Should you date someone who doesn’t share your political views?

How you vote could leave you sleeping on the sofa

Rachel Hosie
Wednesday 07 June 2017 16:29
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There are a few topics we all know should be strictly off limits on first dates: religion, exes and politics.

And it’s politics that has become particularly contentious in recent years.

This was seen most strongly in the aftermath of Brexit, when many angry millennials took to social media to say they could never date someone who voted remain and a dating app specifically for remain voters was even launched, Remainder.

Despite our low voting turnout, many young people today are highly politicised and so finding out the person you’re dating doesn’t share your political views can be a deal breaker.

“Never say never but... I would never date a Tory,” 28-year-old Adam* told The Independent.

“I don’t care if they’re exactly right for me in every other way, I just couldn't go out with someone that voted for a party that has presided over police cuts, nurses pay cap and the housing crisis. It’s not exactly the best way of telling what someone is like but it’s usually a good indication.”

And he’s not alone. According to new research by Match, 30.5 per cent of 18-24-year-olds think politics is important in a relationship.

So much so, in fact, that 17.5 per cent avoid finding out the political opinion of their date in case it changes their feelings towards them.

23-year-old Chloe*, from Bristol, realised just how divisive politics can be in a relationship when her boyfriend considered voting for Brexit:

“I really questioned if we could be together if he voted leave,” she told The Independent. “It makes you wonder if you are compatible if you have different political views.

“He voted to remain in the end after a lot of car debates and me getting very upset.”

25-year-old Jessie* from Bath thinks different political issues carry different weights of importance, but Brexit is definitely one of the most key ones:

“I felt very passionately that we should remain in the EU and I think would have found it impossible to be in a relationship with someone who was pro leave,” she said.

Despite this, there are many couples who have differing political views and coexist happily, often because they simply avoid discussing politics.

After all, there are a lot more reasons to be with someone than their political opinion and often you don’t find out until you've already fallen for them:

“I think if we had very different views we probably wouldn't have found out until after we'd fallen in love and then it's tricky,” 24-year-old Holly*, who says she and her boyfriend are “fairly well-aligned” politically, told The Independent.

But the stronger your views on a particular matter, the more likely it’ll be a deal breaker if someone is opposed.

“I think I would struggle a bit if I went out with one of these people who has opposing views and is constantly forcing them on other people and parading them on social media,” Holly added.

“So I think if you're interested in politics but neither of you are die-hard supporters then you can get on with it, but I would struggle a bit if we had completely opposing views.”

So what do you do?

“Political discussions can often cause tension but it’s always important to be understanding of your partner’s political preferences and to be mindful that their preferences may be different to yours, Match’s dating expert,” Vicki Pavitt said.

“Honesty is key, so don’t hide your views in fear of it putting off a potential partner – they will want to know the real you, politics and all!”

And it’s not all bad news, as 29.8 per cent of 18-24-year-olds believe someone is more interesting to date if they have vested political interests.

Whether you agree with their views or not, there's no denying: voting is sexy.

*Names have ben changed

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