More Midwesterners consider political issues in dating

Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — A new study by the dating app Match in partnership with Indiana University researchers shows that political issues are increasingly important to singles in the Midwest when it comes to considering potential partners. According to the study, 29% of Midwestern singles consider not having an opinion on a key political issue a dealbreaker — up from just 15% in 2017.

Match's 12th "Singles in America" study is the largest annual scientific study on single adults. IU Kinsey Institute Executive Director Justin Garcia has been a scientific advisor on the Match study since it started, along with Kinsey Institute senior research fellow Helen Fisher, who also serves as Match's chief scientific advisor.

"Singles in America" asks a demographically representative sample of 5,000 U.S. single adults between ages 18 and 98 about their views on many aspects of dating. Data from the Midwest includes responses from a sample of more than 1,000 adults from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

This year's study contains the first comprehensive research findings showing the impact of recent abortion rulings and legislation on American singles.

In the Midwest:

  • 11% of singles said the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade made them more hesitant to date.
  • 2 out of 3 single women said they would not date a partner who has opposing views on abortion.
  • 79% of singles said the Roe v. Wade decision had changed their sex lives.

Midwest singles' responses were in line with nationwide data.

"Abortion and other political and economic issues are having an impact on how singles view potential partners, even while many singles are open to some political differences and are looking for a partner who is open-minded," Garcia said. "This is part of a pattern of 'conscious dating,' which we saw rise in 2022, with singles expanding a healthy and thoughtful approach to new relationships."

According to the study, 45% of Midwest singles reported they would date someone with very different political views, and 54% said it's a dealbreaker if a potential partner isn't open-minded on key issues.

While it didn't impact their desire to date, inflation made singles more aware of their spending. According to the study, 23% of singles are more appreciative of frugal people, and 80% feel that having similar attitudes about debt and spending is important in a partner — an all-time high over the past decade.

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