Online daters are getting more political, OkCupid report finds


Daters are increasingly concerned with politics.


An increasing number of online daters say they can’t put politics aside when it comes to looking for love. 

New data out Monday from OkCupid shows that 69% of respondents in the US said they’d prefer their date to share their political beliefs. That’s up from 61% last year.

“We’ve always been told never talk politics on a first date, never talk religion, never talk money, and that’s just not the case anymore,” said Michael Kaye, global communications and public relations manager at OkCupid, noting that politics and voting questions have become the most popular category of questions on the platform, having been answered more than 105 million times, far outpacing other categories from astrology to travel.

To get all this data, OkCupid looked at 450 million responses from users. Those who use OkCupid can answer a wide range of questions in an effort to more effectively match with others. Questions can be anything from whether you’ll pay extra for guacamole to whether you Google someone before going out with them. 

This marks a shift in how daters feel about the politics of their potentially significant others. With dust from the 2020 election still hanging in the air, this could be a trend that holds, Kaye said. 

In fact, the preference for finding a politically palatable partner is just one projection OkCupid identified in its report on The Future of Dating for 2021. No surprise, the pandemic has changed the way that people think about how they date and who they date. As lockdowns swept the world, daters turned to video chat, and dating platforms proclaimed a return to more serious and intentional dating — of really getting to know a person before meeting up. Eighty-four percent of respondents said it was important to have an emotional connection before a physical one. 

And when the pressure is off to quickly meet up, more daters are expanding their geographic preferences. Since the pandemic started, OkCupid found that conversations and connections on the platform are up 50% across geographic borders. 

“People have been having longer conversations, they’ve been spending more time on the app,” Kaye said, “people felt so alone this whole year, they were really looking for companionship and someone to comfort them.”

Closer to home, the report also found that daters are putting increased emphasis on living together before getting married (89%), possibly an upshot of having accelerated the moving-in-together process during the pandemic. Plus 1 million respondents said they don’t like living alone. 

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