Partner choice: do our political views affect attraction?
We wanted to find out. Politicians themselves may not be the most attractive of partners (just 40% of respondents said they liked the idea of dating one), but actually our members showed they were interested in and tolerant of their date's political views – even when they first meet.
Political opinions and attraction
Of course, many factors influence people's search for the right partner. Chemistry between your personalities, similarity in relationship goals and physical attraction without doubt dictate what may become your 'perfect match'. Being like-minded no doubt helps couples live harmoniously, but how should this similarity extend to things like political opinion?
In one part of our latest member survey, respondents were asked to rank the things they prioritise when looking for a partner, from 'Vital' to 'Unimportant'. Compared to criteria like a partner's sense of humour, job or even taste in food, Irish singles are unperturbed by their date's political opinion, ranking it among the least important (ahead only of religion and sportiness).
Likewise, with just 1 in 4 respondents saying that political views are particularly 'important' for attraction, it seems Irish singles are willing to tolerate some political differences if it means finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Talking politics on a first date?
It's commonly said that speaking about personal issues like politics is a no-go for a first date. But what do our members think?
What was made clear in the survey was that if chatting politics means you can skip topics like money, marriage or an ex, Irish singles are enthusiastic. 65% of respondents said they saw no problem broaching big topics when they first meet, 27% specified a first date as the best time to do so, and just 9% chose politics as the number one topic to avoid. For Irish singles it seems clear that they are tolerant of their date's views but wary to let their opinions influence their judgement too heavily.
Shared life, shared values?
Let's assume your first date was a success, you've talked over the finer points of foreign policy and there seems to be a promising future between you. Is it important for the long-term if your opinions really clash?
Our survey suggests that men might be the more tolerant sex if their partner was to hold conflicting political views: while 34% of women said they would be happy if they didn't see eye-to-eye, as many as 54% of men said they wouldn't consider it a problem, even if their partner was of an entirely different disposition.