As both a single woman and Dating Coach, who decidedly didn’t date during election season, I am constantly trying to understand and process repeated new challenges when it comes to Modern Dating.
Naively, I thought that it would get better once the election was over, and perhaps it would have been if the election itself hadn’t turned out to be an “Us versus Them” world now. I firmly believe that had any of the other 16 Republican candidates won, it wouldn’t have affected dating or most of our other social conventions. However, the character of our 45th president has brought the ugliness of peoples heart out into the open. Today’s republican is a different hybrid than the ones we had prior to 2015.
We live in Trump’s America now and it’s a new world many of us don’t recognize. It feels as if its affected most of our social conventions, especially as we try to figure out why people we love and respect voted the way they did.
The legacy I want to leave when I die, the impression I want to leave on anyone I meet, is that I am committed to loving people and making our world a more kind, accepting and loving place. I’m also the adoptive mother of black teenagers, one of whom is gay and another who is special needs, a lot of the unhinged hate speech of the president feels personal.
Therefore, I can’t sit quietly about the fact that the character of our president and many of today’s republicans are not committed to the same values I pride myself on. I admit I foolishly believed these were the values of humanity most everyone lived by.
Ever the armchair sociologist, I needed to hack into dating in this new world. For Liberals and Progressive, the open hate is loud and proud, even when we cover our ears. The dilemma becomes, how do we trust any Trump-supporter-would-be date isn’t either silently or openly, the same way?
I started asking on my social media platforms what singles were currently doing about dating and politics? I found many were stuck in a holding pattern until they could figure out a new way. Both men and women said they have started asking before accepting a date. Some said they were having issues with their current significant others, stating even if their views were similar but their passion about resisting were different, that it was affecting their relationship.
I toyed around with different ways to approach it. Should it be my first question when someone contacted me online be, “Finish this sentence: Trump is_____________?” I also thought about putting it in the profile itself, but I knew it could likely garnish hate mail, even if I worded it kindly like, “Defending love and progressive views ethically honors my core being.”
I decided to try something else. I chose a popular online dating site I never use, and instead stating my political views in the profile itself, I created a statement with my username,“NoKiss4TrumpFans.”
I kept the new profile up for 36 hours. I got 209 men who “want to meet you” which is based solely on photo alone, and does not include the username. As predicted, I got the usual 30 messages with 5 words or less. Another 10 had up to eight words, plus a dozen or so were two whole sentences, lucky me! There were about 10 sincere messages in the bunch who actually wrote a full paragraph, but as I feared I got about a dozen hateful messages.
One man spewed the word “Liberal” to me multiple times as if he were calling a bad name. Another told me to put a bag over my head and hang myself. You can see from the screenshots here some of the nicer hateful messages I received. However, there were a few that were so vile I had to immediately block them.
I wondered why so many of those that sent negative messages felt the need to do so. Why not move on to the next? After deleting my profile, I used my handsome best friends’ picture (with his permission) to set up a male username “NoKiss4TrumpLovers.” I left this profile up for a full week and never received a similarly hateful message from a woman. Let’s remember that 53-61% of white women voted for Trump depending on their education. Therefore statistically, female Trump supporters passed by the almost exact username without feeling the need to bash him.
I don’t have understand why these men felt inclined to send me hateful messages. They were perhaps feeling emboldened within their white male privilege and by example of their President, to express their misogynistic views to a woman they would never know. Or maybe they were only emboldened simply because they could hide behind their keyboard.
Regardless, the truth is dating just got a whole lot trickier. It might be easy to think that is simply my own opinion, but we are already seeing some statistics in dating among Liberals.
Match.com noticed a decline in activity this January, which is generally the busiest month of all for online dating sites. They did an informal poll of 1700 users with approximately half being republicans, half democrats, half men and half women. They found 29% of liberals just didn’t feel like dating, compared to only 14% of conservatives. Additionally, they found that users in counties who voted for Trump were more active on their site than counties where Clinton won the popular vote.
Okcupid.com, who has always been the best at continuously gathering data and sharing it with the public, chimed in two weeks ago with their own broader findings surveying 270,000 participants. They did note that their site has traditionally been populated by more Liberals. However, their cheeky headline read “In 2017, Trump Is a Major Dating Deal Breaker. Golden Showers Are Not.”
In the past, it was easier to date across party lines unless you were in politics. However, the everyday activities of the President didn’t infiltrate our day to day life like that of the antics of our current administration who make news from hour to hour. Since the election, talking to a potential date, I ask how they feel about Trump before I go further, the resistance to answer is immediate with conservatives. The Liberal, on the other hand, are happy to say how they feel because it’s important for them to know how I feel, too.
If they tell me they support Trump, I sincerely ask them to tell me why. I have found a lot of conservatives are quick to tell me they are “socially liberal but fiscally conservative.” This doesn’t hold water for me because anyone who is genuinely socially liberal couldn’t overlook the rampant misogyny, racism, zenophobia and homophobia of this President, nor be okay with his virtually all-white, alt-right cabinet members.
Obviously, I just won’t invite anyone like that into my personal life.
So, what do we do about dating in Trump’s America? Do we wait for love until he’s impeached or voted out of office? Do we hope that all Conservatives find out about TrumpSingles.com (yes, really!) and live in misery together? Do we automatically cut out all conservatives without ever giving them a shot? Should try to overlook political leanings and think it doesn’t matter in a mate?
None of those situations appeal to me and besides, we can’t give up on love! One friend did have a good idea worth mentioning…He said to get active in the resistance movement to find love. You never know, just maybe you’ll find yourself making posters or marching alongside the next great love of your life.
There is that…or we can always join MapleMatch.com where our neighborly Canadians are encouraged to find love with an American who wants to flee Trump’s America. To quote my 12 year old when faced with the impossible, “It can happen…Donald Trump is President of the United States!”
Photo Credit: Getty Images