Politics doesn’t have to make for strange bedfellows.
At least not all the time.
That’s the idea behind politicalmate.com, a dating website that offers a chance to meet like-minded singles who share similar tastes in music, recreation – and, perhaps, election polls and political speeches.
“There’s always something out there for everybody,” said Tory Perfetti, one of three conservative-leaning founders of the site, which launched this week.
Once the walks-on-the-beach phase is over and couples have bonded over action movies and Italian food, some of the more knotty questions in a relationship tend to surface. A website that lets users filter their dating prospects by political philosophy can take out some of the guesswork.
“How do you want to raise your kids?” Perfetti asked, noting that attitudes about work and politics can be strong indicators for compatibility.
“That kind of stuff is going to come up very quickly if you get serious.”
In the pre-cyber world, such questions often took care of themselves, with geography, income and educational backgrounds helping to determine how couples met. Even as the country became more divided by red states and blues states, those rules didn’t apply to the Internet.
The earliest online dating sites focused on traditional matchup criteria like personality, Perfetti said. Then came religion-oriented sites like Christiansingles.com or Jdate.com. Politicalmate.com covers that ground, he said, but adds politics to the mix.
“Then you’re adding the last thing that hasn’t been touched upon,” said Perfetti, 31, of Oldsmar.
Perfetti and the site’s other founders — Heath Whiteaker, 34, of Winterhaven , and Cody Fletcher, 25, of Tampa– are committed conservatives. Fletcher managed Perfetti’s campaign against then-Florida Rep. Pete Nehr in the Republican primary for District 65. Whiteaker, a marketing and political consultant, was an organizer for Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign and a Tampa-area field director for Rick Scott’s successful gubenatorial run in 2012.
From that experience, the three entrepreneurs know one thing: Getting the politics of a potential relationship right means getting it right early on.
“It’s one of those things that’s going to have to be in sync,” Fletcher said.