If you’re single in 2022, you’re most likely on a dating app. Gone are the days of Match.com and Harmony — dating apps have completely shifted and adapted to the modern dating experience. There are specific apps you can use based on your gender identity, sexual preference, religious affiliation, and even your cultural background. And now, a new dating app went live on Sept. 30 — and it’s solely for conservatives.
After months of promotion, the dating app called The Right Stuff launched as a dating platform for people who identify as politically conservative. The app was created by John McEntee — Donald Trump’s former aide — and funded by Peter Theil — the co-founder of PayPal. According to an exclusive from Newsweek written by McEntee, he created the app after he “realized it was actually hard to meet women outside of [his] work network.” McEntee credited this to the fact that Washington D.C. is a “very liberal” city, while he identifies as “super conservative.” And so, The Right Stuff was born — and TikTok is not having it.
After seeing the app gain traction on TikTok, I decided to go and see what the fuss was about for myself.
The Right Stuff is free to use, but does offer “premium memberships.” However, if you’re a woman (or female-identifying) on the app, you gain a premium membership for free. If you’re a man, you’ll have to shell out cash to gain access.
The app is free to download on the App Store, and registering for a basic membership is also free. The interface is a lot like a normal dating app like Hinge or Bumble, but with a conservative twist. After inputting things like your name and location, you have the option to select between male and female as your gender identity. The app doesn’t ask you about your dating preference in terms of sex/gender identity. Her Campus reached out to The Right Stuff’s team for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.
You also have the option to choose your religious beliefs. They offer more options than Christianity, but do not offer the option to identify as atheist or agnostic — only “non-practicing.” Similarly, there is no option for not wanting kids, only “want kids, “open to kids,” “I have kids,” and “not sure yet.”
Additionally, like all dating apps, you have the option to answer specific profile prompts. Along with standard prompts like, “most underrated movie,” “give me travel tips for ___,” and “my favorite meal is ___,” there are more politically-motivated fill-in-the-blanks, like, “my favorite liberal lie is ___,” “January 6th was ___,” and “my favorite conservative pundit is ___.”
My time on the app was cut short after having to choose five photos of myself and answer three prompts. In order to have full use of the app, you must be invited by an actual user of the app. Meaning: you can’t just download and go like Tinder — you have to be approved. At the time of publication, I have not gained full access to The Right Stuff.
I have always considered myself an understanding person when it comes to political beliefs. In many situations, we’re shaped by our experiences when it comes to where we stand politically, and we all have different experiences. I have family members who don’t align with me politically, I have friends who don’t agree with my stances, and I’ve even loved (and continue to love) people on the opposite side of the political spectrum. As long as you’re a kind person who actively believes (and fights for) the basic human rights of others, that’s fine by me. However, I can’t help but feel as though apps like this contribute to a divisive and exclusionary dating culture that goes far beyond preference.
On traditional dating apps, conservatives can still date and find other politically like-minded people. Apps like Hinge have preference filters for things like age, location, and political affiliation. However, with the app boasting this as the “right way of dating,” the internet is wondering what does that even mean? Is it heterosexuality? Is it invite-only? Is it only communicating with like-minded individuals? I guess we’ll never know (until we’re invited, maybe).