I have a friend. Can’t tell you his name but, let’s just call him by the most generic, filmy name there is: Rahul.
So one day, while we were busy playing FIFA 18 on his PlayStation and talking about random stuff like high school and football, he turned to me and said, ‘You know, there’s this new thing on Tinder. Women online seem to divulge their political beliefs too. Dating in India has become political.’
Now I, a curious man who has always had a lot of interest in other’s dating misadventures turned to verify. And, it was true.
The woman he mentioned, let’s just say her name is Tina (Get it? :P), her bio went ‘22. Ambivert. Bookworm. Liberal. RIGHT-WINGERS AND BJP SUPPORTERS PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT.’ Yeah, that’s right. That bit was all caps.
For starters, I was glad that her bio didn’t have any of the usual tropes. You know, ‘sapiosexual,’ ‘wanderlust’ et al.
Nor did it have any of the dumb stuff like ‘If U can’t handle mee at mah worst, U don’t deserve mee at mah best.’ But her bio, especially the part in Caps caught Rahul’s eye, and by extension, mine.
Is Rahul Gandhi or any other politician a thorn in your dating life?
It’s a very new and interesting phenomenon this. Until a few years ago, dating and companionship used to be initiated and sustained over a few shared characteristics: Attractiveness, community, work profile, age and so on and so forth.
Political beliefs and ideologies were almost never attributed to have affected dating or any relationship between people.
I mean, have you ever heard of a Sangh supporter breaking up with his girlfriend just because she has Communist beliefs? No, right?
Well, it would seem that’s not the case anymore. Both men and women these days, on Tinder or other dating sites are not averse to advertising their political beliefs online.
It’s No Assumption Either; It’s Fact
This isn’t an assumption I make out of a single sample choice either. Research conducted by both Yale and Stanford suggest that people all across the world with opposing political views are moving farther apart from each other. No longer is dating exclusive of one’s political beliefs. It has instead become a deal-breaker for many.
And, it’s not limited to dating in India alone. In the US for instance, Democrats and Republicans on dating websites have issued similar disclaimers, asking the other not to even consider the proposition.
In fact, the dating scene has become so divisive that there are now dating websites for Trump supporters and liberals exclusively.
“There’s a real distinct difference that we’re seeing today, and all singles are becoming more rigid in their views,” the chief adviser to dating website Match.com says.
Her data also shows that singles are more likely now to shun those who are at the other end of the political spectrum. Liberals are shunning conservatives, left-wingers are shunning right-wingers and vice versa.
How politically divisive is India’s dating scene?
India doesn’t have them yet. No politically exclusive dating websites. Yet.
So, why is this happening exactly? Well, there are a few reasons. For starters, the dating crowd has become more politically aware than the previous generation.
Every Aman, Naina, Rohit or Jaspreet on any random dating site has an opinion on politics now, whether they care to share it or not.
And, this generation does not see one’s political beliefs as closeted anymore. They have become significant character traits when it comes to choosing one’s dating partner or prospective spouse.
Secondly, no longer are towns or cities politically homogeneous. Perceptions like Kerala is Communist and Nagpur is a saffron stronghold have given way to the reality of every town or city having a mix of people with different political views.
Which is why, you are more likely to meet someone opposed to now as compared to a few years ago.
What do I make of such a disclaimer though? Well, it’s not up to me to judge or scold anyone for writing anything on their dating bio. I mean, at the end of the day, it is their bio. What I do have a slight issue with, however, is the thought process behind such disclaimer.
There is a perception, some with good reason that people with right-wing views or those affiliated to a certain party are sexist and misogynistic towards women. That in itself is a flawed view because there’s no way to certainly know if anyone with a certain political view is sexist or misogynistic or whatever.
You see, sexism and misogyny isn’t the copyright of only a certain political belief or ideology. People with right-wing views are just as capable of being sexist and misogynistic as those with centrist or left-wing views and vice versa too.
Plus, let’s not forget that the term ‘right-wing’ itself was initially coined for a brand of economic policy, not political ideology or a personal point of view or a dating deal-maker/breaker.
Anyways, that’s my two cents on the political divide with respect to dating in India.
Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure Rahul will find somebody else instead.
Tina, if you’re reading, you know where to find me.
Image Sources: Google Images
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