Love and politics: do your political affiliations matter when dating?

Parliament Hill in Ottawa

An EliteSingles survey of 500 singles has revealed what Canadians really think about mixing love and politics.¹ And the results were surprising: it’s no longer frowned upon to talk about ‘taboo’ topics like politics when in polite company – even during a first date!

What’s more, your political leanings may be a factor in your search for love. It’s clear that love and politics can form a solid coalition – but to what extent should they mix?

Taboo – what taboo?

As the election approaches, many Canadians may find themselves unable to tear their minds away from the hustle and bustle on The Hill. Now, conventional wisdom would tell them to keep this political obsession to themselves, especially when dating someone new (one should never mix love and politics!). But, as an EliteSingles survey revealed, conventional wisdom is wrong. In fact, 65 per cent of those surveyed would be happy to discuss politics on a first date.

The results also showed that Canadians are particularly easy-going when it comes to discussing this traditionally ‘taboo’ topic. The survey, which looked at the responses of 500 singles from Canada, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, also asked singles what they thought the most forbidden first-date conversation topic was. 9 per cent of singles overall chose politics – but none of these singles were Canadian. That’s right: not one Canadian single thought political chat should be off the table.

There was, however, one topic that was universally thought to be bad date conversation: the subject of ex-partners. 40 per cent of singles thought that this topic was the most off-putting thing that someone could bring up, making it a bigger no-no than talking about money (15 percent), sex (11 per cent) or marriage (10 per cent).

READ MORE: Do things like money and financial compatibility matter when looking for love? The answer is here.

Political leanings and compatibility

Perhaps part of this taboo-busting willingness to talk politics with a date is because so many singles think that political views can play a role in relationship compatibility. In fact, the survey showed that 60 per cent of singles think political opinion is important when finding a partner – meaning that it outranks traditionally popular matchmaking factors such as religion (seen as important by just 46 per cent of singles).

That said, sharing a similar political outlook is not the only factor needed for a happy life with someone. Chances are, you’ll also need to find a partner with shared values – a whopping 99 per cent of singles in the survey voted these in as a vital part of a healthy relationship, along with a sense of humour (an important factor for 97 per cent off singles) and appearance (important to 92 per cent). In other words, political opinion is a major part of compatibility – but it’s not the only thing that’s needed.

READ MORE: At EliteSingles we make compatibility a priority. Learn about our matchmaking process here.

Does political harmony matter more to women than men?

Not all Canadian singles agree that political harmony is necessary for finding Mr. Right or Mrs. Right. Interestingly, though, the survey suggested that the extent to which it matters may be down to your gender. Indeed, it turns out that the issue of mixing love and politics may be more important to women than to men.

Just 34 per cent of women in the survey indicated that they would be comfortable dating someone whose political opinions contradicted their own. In comparison as many as 54 per cent of men said they wouldn’t consider it a problem, even if their partner was of an entirely different disposition.

READ MORE: This is not the only time that women in an EliteSingles survey have been shown to have firmer opinions than the men. Read about men, women, and who should ask for the second date here!

Love and politics on The Hill

Canadian singles may welcome first date discussions that include the thrills of budget deficits and the highs and lows of foreign policy but, when dealing with love and politics, there’s still one line they won’t cross. And that line involves dating a politician.

Indeed, only 38 per cent of Canadian respondents would consider the prospect of a political partner. Perhaps this is because of the stereotypes Canadians associate with politicians: 60 per cent of those polled admitted that politicians’ reputation for dishonesty would put them off, while others would be concerned about time and attention at home. As one Canadian member put it, “his job would dominate everything and leave little time for us”.

But it may not be all bad for the legislators in Ottawa – particularly if your name is Justin Trudeau! No matter what the result on October 19th, the Liberal leader has already won one race: EliteSingles members have voted him in as Canada’s sexiest politician.

At EliteSingles our focus is compatibility in all its forms. Are you ready to vote yes on finding a harmonious match? Join EliteSingles today.

READ MORE: Political harmony is one indicator of compatibility – but what else do you need, especially in a new relationship? Find out here.

EliteSingles editorial, August 2015.

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Source: EliteSingles ‘Love and Politics’ survey, involving 500 members from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa.

About the author: Sophie Watson

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