February 17 2017
Jillian Kay Melchior
Online dating will never be the same again.
This week, the dating service OKCupid added 50 new questions it will factor into its matching process—and the update suggests politics may be a big part of romantic compatibility.
Members will be asked how they feel about Trump, immigration policy, building a wall, climate change, student debt, the gender pay gap, and other controversial political values and policies. And OKCupid plans to update these political questions annually.
“We are evolving the questions to coincide with the changing climate of our times,” said OKCupid spokeswoman Bernadette Libonate. “We have a user base of interesting, substantive individuals, and the questions are reflective of topics that are culturally being talked about today, not just in the political arena but lifestyle as well.”
In addition to the political questions, OKCupid will now also ask about “ghosting” from an event, as well as whether members stay Facebook friends with an ex.
In its announcement about the update, OKCupid said that “2017 brings a host of topics we know you’re extremely passionate about—topics that, just a couple of years ago, we never would have thought would be so relevant today.” Many of the new questions, including political ones, reflect “the things you want to know a person’s stance on before you meet them,” the matchmaking service said.
There is some evidence that politics can play an important role in romance, as Psychology Today noted just before the presidential election. People not only seek out potential partners who share their politics—also, “politically similar partners were indeed more satisfied with their relationships than those with dissimilar political beliefs,” one study found.
Then again, OKCupid crunched the data in 2015, and it found out that while politics can be a predictor of compatibility, “it was how important politics are to you, regardless of the particulars of your belief.” It found strong political opposites could attract—but then again, that survey was conducted well before the 2016 election heated up.
And politics can also make for some awkward dating experiences. The dating website WhatsYourPrice.com surveyed more than 70,000 of its users about politics and romance. It found that 82 percent of Democrats were loud and proud about their political leanings. In contrast, more than half of its Republican users were reluctant to talk about their political affiliation early into a romantic relationship.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.