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By Logan Blakeslee

Dating culture in the 2020s is an unmitigated disaster. Too often we hear reports about rising loneliness among men and the worsening effects of sexual objectification on women. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, or once promised a tantalizing alternative to the task of talking to someone of the opposite sex. Instead of fumbling a pickup line at the bar or the workplace and facing a humiliating rejection, millions of Americans could comb through endless profiles and fall in digital love with someone who matches all their interests and desires. 

Sounds perfect, right? That’s what I thought when I signed up for a number (half a dozen) of these dating apps in 2018. I won’t deny that I was lonely after a sad breakup during my time at SUNY Broome. I won’t deny that I invested way too many hours each week swiping left and right in the manic hope that I could find that special someone out there. I’ll even admit that I have no idea how to talk to women and the fact that I’m dating one right now is a total anomaly. Even on the rare occasion that I did find a match, the other profile was a scammer 60% of the time, and I was either ignored or ghosted the remainder of the time. 

One of my several mistakes on these apps was that I never hid who I was. By that, I mean that I was always upfront on my profiles about how I was a conservative. I am a Republican. Sure, I saw hundreds of women on Tinder declare that they would never “swipe right” on a conservative like myself, but that never deterred me from being honest about it. Clearly, I was doing myself a disservice as, according to reporter Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech, “Eighty-six percent [of Americans] think it has grown more difficult to date someone who supports the opposing political party in recent years.” 

Roughly half of Republicans, independents, and men altogether have expressed a willingness to date someone with differing political opinions, based on a 2020 YouGov poll. That number drops to a little over a third of Democratic women, who express the least willingness to date across the aisle, so to speak. On the generational level, younger women are more liberal than ever before, skewering chances for conservative or religious men to find a partner in person or online. So, what might be the solution for patriotic men of America looking for a bride and having innumerable children with her on a rustic farmstead? 

The eggheads behind “The Right Stuff,” a dating app exclusively intended for conservatives, thought that they held the answer. The app was created by former Trump aide John McEntee, who joined forces with various other minor officials of the Trump administration to answer the prayers of isolated Republican men nationwide. My personal idol Peter Thiel bankrolled the project. However, interest in “The Right Side” died almost as soon as the app was released. 

While I have not had the pleasure of using The Right Side, there is a pattern in its faults that prevent it from competing with the dating app giants. It employs much of the same rhetoric as Turning Point USA—in other words: inflammatory catchphrases that are obnoxious to moderate conservatives. Its tagline is “Profiles without Pronouns.” Women on the app are eligible for a free premium subscription, which goes to show how few women sign up in the first place. Additionally, users must be invited by another user in order to sign up, restricting access to an even greater degree. 

Even worse, there are some allegations that users have been contacted by the FBI after revealing their stances on the 1/6/21 riot on the app. If this is true, the whole thing might just be a clever, if unintentional, psyop by the deep state. (This speculation is purely jest on my part, and I am not at all paranoid about the unknown activities of federal agents against depressed young men who have been ideologically radicalized online.) Anyways, The Right Stuff is widely regarded as a commercial failure with a total user base estimated to be in the tens of thousands.

This is quite disappointing. I sympathize with the right-leaning men and women out there who wonder each day if they’ll ever find someone to love. I held such doubts myself for a long time. I want us to use technology for noble, humane purposes and to bring the world together. For those with traditional beliefs, however, we must be brave enough to use time-tested methods in attracting a partner. Rather than jumping on a dating app, we can ask out our crushes in real life and treat them with real kindness. 

In my years of doubt, I wasn’t brave enough to talk to the lovely lady with whom I was smitten. While I was honest about my politics online, I was still giving a deceptively simplistic impression of myself on these dating apps. A profile with 100 words or less can’t capture a person’s value or their true selves. That is why, on this year’s Valentine’s Day, I want to say that I am glad that I did the manly conservative thing and I started talking to the girl I liked in person. Eventually, I asked her out, and we’ve been together for around two years at this point. My love for her is traditional and absolute. 

If you’re reading this and you have the same internal doubts that I once did, don’t lose hope. The dating market is the worst it’s ever been, but I urge you to steel your resolve and take a chance on real people instead of online profiles. Be honest about yourself, face rejection with dignity, but also be open to acceptance. Maybe your crush is just as shy as you are, or the gal you bump into at the library might just be your soulmate. You are loved by Providence, and you will be loved by someone special. 

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