Originally published on The Thought Catalogue on 3/3/17
If you live in New York City and voted for Donald Trump, you are going to have trouble finding a date. And I have the experiences to prove that.
With the advent of the Internet and dating apps, the world of dating has been changed forever. No longer do you need to go to the local bar or club and hope for a miracle to sit down next to you. You simply download an app, upload a few (good) pictures, write two or three (intelligent) sentences about yourself, and you’ll have a great date in no time – or maybe not.
Except for a few years in graduate school at Penn in Philadelphia, I have lived in the New Jersey suburbs for essentially all my fifty plus years on this earth. I am single since my divorce six years ago, and am a single dad who has raised his kids essentially on his own for the last 20 years. Last year, I sold my business of 28 years and soon after my last kid moved out on his own. This gave me an unprecedented opportunity to move out of New Jersey into Manhattan, where I could better engage in my new work endeavors and find a better social life, a.k.a., dating.
Funnily enough, I was featured in a NY Post Article, “Moving to NYC in my 50’s was the best decision of my life,” which discussed how many people like myself were moving in Manhattan for similar reasons at middle-age (did I just call myself that?). And I had very good reason to be optimistic about my chance for finding many quality dates in NYC since the statistics are very much in my favor. According to another NY Post article, ”Sorry, ladies, there really is a man shortage”:
“In Manhattan… [there are] 38 percent more young female college grads than male…the imbalance is also exacerbated by New York’s large population of gay males. Some 9 to 12 percent of men in Manhattan are gay…”
With an optimistic mindset, I entered the world of NYC dating. My enthusiasm was bolstered, ironically, during a meeting with a potential investor for my company, beBee. He told me that there was a dating app called, Bumble, that used similar terms, like “Hive” and “Honey” to what we were using and that I should check it out. He also said that as a single dude, I should check out the women on Bumble.
So I went home and signed up. I uploaded some quality pictures and wrote a decent introduction:
“CEO of a Start-Up, professional speaker, author, and social media guru who just changed his life and moved to the big city. Looking for a reason to give up my wonderful and productive alone life and share it with someone who makes life better. I hope I can help make your life better too.”
I knew this wasn’t going to be as difficult as when I had five little children living with me and I was dating. I saw no need to send a link to prospective dates from my article, “7 Reasons Why It’s Better to Date Single Dads.” My kids are all adults and out of the house, and so I was hoping for a good response. And positive results came quickly. I was getting over ten matches a day.
My first Bumble was a woman named Jennifer, in her early 40’s from the Upper West Side. She was attractive, a school teacher of disadvantaged kids and originally from the Midwest. We briefly spoke on the phone and agreed to meet for a drink. We met near her part of town at a very nice bar and the conversation began great. About 15 minutes into the date, she pivoted the conversation to politics, by saying some derogatory things about candidate Trump and it was clear she expected me to agree. I politely suggested we follow the time-honored rule of no-politics on a first date. She pressed the issue and when I wouldn’t participate she said that means you voted for Trump and that means we can not date each other. I asked her what that has to do with me as a man and as a life partner and she responded by saying that Trump was a misogynist and his supporters are too. I let the insult go, changed the subject, the date continued for another hour or so. There was no second date with Jennifer.
I had dozens of women in my Bumble inbox and so I eagerly moved on to date number two. Niki was a financial analyst, a native New Yorker, also in her early 40’s and very attractive. We met at a hotel bar in Union Square. It was clear from the moment we met that there was some mutual attraction. The comfort level, body language and conversation were all going in the right direction. About 30 minutes into the date, she directly asked me if I voted for Trump. I once again suggested that we leave politics out of a first date conversation. She told me she was going to participate in the women’s protest march, which was coming up shortly and that under no circumstances would she even consider dating a Trump supporter.
When I asked her why, she said that Trump was a misogynist and his supporters are too. This time I decided to challenge my date. I pointed out that her choice of candidate (Clinton) had a high unfavorability rating too, and I diplomatically suggested it was a difficult choice. I also asked her to consider that maybe I had a different life experience and that maybe there were issues that were important to me that Trump was better on. She wanted to hear none of it. She continued the attack by saying if I had daughters would I want them to think I am against women by voting for Trump?
Since I actually have three daughters (she has no children), I could address that charge directly. I then explained that I was a single-dad of five children whose mother left them when they were young. I raised my three daughters into successful, independent women – all of whom have graduated from top colleges and have achieved huge success in their lives. I treated all five of my kids with the same amount of love and respect and had high expectations for all of them. I also taught my daughters that a difference in opinion is not a reason to dismiss a friend. I assured her that my daughters would not think me a misogynist no matter who I voted for. There was no second date with Niki.
I decided to employ a different Bumble strategy going forward. I added the term “#proTrump” to the end of my introduction. I figured that would save time and money and prevent the kind of “bad dates” that occurred with Jennifer and Niki. Not only did I accomplish that, but it also changed my Bumble experience dramatically. My matching success level immediately plummeted. In fact, many of the women whom I previously matched with, unmatched me. The 10+ new matches I was previously getting each day was now down to a trickle.
Since I wasn’t getting much action on Bumble anymore, I decided to start looking for political statements or requirements in the introduction on women’s profiles. I could not find one profile that said “Trump supporters only” but found many that said “No Trump Supporters.”
I find it ironic that so many women despise Trump and his supporters, in large part, because they feel he is intolerant of other’s beliefs, while they themselves are intolerant of someone else’s political beliefs. I find that hypocritical, don’t you?
I firmly believe that you get what you give in life. So, while these women are hating on potentially good men because the men supported Trump, there is little chance that they are going to get love in return – from anyone.
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
— Thomas Jefferson
So, may I suggest to women everywhere, and especially those women in New York (where there is shortage of men!), that they take some wisdom from Thomas Jefferson and not allow a difference of political opinion to be the reason they turn away a friend.
Can we hope that time will eventually calm the rancorous political mood and we can return to a more romantic period, where a person’s inner qualities overrule their political views?
Judging people through a political prism is just not the right thing to do – unless of course, you want each date to end with you going to the left and your date going to the right.