politician would make a good partner. Why? 

Traits stereotypically associated with politicians can explain quite a lot. 60% of those polled admitted to being concerned about politicians’ reputation for dishonesty, while others fear the lack of time and attention at home would make them hard to live with. As one member explains, “I think it would dominate everything”. 

But it’s not all bad for the legislators in London. There are still many attracted by the prospect of a political partner, citing the “challenging conversation” and “sense of fairness and commitment” as reasons why. Interesting was that men seem more attracted to the proposition, with one respondent attracted the idea of finding a busy, career-focused woman who then “understands the demands of my own job”. 

That people are tolerant of differing opinions within a couple is, perhaps, unsurprising. What’s always more important is finding a partner whose personality and general outlook on life is similar; politics can remain an area where healthy differences exist. 

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