Huffpost DC

Republicans Dating In D.C. Encounter Partisan Difficulties

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WASHINGTON -- A 40-something D.C. lawyer and sometimes-political operative named Tim didn't used to mention on his online dating profiles that he is a Republican.

That changed a few years ago when Tim, who didn't want his real name used, went out with a nice woman. They slept together. Then she Googled him.

She "broke up with me over an op-ed I wrote," Tim recently told The Huffington Post. "After that, I just disclosed up front in the profile, and got several 'Thanks for your note, you seem interesting, but I can't imagine dating a Republican.'"

Looking for love can be fraught experience. But in the nation's capital, it seems that being a single straight Republican can be an especially lonely endeavor.

"Part of it is the demographics," says a 41-year old female journalist who describes herself as an opinionated sports-lover and asked to be identified as "Funky Keys Crescent." (It's her theoretical porn name.)

Indeed, in 2011, Bloomberg reported that D.C. has a higher ratio of single women to men than any of the 50 states -- add to that Barack Obama taking 93 percent of D.C.'s 2008 presidential vote and female Republicans who want to date ideologically similar men face bad odds.

Crescent is open to cross-party romance, but meeting eligible Dems has also proved problematic -- Crescent's dates are mostly set-up by friends, themselves Republicans. So she's single, despite what would appear to be perfectly reasonable standards.

"Primarily I'm looking for a heterosexual with a good sense of humor," she says. "And preferably not a lot of debt."

Shoshana, a 40-year-old fundraiser for right-leaning think tanks -- also open to dating across the aisle but didn't want to be identified by her real name -- says gender is the problem. More specifically, because "you really have to work harder than men in this town," she says. "I say that as a conservative, not at all as a radical feminist."

Working hard means having less time for dating. "I think that I have been pickier about who I have been willing to spend my time with," she says. "I think we use our time differently when you're a woman working in conservative politics."

If one had the time and socialized widely enough, could a cross-party romance even work? D.C. matchmaker Michelle Jacoby says people with differing politics can be happily paired once they're willing to disabuse themselves of certain suppositions.

"A lot of people are single because they make assumptions," says Jacoby. "It's a shame that so many people make assumptions, because quality people miss out on one another. You know?"

Tim knows. "JDate is out of the question," he says, referring to the Jewish-oriented online dating site. "Several profiles say 'No Republicans'; others cancel the first date upon discovery of the R."

Tim describes himself as a "socially liberal Republican" who favors gay marriage and says he doesn't know if the Republican-rejectors have an accurate idea of what his politics actually are.

"Couldn't tell you, I didn't debrief them," he says.

Here's a debriefing: A 60-year-old who asked to be called "Stefan Colberts" recently posted an otherwise expansive ad on Craigslist that specified he did not want to hear from Republicans.

Colberts says he is looking for a woman who "needs to cuddle, kiss and have lots of sex, and afterwards be able to go to foreign movies with me at the E-street." Why not someone who's all that and a Republican?

"I need to feel emtionally connected to someone and I can't if they are mean-spirited and do not give a damn about the poor, as most Republicans are," he says. ("Chomsky-anarchist-democratic-socialist" and "anti-capitalist" is how Colberts describes his own politics. "Although as you know we all have our contradictions," he says. "I am living on some investments." )

His impression of Republicans, Colberts admits, is not rooted in personal dating experience. He says he's met "some Republicans who loved their children, but that it meant absolutely nothing to me when I saw them support torture, guns and war." And he rejects the idea that he could meet someone with whom he is compatible but who still identifies as a Republican.

"It defies all laws of probability," he says. "It wouldn't happen."

Which is not to say that Republicans have no cachet. Alex, a 27-year-old who recently moved to D.C. to work at a conservative think tank, says being a straight R guy in an overwhelmingly D town gives him one big advantage in the dating game.

"Liberal girls love conservative guys," he says. "We have jobs."

Then, in a way that the matchmaker would approve of, Alex says, "Know that I said it in jest. Liberals obviously work hard, too."