According to a recent survey by Change Research, the biggest dating red flag for men is when someone identifies as a communist. A whopping 64% said this political leaning would be a turnoff.
Communism is a far-left ideology that advocates for all wealth and property to be communally owned.
Coming in second place was having no hobbies, followed by identifying as a “MAGA Republican.” The survey did not specify the sexual orientation of respondents.
More than half, 55%, of women said identifying as a communist is a red flag, but other sociopolitical stances were more problematic.
A potential partner saying that there are only two genders or saying “all lives matter” were both bigger red flags than being a communist — so was having no hobbies.
Being a “MAGA Republican” was the biggest red flag, with 76% of women saying this was not a desirable trait.
The survey results demonstrate a broader trend of men and women having increasingly divergent political views. In 2021, 44% of women identified as liberal, while only 25% of men did, according to the Survey for American Life.
A decade ago, 30% of women and 27% of men identified as liberal.
People who date someone politically dissimilar are ‘generally less satisfied’
As this gap widens, it gets harder and harder to imagine dating someone who exists across it.
You see “conservative” or “liberal” on a dating profile and you’re attaching a slew of other beliefs to it, says Daniel Cox, director and founder of the Survey Center on American Life.
“When you look back to the ’90s, there were plenty of moderate republicans and plenty of liberal republicans,” he says. “The political categories didn’t map onto ideological categories as neatly as they do today. Now, your views on abortion predict your views on same-sex marriage and diversity and the war in Ukraine.”
Politics also bleed into daily habits, says Cynthia Peacock, an associate professor at the University of Alabama college of communication and information sciences. Her research includes political communication, partisanship and polarization.
“Politics relate to what people eat or don’t eat or the TV shows they watch and what podcasts people listen to,” she says. “It’s a shortcut.”
And it might be one worth taking. Peacock recently published a paper on how political dissimilarities affect relationship satisfaction. Despite the old adage that “opposites attract,” most people like to date those who are similar to them.
“From our research, we did find that when people have a partner across the line of politics, they are generally less satisfied in their relationships and they are more likely to have intense conflict,” she says.
‘Dating is hard enough’
Daniel Huff, a former adviser to the Donald Trump White House and founder of The Right Stuff, a dating app for conservatives, says sharing his career and party affiliation on a date has resulted in some discomfort.
When Huff, who is in his early 40s, was working in Washington, D.C., for the former president, he met up with a woman for what he calls “the record for the shortest date ever.” After telling her what he did for a living, she got up and left.
“She hadn’t even had a sip of wine,” he says. “That was, like, a two-minute date.”
While he used to be more open to dating those who differed from him politically, now, he says, he steers away from it.
“Some of it is driven by necessity,” he says. “I might be willing to entertain it but folks on the left will not. Dating is hard enough without adding an additional element which has gotten very important to people.”
He does wish that his political stance mattered less to people than his daily habits.
“You’d think the day-to-day is more important as opposed to, ‘What is your opinion on if we should build a wall?’ That doesn’t affect our day to day,” he says.
Alyssandra Tobin, 29, lives in Missoula, Montana. She identifies as more of a “leftist or anarchist,” she says. If someone is hostile about her political views, it’s usually because they associate them with communism.
“The dude goes off on a rant about how he hates communists, how communism is ‘bad,'” she says. “I’ve had one of those dudes refer to me as his ‘lil’ radical leftist’ at one point, as if it was some sort of cutesy identity that I must not have fully understood. For reference, he was a libertarian.”
She used to be pretty upfront with her beliefs, but after a few unpleasant experiences, she is “a bit more shy.”
“When I can’t immediately tell someone’s politics, I try to introduce my own politics a little slowly to see how the other person reacts,” she says. “I guess I’m afraid of the confrontation that sometimes comes with being a leftist, especially as someone who has dated in red states.”
As party affiliation acts more as a proxy for beliefs, lifestyle choices and character, singles are more likely to stick with someone they feel matches their own.
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