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How to Incorporate the 2016 Election Into All of Your Tinder Chats

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Navigating the dating world can be hard. Navigating the country’s bipartisan political climate with the 2016 election just a month away can be even harder.

Coming out of a long relationship, Tinder seemed like a new and fascinating concept to me. I’m not out-of-touch—I know what Tinder is, I understand that I need to swipe right and left, and I know the goal is to chat up as many eligible suitors as possible. But, personally, I’ve just never used the app. Call me crazy, or call me a serial dater, but I just never found myself single and ready to Tinder mingle until now.

But how can a girl really show she’s a full-blown political junkie in a simple Tinder chat? How could I ever be able to go on a romantic dinner date not knowing if the man was politically compatible with myself? It just didn’t seem right. Which is why, at least for my first week of Tindering ever, I decided to talk exclusively about—you guessed it—politics.

If you want to try the same thing in your mobile dating future, follow my tricks and tips for political incorporation into totally nonpoliticized activites.

1. See if possible future bae watches the debates

  The first step to any politically-driven dating is just to be as straightforward as possible. Similar to saying, “Hi, I’m not looking for a relationship, just some fun,” or “I want you to father the 30 cats I plan on owning in the future,” being honest and direct at first can avoid a lot of problems later on in the relationship. After his initial “Hey” introduction, I left no room for mistakes—we would talk of politics and the debate. 

I couldn’t actually tell if Christian watched the debate. He gave pretty vague responses, but I appreciated his effort. Plus he threw in a “So swag for her.” That must be worth a chat back or something.

This second chat of my day also showed a lot of promise. He didn’t even think it was weird for me to fake re-watch a debate from several nights earlier, nor did he further question my motives. Good thing I swiped right for these guys. 

2. RUN if they can’t spell their own political beliefs


With matches rolling in and chats ping ping pinging in my back pocket, I was excited to engage in political chit chat. The best, least controversial way to get to know a potential suitor is, of course, to just ask them which way they lean…politically. Unfortunately for this guy, he believed himself to be “libretarian,” rather than a Libertarian. Tinder Guy #2 later informed me he wasn’t all that into politics anyway. His admission and misspelling narrowed down my list as I continued the hunt for a good politically minded chatter. 

3. Go for someone with an ironic sense of humor

As a new Tinderer, I was totally unaware that my Spotfiy playlist was open to the public through my dating profile. It took me a few minutes to figure out why on Earth my matches were commenting on my taste of music. 

Then an idea—a wonderful, wonderful idea—sprouted into my mind. Why not ask about the candidates’ tastes in music? My match for this question did not disappoint. Mariachi music was the perfect ironic response to Trump’s taste in music. I could feel some compatability there. 

4. If a guy thinks that you’re asking too many questions, get out ASAP

Okay, maybe this was just a Me Problem. Actually it probably only applies to this scenario. After throwing any question I could think of to try to unearth Tinder Guy #4’s political views, he asked if I was conducting a survey. I wouldn’t call weird, dating, pseudo-political stunt journalism a survey. It was more experimental, if anything, but I still wished he didn’t question my interests in his interests. He was catching onto me, and assumed I would only ever be intrigued with his disinterest in the political climate if I were asking him survey questions. Needless to say, I moved on from this Tinder Guy and all of his unlived possibilities. 

5. Hold onto the accepting ones…

After several days of unentertaining chatter, swiping right only for the guys I was sure I would never ever see in real life, I came across this gem of a man. He would accept me even if I were pro-Donald Trump. Full disclosure: I’m not. But his openness to other political supporters depending on their character was inspiring. One couple considered divorce to the New York Times because the husband was a Trump supporter while the wife was not. Another woman reported to xoJane that the issue of Donald Trump ruined her relationship. Lawyer and political writer Jill Filipovic even wrote in a TIME opinion piece that dumping a Trump supporter boyfriend is A-okay. Even so, this one guy supported me and my made-up beliefs. If that’s not grounds for a stable and accepting relationship, I don’t know what is. 

6…And get rid of the guys who wish death upon a presidential candidate

Political contention is completely normal. The election is less than a month away, and I understand that tensions can grow as November nears. But that’s no reason to say anyone should “die,” or even “ducking die.” It’s not cool, you’re probably a very angry person TBH and I am not interested in furthering our hypothetical relationship. 

7. You’ve finally found a winner when they manage to twist the conversation into sports

Politics, in truth, is more about spin than anything else. Politicians can put a spin on anything. Don’t believe me? Watch any given episode of “House of Cards.” When Underwood does something diabolical, that information presented to the public in the best way possible to further his political aspirations. Throughout these Tinder chats, I spun every conversation the way I was hoping they would turn. My final Tinder chat managed to do the same to me, and somehow brought up the Patriots and Bill Belichick. Bravo, Master of Political Spin. You deserve all of the left-to-right swipes in your future. 

Tinder chatting can be intimidating when people don’t talk about what you want to talk about. Maybe it’s not the election. Maybe you just really want to discuss your cat’s weird eating habits or the fact that you’re disturbed by the recent clown sightings across the nation. Whatever it is that’s on your mind, get on your phone and begin swiping. Some guys or girls really might be willing to chat about it. 

Images: 1

Tinder screenshots courtesy of the author

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Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst