Love Wanted: Political Opposites Need Not Apply
Should political preference be a deal-breaker when looking for love? There are now dating sites for progressives, Trump fans, and Americans looking to escape the Trump presidency by marrying a Canadian. In an age of deep political polarization, dating sites based on ideology may exacerbate the problem and prevent a star-crossed love from blossoming.
"Because Liberals Just Don't Get It." -The tagline for dating site ConservativesOnly.com
So much for love knowing no boundaries.
There are now dating sites for progressives, Trump fans, and Americans looking to escape the Trump presidency by marrying a Canadian. The last site, MapleMatch.com, saw its membership triple overnight following the US presidential election. The rise of political dating sites, however, raises important questions about why we fall in love and whether self-segregation based on politics is a good idea.
Should political preference be a deal-breaker when looking for love?
“At first I was concerned that people would think this was a parody site. But people have told me that they’re so happy they can finally go on dates without worrying about political differences.”-David Goss, Creator of TrumpSingles.com, speaking to the New York Post
This Political Assortative Mating is an extension of other types of assortative mating, where people from similar socioeconomic backgrounds tend to marry each other. The National Bureau of Economic Research has defined assortative mating as "the process by which people of similar backgrounds, such as educational attainment or financial means, select a partner."
The selection of partners with similar economic backgrounds has been shown to exacerbate income inequality, as the rich marry the rich and the poor marry the poor. If political dating sites increase the amount of politically-similar couples, will this increase the political polarization of the country?
While online dating sites have always sorted potential matches by interest, and many times religion, the increase with sorting potential matches by political preference runs counter to our traditional notions of love overcoming obstacles. There is a growing niche in online dating where having boundaries is exactly the point.
Political differences within couples is often an emotional landmine leading to arguments, so it makes logical sense to separate potential couples based on their political leanings. If political differences make relationships difficult, shouldn't we just have intraparty dating? Political dating sites put a premium on compatibility, with the understanding that different political leanings may make couples incompatible.
The great unknown, however, is whether finding love is best found through logical decision-making. If that is the case, love is less about being struck with a proverbial arrow and more about fine-tuning an algorithm based on interests. It is your recommended viewing on NetFlix.
What Would Romeo & Juliet Do?
The story of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet heavily influences our conception of love knowing no boundaries. The idea of star-crossed lovers attracted by an uncontrollable spark that flew in the face of their dueling families. The Montagues and the Capulets mixed as well as Trump supporters and liberals. But unlike today's polar opposites, Romeo was not on a pro-Montague dating site.
The political odd couple: James Carville and Mary Matalin were both strategists for opposing political parties and frequently appear on television together.
By eliminating the political differences before the potential match, political dating sites remove the ability for love to bridge the partisan divide. For a Montague to be matched with a Capulet. It is based on the assertion that match-matching involves a shared valued system, and one's political leanings are crucial to a workable relationship.
There may also be a scientific reason for the political sameness of most relationships.
"Mates appear to assort on political attitudes more than any other social, behavioral, or physical trait, besides religion."-Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues
In the aforementioned paper, published in the American Journal of Political Science, researchers found that part of the reason that people tend to be with someone of shared ideology stems from our nose. Researchers in the study found that participants were more attracted to the scents of similar ideologies.
So perhaps opposites really don't attract. At least not typically. But should they be allowed the chance for a spark, or segregated out with political dating sites?
Maybe you can only make dating great again if you choose, despite the odds, to be with her.
Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.
90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.
- The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
- The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
- This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.
Most said they want to act on their desire someday. But do open relationships actually work?
- The study involved 822 Americans who were in monogamous relationships at the time.
- Participants answered questions about their personalities, sexual fantasies, and intentions to act on those fantasies.
- Research suggests practicing consent, comfort, and communication makes open relationships more likely to succeed.
Consensual non-monogamy fantasies<p>For the new study, published in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-020-01788-7" target="_blank">Archives of Sexual Behavior</a>, researchers asked 822 people in monogamous relationships to:</p><ul><li>Describe their favorite sexual fantasy, defined as "mental images you have while you are awake that you find to be sexually arousing or erotic."</li><li>Select which themes apply to that fantasy, such as having sex with multiple people at the same time, experimenting with taboos, or engaging in a sexually open relationship.</li><li>Answer whether they intended to carry out these fantasies, and discuss them with their partner.</li><li>Complete assessments on relationship satisfaction, erotophilia and personality, as measured by the Big Five Personality inventory.</li></ul><p>The results showed that 32.6 percent of participants said being part of a sexually open relationship was "part of their favorite sexual fantasy of all time." More surprising is that, of that one-third, 80 percent said they want to act on this fantasy in the future.</p>
Pretzelpaws via Wikipedia Commons<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The present research confirms the important distinction between sexual fantasy and sexual desire in that not everyone wanted to act on their favorite sexual fantasy of all time," study author Justin J. Lehmiller told <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/09/one-third-of-people-in-monogamous-relationships-fantasize-about-being-in-some-type-of-open-relationship-study-suggests-58102" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>. "This suggests that fantasies may serve different functions for different people."</p><p>Even though most participants said they want to act out their fantasy in the future, far fewer reported acting out sexual fantasies in the past. Other findings included:</p><ul><li>Men were more likely to fantasize about CNMRs.</li><li>So were people who scored high in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotophilia#:~:text=Erotophilia%20is%20a%20personality%20trait,ranging%20from%20erotophobia%20to%20erotophilia." target="_blank">erotophilia</a> and sociosexual orientation.</li><li>The psychological predictors of fantasizing about CNMRs differed from predictors about infidelity fantasies.</li></ul>
Do open relationships work?<p>A <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2019.1669133" target="_blank">2019 study</a> from psychologists at the University of Rochester suggests it <em>is </em>possible<em>, </em>but especially when both partners practice a trio of behaviors: consent, communication, and comfort — or, the Triple-C Model.<br></p>But the study also suggests not all forms of open relationships are equally viable. For example, people in one-sided CNMRs — where one partner stays monogamous, the other seeks outside sexual relationships — were nearly three times more dissatisfied in their relationships than the monogamous group <em>and </em>the consensual non-monogamous group.
The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.