Voting becomes a prerequisite for romantic relationships and affects the search for partners

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“We are looking for someone who makes our stomachs go cold, for true love or a date without commitment”.

“Confirming a vote or aversion to Lula – or, according to the profile – to Jair Bolsonaro, is also a prerequisite for lighting up or cooling down the climate”.

On the eve of an election loaded with polarization in Brazil, desires and political marks like these appear, full of variations, on pages of relationships in which the “perfect match” increasingly depends on the support or rejection of the two best-positioned candidates. in research.

“I don’t date Lulista”, “I don’t date a Bolsonarista”, and kissing or going out with those who support one or the other “would be disgusting”, are examples of how the behavior manifests itself – and has sparked the alert of experts.

The movement that spreads in social networks and relationship apps would reflect the politicization of society and more political polarization, observes José Mauro Nunes, PhD in psychology and professor at FGV (Fundação Getulio Vargas).

“We have seen a very strong internet politicization phenomenon in Brazil since 2013 [quando eclodiram grandes manifestações de rua] and this has been accelerating since Bolsonaro’s election in 2018, when this phenomenon intensifies in society to the point of manifesting itself in affective choices, in the family environment and in friendship relationships as well”, he says.

This politicization, he observes, has created a kind of “soccerization” of relationships, when love behavior resembles that of sports fans. The so-called “bubble phenomenon” is also emerging, with people who tend to approach and relate only to those who have the same system of beliefs, values ​​and political preferences.

Inserting and reinforcing political brands on social media platforms also ended up becoming a protection mechanism against toxic content, possible harassment and other unwanted attacks.

Lawyer Emelise Aires, 27, wrote on her profile: “Macho scrotum don’t even try! No mimimi from Bolsonaro”.

“It is a position to demonstrate that I am not the idealizer of those who seek political debates in a moment of relaxation”, she says. “Unfortunately, I’ve been approached by people that the first question was who I would vote for and that started to bother me a lot”.

The question came from potential suitors who support the current president. The approaches generated discussions and attempts at political-partisan conversion, emphasizes Emelise. And if she answered who votes – information that, as a rule, she prefers to keep secret – “it seemed that a feeling of discord was established”.

“I was treated as an enemy, although I have already talked to voters of the candidate who respected my position of not wanting to talk about the issue”.

Elaine Souza, creator of Bolsolteiros, a Facebook group for Bolsonaro’s single voters, says that “there are people who are more radical and others who let love speak louder.” Personally, she says that she once dated a Lula voter, but that she would not date today. “The values ​​are completely different.”

“But there really is a huge resistance in relating to someone who is on the left. Because, for the group, what the left preaches is contrary to what the right preaches”, he says.

The reflexes of this climate are perceived from North to South of Brazil, according to examples identified by the Sheet on dating apps like Tinder, Badoo and Happn, and social networks like Instragram, Twitter and Facebook.

In September 2020, the Monitor of the Political Debate in the Digital Environment of USP (University of São Paulo), found marks of political identity in São Paulo, especially among left-wing people, women and young people who live outside the periphery. The survey encompassed 48,000 profiles from a large dating app.

“We are seeing in Brazil an increase in affective polarization, in hostility towards those who adopt the opposing political identity – and everything indicates that this hostility is increasing”, says Pablo Ortellado, one of the authors of the research and coordinator of the Monitor.

The researcher does not rule out that the movement has increased two years after the start of the work, and says that affective relationships with those who think differently contribute to a less hostile environment.

“From the moment you don’t live with different people, from the moment you deny, find it absurd, repulsive to have affective relationships with a person who thinks differently, or who we think thinks differently, this hostility is consolidated. and increasing”, adds the professor.

Maria Goretti Nagime, creator of PTinder, an Instagram profile for relationships between leftists, says that “people do not consider voting for A or B a matter of taste”, but rather “because there are characteristics typical of a progressive person and typical of a person Bolsonarista – profile from which they seek to escape”.

“Voting is an increasingly strong prerequisite”, he says. “What I see on the page is that people are looking for real love, an inexplicable connection, butterflies in their stomachs. But without mutual admiration, neither friendship nor flirting happens.”

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