As I reflect on my love life, I’ve realized that there are really only three kinds of people that libertarians date, each with their own qualities, benefits, and difficulties. As a note, I can only write from my own experiences, so this is written from a heteronormative, female-centric perspective.
1: APOLITICAL ALAN
Apolitical Alans make up a vast majority of the dating pool. We (libertarians) like to think that we are somewhat superior to Apolitical Alans, but the reality is that they have simply devoted their time to something other than politics. In general, this can include developing social skills, playing/watching sports and video games, and enjoying life without the burden of an irrational fixation on the actions of government. They are attractive because they tend to be more laid back about… well, everything, and tend to be up for a good time (regardless of if that’s a quiet night in or a night raising hell at the club). Whenever an Apolitical Alan is faced with politics, he will either listen quietly and nod along with whatever you are saying in hopes that the discussion will end soon, or just tune you out. If libertarianism—or politics—is really your passion, Apolitical Alans’ disinterest may be frustrating.
2. STATIST STEVE
Oh, Statist Steve. I have been made fun of more than once for rooting out the socialists and communists (and other strange political ideologues) in any environment and promptly starting to date them. Perhaps it’s their boyish, wide-eyed idealism that gets me or their willingness to analyze the world around them in a deep political manner, but I find the statists to be the most charming—albeit painfully difficult at times—of the three categories presented here. While intelligent, they may rely heavily on mainstream interpretations of government (be it Republican, Democrat, Communist, or what have you), and thus be closed-minded to new ideas, and they may enjoy trolling… a lot. Altogether, Statist Steves can be fun, but make sure the relationship is about more than the love of debate.
3. LIBERTARIAN LARRY
We all know Libertarian Larry. He’s brooding, intellectual, and deeply concerned about AR-15s and tax code… just like us. Dating a fellow libertarian can be a relief for many: You can groan about grocery taxes together, curse Obama and Bush, and philosophize about the efficacy and morality of drone strikes—how exciting (for me, it really is)! They can also push you to reevaluate your own libertarian politics and develop them further. Libertarian Larry can sometimes fall victim to the same woes that people have of all libertarians: he can be too inside his own head, aloof, and nerdy to the point of social disease. Should you choose to date a Libertarian Larry, expect long political discussions and a few boring nights in.
Naturally, there are subdivisions in each of these fields, and most people are (unwittingly) a mix of the three. Date at your own liesure, but recognize the benefits and pitfalls of Alans, Steves, and Larrys in the market of love.