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The Politics of Love

(click to embiggen)When looking for partners, we are attracted to others who are similar to us. Whether the similarity lies in personality, values, or political views, individuals tend to seek those with ideals comparable to their own. However, in a recent survey of college students, the majority indicated they’d be willing to date someone with a political affiliation different than their own.1 Yet this willingness may not result in stable relationships. In fact, relationships between partners who share political ideologies last more than twice as long when partners hold opposing ideologies (5.83 years vs. 2.30 years). When researchers asked heterosexual couples about their political values at the onset of their relationships and then again after 11 months, those who were still dating after 11 months had more similar political attitudes than those who had broken up.2 Perhaps as a result, research also finds that online daters are reluctant to reveal their political affiliation.3 Taken together, these studies suggest that people may be willing to date someone with different views, but they may also conceal their own political views to avoid scaring off a potential mate.

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