Most people date to find a long-term partner. They’re looking for someone who shares their values so they can build a life together.
Many have turned to online dating to find that special someone. Although it’s always been challenging to navigate, as people regularly lie about their appearance, careers, and even relationship status, it’s getting worse.
Some men are starting to realize that their political views turn women off, so they created a new trend: Woke Fishing.
What is Woke Fishing?
Woke Fishing is when someone lies or stretches the truth about their political beliefs to make themselves more desirable to the opposite sex. In most cases, conservative men say they’re “apolitical,” “moderate,” or even “liberal” on online platforms so they can score dates with liberal women who don’t want to date conservative men.
The women get roped in, thinking they’re dating someone who shares their values until the man’s true beliefs become too much to hide.
Why Woke Fishing?
Most people would want to date someone who shares their core beliefs, so why pretend to believe something you don’t?
Two Reddit threads, one in the popular R/dating subreddit and the other in the women’s focused R/twoxchromosomes, sought to find answers.
What “Moderate” Means on Dating Apps
Women turned to Reddit to warn other women that men who call themselves “moderate” or “centrist” on online dating apps are likely conservatives, lying to get dates.
“Moderate means conservative on the apps. TRUST,” warned the top-voted comment.
“Centrist or moderate just means “I’m completely fine with the status quo and would like things to not change too much,” which basically means conservative,” advised one.
“From what I can tell out here, liberals say liberal, conservatives say moderate, and fascists say conservative,” added another.
What Does “Moderate” Mean in General?
The loose definition of terms like moderate and centrist may also be to blame. Many men who claim they are moderates or even liberals really believe what they’re saying, though many women wouldn’t consider their beliefs moderate.
“Many people who claim to be liberal are really centrists and moderates. They believe they are liberal.” said one user.
“I dunno how it is on dating apps these days, but I have had the displeasure of knowing a few fascists who are sure that they’re moderate and/or libertarian,” added another.
“The thing is, they aren’t just conservative,” stated one user. “They’re also under the delusion that their personal, arch-conservative views are the sensible middle ground – which is part of the reason why they call themselves “centrist.”
Political definitions are constantly evolving, and due to the tribal nature of politics, some folks may identify with one group while valuing the beliefs of another. Others may genuinely believe they are in the center while their actions and values showcase they’re further to the right than they think.
Women Won’t Date Moderates Either
Many women won’t even date true moderates. They take an “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” approach regarding political beliefs.
“Being a “centrist” means you’re fine with everything that’s happening, including the active rise of authoritarianism on the right,” said one user.
Some mentioned they’re moderate or conservative because they’re for small government and less spending. Others quickly showcased why that’s still a turn-off.
“And when whatever you think you’re getting out of it – be it “fiscal responsibility” or “small government” – is more important than the fact that Republicans regularly work towards disenfranchisement, removal of rights/body autonomy, encouraging violence towards minorities… then I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are part of the problem,” stated one user, rebuffing someone who claimed to vote Republican for fiscal reasons.
“Neutrality is always siding with the aggressor,” added another.
Men Don’t Care About Politics
Men in the R/dating sub seemed perplexed that anyone would care about something as mundane as politics when dating.
“The crazy thing here is that it matters to people. Unless you’re all the way far left or all the way far right, it baffles me how political stance is a determining factor in meeting someone new,” said one user.
“If I see your political affiliation in your bio, I’m swiping left. Never met a sane or smart person that puts their political party at the forefront of their personality,” shared another.
Politics Critical to Women
Women, on the other hand, take it very seriously.
“That used to be true, I think,” said one, responding to someone who doesn’t care about politics. “The attacks on women and other groups have changed it a lot. A lot of us are much stricter now than we used to be on political affiliation. It’s very raw and personal for a lot of us. It’s not just some philosophical abstraction,” they shared.
Men Lie to Get Matches
The most common answer is that men lie to get matches.
“Conservative men realized that Liberal women won’t date them, so they pretend they are Moderates,” said a R/twoxchromosomes user.
“Yea, it’s pretty well known that basically nobody actually wants to date conservatives, so they have to pretend to be something else to get dates,” offered a user from r/dating.
“I very briefly dated a guy who it turned out was a Christian conservative but had his dating profile set to say “questioning” for his religion and left his politics blank because women didn’t want to date his true form,” shared another user, offering a personal experience.
Some Conservative Men Prefer Liberal Women
Many conservative men prefer to date liberal women, whereas liberal women don’t want to date traditional men at all.
“Conservative men like liberal/lefty women because: sexually liberated, works and wants to contribute equally to a relationship (also usually doesn’t expect man to pay for dates), not looking to rush into marriage, etc., etc.” said one user.
Men in the R/dating subreddit admitted they tend to avoid conservative women on dating apps.
“It’s funny when I see women list “conservative” as their political leaning, the rest of the profile is typically completely unhinged. It functions as a nice self-report,” shared one who didn’t share their political affiliation.
“This is true. About 90% of the time, any women who lists conservative will have a rant and a laundry list of what she’s looking for,” added another.
“Conservative woman probably want a traditional relationship where men pay for everything,” responded a third.
Much of the disconnect is because men don’t see the political differences as a deal breaker, whereas women do.
Some conservative men want the best of both worlds, though. They want a woman who’s liberal when it benefits them (works, pays the bills, is open to intimacy before marriage, etc.) and conservative when they want her to be (completing the domestic labor, letting him make all the household decisions, won’t make more money than him, etc.).
Liberal Women Wising Up
Women who don’t want to date conservative men are wising up to woke fishing. Many won’t date someone who calls themselves centrist, moderate, or apolitical after one too many dates with men who are anything but.
Others developed tests to determine someone’s true leanings on a first date.
“That’s why you have to ask about political issues and pay attention to their answers! If they’re lying, they usually out themselves and don’t even know it,” shared one user.
“Open with a Trump joke,” advised another. “They can’t seem to stand that. Shouldn’t take much to get them to show their true colors.”
“Instead of asking them who they support, ask them what are the biggest events that happened in their life that affected how they thought about how the world works,” said a third. “It’s easy to lie about your beliefs and say that you lean toward the Democratic Party, but ohhh boy, do right-wingers fail when it comes to understanding the motivations behind left-wing beliefs.”
Dating is a Tough for Both Parties
Many users shared that online dating is hard for both parties. People of all genders lie to get dates. It’s not just a conservative men thing. When you participate in online dating, you must watch for the lies, scams, catfishes, and all the other dangers that come with it.
For many, the end result is worthwhile. After wading through liars and users, they find someone they really connect with and form long-term, loving partnerships. That’s what we all want in the end, isn’t it?
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.