A few months ago, William Nardi, a junior at UMass Boston, hit it off with a girl he met by chance at a coffee shop downtown. But the next day, he received a direct message from her on Instagram, where he describes himself as a “Lincoln Republican” and has posted about his right-wing beliefs.
“You’re a conservative?” she messaged.
After he replied yes, the girl never messaged him back.
“If I see a beautiful girl and I want to go up to her and I say hi, and I tell her I’m a Republican, that might be the deal breaker right there for 50 percent of women,” says Nardi, a 20-year-old political science major.
He thinks they should try to get to know him first.
“They would see that I’m not some far-right, radical, white nationalist Nazi or anything like that — that I’m a very reasonable and thoughtful character about my beliefs,” he says.
Only about 20 percent of college freshmen nationwide called themselves conservative — with another 2 percent self-identifying as far right — according to a 2016 survey, but the pool is likely smaller in blue state Massachusetts. A recent Gallup Poll found that 92 percent of students believe liberals are able to freely express their views on campus, while 69 percent believe conservatives can. Right-leaning students can turn to dating sites or apps geared to them — such as Conservatives Only, Libertarian Passions, and Patrio — but many say they’ve had more success with old-fashioned matchmaking methods.
Boston University senior Anastasia Kourtis, 21, has used Tinder but says she prefers meeting dates through mutual friends. The treasurer of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans, she has dated Republicans and Libertarians exclusively, and chose to keep her politics out of the dating app to avoid clashing with “super liberal” guys who, she says, might send her obnoxious messages criticizing her political leanings.
“There’s so much more to me than my political views,” she says.
Raquel Ferreira, who considers herself to be an independent fiscal conservative, moves carefully when announcing her views.
“I try not to bring politics up on a date — especially if it’s a first date,” says the 21-year-old senior at Emmanuel College. “You never know how somebody is going to react to it.”
One thing in particular she won’t advertise? The fact that she voted for Trump.