A fresh dating ‘site’ OKComrade wants to help lefties, socialists and communists find people with like-minded political views. But, asks Radhika Sanghani, does party politics indeed matter in a relationship?
Two:47PM BST 16 May 2014
I once dated a socialist. He did warn me about his political persuasions on our very first date, but I looked past them until his far-left views began to veer into communism. My more centred views didn’,t. A few months later, we broke up and haven’,t truly spoken since.
But, if he’,s still single, I’,m tempted to get in touch again, just to recommend him a fresh dating movement: OKComrade.
The site, which is presently just a Facebook page, is a fresh dating platform for socialists, communists, anarchists and anyone who thinks that OKCupid and other dating sites are “,too bourgeois.”, Its main objective is to link people of similar political persuasions, and after getting more than Four,000 likes in Ten days, it’,s now hoping to become an actual website and app.
It’,s only rules? “,No sexism, no racism, no heterosexism or transphobia, etc. Don’t be a d***. Any true, reasonable Leftist knows how to behave and act.”,
It has attracted thousands of so-called leftists who use the site to upload a photo, write a typically jokey post and invite others to get in touch via Facebook. A classic comment reads: “,I guess I will give it a shot. I am a class snuggle anarchist who used to identify as an especifist/ neo-platformist, but I have come to accept the reality that the thought of horizontal organization and/ or social injection kind of creep me out.”,
But more than just connect “,especifist/ neo-platformists”, with other like-minded souls, the page raises the question of whether people do choose dating others with similar political persuasions. Is it truly that significant in a relationship for you to both vote the same way?
I put the question out on Twitter. In a brief space of time, most people came back telling they “,couldn’t countenance anything individual with an extremist of any sort. It would simply be too wearisome”, – or words to that effect. The general view was that dating someone with different political opinions would just lead to arguments.
Relationship pro Jo Barnett backs this up, telling: “,People trend to gravitate towards people with a similar life view. If two people are out on a date and they’,re coming from downright different directions, that’,s fairly off-putting.”, An American explore even shows that spouses are more likely to be similar politically than have matching personalities.
It makes sense. We all know that couples with similar backgrounds are more likely to last longer –, it’,s why people of certain religions and ethnicities tend to marry within their communities. It tends to be because they already know each other’,s ways, which makes it lighter to commence a family together. The same can be said for political beliefs.
But, it does come down to how we define politics. It isn’,t just ‘,can a Tory date a Liberal?’,, so much as the actual values they share. The reason politics is so significant to people when they’,re looking for fucking partners is that it is tied up with who they are.
Twitter user Kirstie McCrum says: “,Politics is individual, after all – you are what you believe,”, while Jessica Bateman similarly tweets: “,I think your views are usually shaped by your outlook and values.”,
This is what it all comes down to, political beliefs make up your values and who you are. My socialist ex and I didn’,t break up just because he didn’,t ‘believe in the state’ – it was because his views were part of who he was as a person, and ultimately, we were too different.
Emma, a 25-year-old Liberal, tells me: “,I have liked some people and been put off, not so much by their views, but more the attitude. Like a Labour man who was just indeed tribalist and defensive and couldn’,t take criticisms of labour which I found pathetic.
“,Politics means a lot to me, but not necessarily party politics –, it’,s more core values like the welfare state, anti-sexism and racism, so I think I would find it hard to have something long term with someone who didn’,t share those values.”,
Other friends tell me the same, that it’,s not so much who their dates vote for that bothers them, but their attitude to politics and their core beliefs. If someone doesn’,t believe in a welfare state, that means they have different values and ideologies to someone who does. That’,s the real problem.
Marc Kidson, 25, chair of the British Youth Council, a charity which runs the UK Youth Parliament, says things are switching politically for youthfull people. At the moment, twenty-somethings have a sense of the parties they align with, but they tend to make their own political views by combining different opinions across parties. He says: “,One of the trends is to accept people as individuals with different views.
“,I think people who will vote Conservative are likely to have large areas of other political views that overlap with friends who might vote Labour and Liberal Democrats. The other thing you see is a far greater sense of collective views around social issues, like homosexuality and immigrations.”,
More than anyone, it’s my opinion that youthful people aren’,t going to be the ones who reject to date a Tory/ Liberal/ Socialist etc, because while political (with a petite ‘p’) beliefs are tied up with who you are, political parties aren’,t.
What truly matters is having similar values, because that’s what keeps couples together and –, sorry to get all long-term on you –, but that is what helps when raising families.
So, to all the lefties out there on OKComrade, don’,t be frightened of dating someone of right-wing persuasion, because you may have more in common than you think.
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