Genders Divided Over Dating Political Opposites

New Dating Survey: Men See Potential for More Passion While Women Ask Why

Sep 26, 2012, 11:00 ET from It's Just Lunch

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  When a Tea Partier and a liberal Democrat go on a date, they may disagree about more than politics, according to a new survey by dating service It's Just Lunch. 56% of men agreed that "Dating someone who has opposite political opinions might not make for a good long-term relationship, but it could create some fantastic passion," while 56% of the women viewed the statement as false. The company received more than 2200 responses to its latest online survey about dating and politics.

"It looks like what we see on sitcoms and in the movies about men is true," says Irene LaCota, spokesperson for It's Just Lunch. "Apparently, they can make anything into a turn-on."

Of course, some women hold that view as well. When Rachelle London of Florida met her husband, he was a GOP loyalist. "We had blazing debates where neither would give in and it was worse when wine was involved," she says. "However, the passion in our arguments followed us into the bedroom."

But most women are likely to view political differences with curiosity rather than passion. When asked what they would do if they discovered their date voted for "the other guy" in an election, 57% of women said they would "politely ask them what their reasons were for voting the way they did." The number one answer for males, selected by 47% of the men, was  "Buy them a drink and make a toast to differences." The other two choices garnered a smaller response. "Challenge them. After all, they voted for the wrong candidate" came in third, with only 5% of both genders selecting it. And 5% of men and 3% of women chose "Silently wonder to yourself how you can get them to change their opinion."

"Even with politics," says LaCota, "most women are inclined to want to find out what makes people tick, particularly men."

However, what singles think, and what they practice—when it comes to dating political opposites—appears to differ. 54% of singles disagreed with the statement that dating someone who "didn't have the same political beliefs" wouldn't work out in the long term. Apparently, this is truer in theory than in practice: 66% (61% of men and 68% of women) said, "I date people who have similar political opinions and beliefs as me."

But you don't have to be James Carville and Mary Matalin in order to make a relationship where you have opposing political views work.  Dr. Barton Goldsmith, of Westlake Village, California, lived with someone who had opposing political views for several years says, "It's not politics that break up a relationship but other deeper issues that need to be uncovered and addressed."  He says that the keys to making one of these relationships succeed are mutual respect and remembering that what your partner believes has nothing to do with you. "Taking your loved one's political views personally can make life uncomfortable, and the truth is that opinions about politics are as changeable as this year's fashions."

LaCota says that having opposing political views is no more important than differing over any other interests. "Differences are part of what makes a relationship interesting, and help you grow," she says. "They are part of learning how to love unconditionally."

SOURCE It's Just Lunch