It’s not me, it’s EU! The Brexit effect on love and dating

by Rachael Lloyd - January 21, 2019

In the current political climate passions run high. So, just what impact has ‘vote leave’ had on romance? We investigate the relationship between politics and love

Politics and dating have never coexisted comfortably. But in the current political climate, divisions are deeper than ever and getting into a debate on Brexit can certainly derail a good date. That is unless you’re prepared to agree with everything your partner has to say and earn extra brownie points.

So, is politics still an ill-advised date conversation topic, or is it important to know your potential partner’s political views before getting too involved?

Political break-ups

Opposing political views have certainly caused break-ups. A survey,conducted by eharmony found that political divisions led to the breakdown of 2.7 million UK relationships in 2016.

Brexit had a similar impact; the ‘leave’ vote led 1.6 million Brits either splitting up with their partner or failing to progress things with a date.

What’s more, 2.5 million people found themselves arguing with family members over their Brexit views and 813,000 have completely cut off a relative! Clearly, politics is creeping into people’s personal lives more than ever.

And for those of who want to forget about it all and wait until the ‘Brexit the musical’ has blown over? No chance. It’s impossible to ignore a story that regularly tops the daily news agenda, leaks into dinner party conversations and family get-togethers, and affects  everything from the strength of the pound to inflation and the housing market.

The importance of shared values

Battle lines have been drawn. UK politics has occupied a safe centre ground for generations, with left and right able to find consensus in the middle ground. Today, the two sides barely agree on anything. Each side has been drawn to the extreme and everything from social care and education to defence draws polarising views.

Generations are at war, too. The baby boomers have been ‘blamed’ for Brexit by many millennials  who feel they’ve been robbed of a secure future. But these more senior voters, argue that they’re simply protecting British values and independence for future generations.

What’s more, while it might seem that politics make up a relatively small part of romantic compatibility, fundamentalist views often reflect an individual’s core values and personality traits. As a result, when we significantly disagree on the biggest political questions, it can make us think twice about whether someone is right for us.

Thankfully though, our research shows that those people who score high on emotional adaptability can overcome political differences and even enjoy quite positive debates.

Right vs. left

Love and politics remain heated. eharmony research shows that it tends to be left-leaning Brits who would be more likely to turn down a first date due to political differences. Supporters of the SNP, Green Party and Liberal Democrats all admitted to turning down potential romantic partners based on their political views.

Political speech

But in our politically-charged society, is political speech now an acceptable date topic? In short, no. Most people would still rather discuss almost anything else. Politics and religion remain taboo subjects. In fact, politics ranked 9th on the list of preferred date conversation topics, behind holidays, health, and the weather!

Brexit, however, proves more seductive. eharmony research shows that members who mention Brexit in their profiles (regardless of whether they are pro or against) receive more messages online than average. Women receive 84% more and men receive 90% more- strong evidence that people’s political views really do matter in relationships.