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A Conservative's Tips For Finding The Right Mate

The Conservative Political Action Conference has been a Washington fixture for decades, but as it's grown older it's also added more features designed for young people. College-age youth come to Washington to talk politics and policy, but they're also interested in, well, each other. So this year's agenda included a session on dating for conservative singles.

Wayne Elise is a conservative and a real life dating guru. The 43-year-old is known as the "Libertarian 'Hitch.'"

"Conservative people have a hard time hooking up," Elise says. "They have a hard time meeting people sometimes because they're way too serious." Have a sense of humor, Elise advises his audience. "Be yourself and avoid being mundane."

  • Be yourself and express your desires
  • Loosen up — don't be conservative in your dating style
  • Bring chapstick
  • Show your wacky side
  • Suggest dates that appeal to the other person's interests

His tips could benefit anyone, regardless of his or her politics. But then, maybe that's the point.

"It's not all that different," says Right Wing News blogger John Hawkins, who invited Elise to the conference. "Conservative dating. They're still people." They still have questions about sex and how to approach someone they're attracted to — and Elise is full of answers.

Learn how to flirt, he tells the relatively few women in his audience. "Be more sexual," he tells the guys.

"That doesn't mean you go and say 'Hey, you wanna have sex?'" Elise says. "It does mean hey, tell a girl why you find her attractive."

And don't be afraid to look outside your own political circles for a partner. "People mostly stick to their own group," he says, "and that's a shame."

CPAC attendee Jacqueline Otto agrees, but only up to a point. "What wouldn't work is if you're a conservative and the other person just doesn't care," she says. "The other person doesn't value what it means for you to be conservative."

What's important, says Hawkins, is that there's room for amicable debate. "It has to be the sort of thing where they're OK with you thinking Al Gore's a moron, and you're OK with them not liking Sarah Palin," he says.

And you need to enjoy spending time doing other, nonpolitical things together. Elise suggests strolling through downtown Manhattan taking Polaroid pictures of each other.

But 31-year-old Ryan Horn had another idea: a gun range. He says shooting some rounds with his girlfriend was a major part of his wooing process. "That's what worked on our second date and I think it will work on our fourth and fifth," he says. Horn says that's where they'll be spending Valentine's Day, too.

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A clip from the CPAC session on conservative dating.
Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Conservative Political Action Conference has been a Washington fixture for decades, but as it's grown older, it's also added more features for young people. College-age youth come to Washington to talk politics and policy, but they're also interested in, well, each other. So NPR's Teresa Tomassoni reports that this year's agenda included a session on dating for conservative singles.

TERESA TOMASSONI, BYLINE: Forty-three-year-old Wayne Elise is a conservative and a real life dating guru, otherwise known as the Libertarian Hitch.

WAYNE ELISE: Conservative people have a hard time hooking up. They have a hard time meeting people sometimes because they're way too serious.

TOMASSONI: Have a sense of humor, Elise advises his audience. Be yourself and avoid being mundane - tips that could benefit anyone, regardless of their politics. But then, maybe that's the point. John Hawkins blogs for Right Wing News, and he invited Elise to the conference.

JOHN HAWKINS: You know, it's not all that different. Conservative dating, I mean, they're still people.

TOMASSONI: They still have questions about sex and how to approach someone you're attracted to, and Elise is full of answers. Learn how to flirt, he tells the relatively few women in his audience. And guys, be more sexual.

ELISE: That doesn't mean you say like, hey, you want to have sex? But it does mean, like, hey, tell a girl why you find her attractive.

TOMASSONI: And don't be afraid to look outside your own political circles for a partner.

ELISE: You know, people mostly stick to their own group, and that's a shame.

TOMASSONI: CPAC attendee Jacqueline Otto agrees, but only up to a point.

JACQUELINE OTTO: What wouldn't work is if you're a conservative and the other person just doesn't care. The other person doesn't value what it means for you to be a conservative.

TOMASSONI: What's important, says John Hawkins, is that there's room for amicable debate.

HAWKINS: It has to be the sort of thing where they're OK with you thinking Al Gore's a moron, and you're OK with him not liking Sarah Palin.

TOMASSONI: And you need to enjoy spending time doing other nonpolitical things together. Elise suggests strolling through downtown Manhattan taking Polaroid pictures of each other. But 31-year-old Ryan Horn had another idea: a gun range. He says shooting some rounds with his girlfriend was a major part of his wooing process.

RYAN HORN: That's what worked on our second date, and I think it will work on the fourth and fifth.

TOMASSONI: And Horn says that's where they'll be spending Valentine's Day, too. Teresa Tomassoni, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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