Maybe not cool, maybe not sexy, but still advice? Sorry for the clickbait.
We look to our politicians for their wisdom to fix the housing crisis (lol), or to keep us safe from a pandemic. But what about their wisdom regarding dating? If there are two things I admire in this world, it is politics and a good date. Why not combine the two, hence the purpose of this article. Plus, it’s not every day I get to call up politicians to ask them for dating advice. I sent emails to a wide range of MPs—happy to just talk to them xx—and asked them the following questions. 1. What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? 2. The most important quality in a partner? 3. The best date idea for students?
What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? Check out what their past behaviour on social media has been. Never have a photo or video taken that you’d be worried if your Mum or Dad saw.
The most important quality in a partner? That they accept you for being who you are. You’ll never live up to some fantasy.
Best date idea for students? Something involving sport, or music that you can talk to the other person about. Even better, is a Young Nationals function.
Analysis: These are some wise words from Judith—perhaps even a flirtatious “talofa” or eyebrow raise will seal it.
What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? Check who they follow and what they comment, in case they have socialist tendencies.
The most important quality in a partner? Not being a socialist. Socialists think asking politicians to take or regulate other people’s property by force is not just ok but actually virtuous. Do you want to get intimate with someone that ethically wobbly? Gross.
Best date idea for students? Walk up Rangitoto. Seriously underrated. Did you know the summit is higher than the Skytower viewing deck? Nature.
Analysis: David certainly believes that saying you’re socialist on your Tinder profile is not a winner, but perhaps a walk up Rangitoto will work?
What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? Always know who you are talking to.
The most important quality in a partner? Trust.
Best date idea for students? Something cheap, fish and chips on the beach with a cheap bottle of wine.
Analysis: As Mark Mitchell is an ex-cop, it doesn’t surprise me that his responses are short and sweet—and that to him, the most important quality is trust.
I received the following response from the Minister:
Minister Twyford thanks you for your email.
Unfortunately, the Minister is unable to contribute to your article.
He sends his apologies and best wishes.
Analysis: From this response it seems that, like Kiwibuild, the Minister has been unable to deliver on his dating life. Perhaps we may need to give him a few more years.
What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? Be ruthless with your time. You don’t need a good reason to stop dating someone, you just have to want to stop. Let them know in advance of course—ghosting isn’t nice—but feel free to cut people out of your life. Be picky! Don’t let anyone waste your time, and if they’re not getting the hint after a while just let them go. There are so many people vying for your attention online and if something’s not working it’s not working.
The most important quality in a partner? Everyone has different tastes, so this is a tricky one. I’m going to be gross and give a shout out to my husband Max, who I fell in love with at Uni. He is driven, a feminist, cares deeply about the world around him and is a massive nerd. I love those parts of him, and—short of the nerd thing—I think all of those are qualities anyone can look for.
Best date idea for students? Students are generally pretty cash-strapped, so the best ones are the ones you can do on a budget. Maybe you go on a picnic to the park. Maybe you can set up a games night to settle in and play games with each other. If you want to splurge a little, Rainbow’s End is a dream. My favourite date is trying something that’s new to both parties (like interesting food or a weird hobby) or learning something from my date that I don’t know about, but they’re an expert on.
Analysis: Out of all the dating advice I’ve read, this nails it. Arena Williams is perhaps the savviest skux out of them all.
What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? Get off social media. It’s good to talk to real people. Go do things that you enjoy doing. And find someone that way. That way you can suss them out and watch from afar before you make your move.
The most important quality in a partner? Find someone that makes you laugh. Out loud. Genuinely. From your puku. Looks fade. Don’t let that be your focus. You’ll end up disappointed.
Best date idea for students? Breakfast dates!! They’re underrated. But they give you a chance to see each other in a normal situation. Bonus is, breakfast doesn’t need to last more than an hour, tops, so it gives you a good out if you wanna ditch and run! Or, if it’s going good, suggest doing something straight after breakfast. Win.
Analysis: I have to say Tāmati has a special place in my heart, from the What Now days. His advice only makes me appreciate him more, and has got me thinking whether the 4am Maccas after town counts as a breakfast date.
Dr. Deborah Russell
What would be your dating advice for young people in the social media age? As a 55-year-old cis straight abled woman who has been very much married and out of the dating scene for well over three decades, I’m not sure I’m qualified to give good advice. But here goes anyway. Have fun and stay safe. The great thing about social media is that you get to know people you may otherwise not cross paths with. However, for the record, I met my husband at university. While social media is convenient, don’t forget to actually visit your favourite places or try a new hobby as you never know who you may meet.
The most important quality in a partner? Honesty. You can curate your life as much as you like on-line, but it needs to be authentic or it won’t survive in-person life.
Best date idea for students? I’m keen on art galleries and museums, but I like going to the rugby and netball too. I would recommend visiting the Auckland Museum (free), and then head back into town for a meal. If you’ve been to the museum first you’ll have something to talk about.
Analysis: Honesty isn’t something politicians are well known for, yet, for Deborah it’s the most important quality in a partner. If I had to apply this to my own life, maybe just don’t date any future politicians (sorry law students).
Regardless of your political views, I think we can all appreciate that these politicians have offered some very good wisdom about dating, especially on the presence of socialism in a future partner. I’m very thankful to the politicians that have responded to my emails and phone calls. Politicians are often seen in the serious light discussing the big matters of the day, but they are still people with hearts. For me, I think I should just stop talking about politics on dates altogether.