The Miller wedding was not even the first time a White House couple has decided to pump money back into the president’s private business: Last November, Zach Bauer and Meghan Patenaude, two longtime administration officials, married in a black-tie ceremony at the Trump International Hotel. Zach Everson, a journalist who documents the goings-on at the hotel, used menu and venue fees to estimate that the reception cost at least $35,000, with hotel guests paying about $375 to stay the night.
Previous administrations, given the close quarters and long hours of White House life, also spawned couples. The youngsters of the Obama administration were hailed as “microcelebrities” who were known for dating each other — in fact, the Obama White House at times courted a “frat house” reputation based on the testosterone-fueled behavior of several of Mr. Obama’s aides. But outside the complex gates, the youthful staff members also had wider access to the city’s dating pool and social scene.
Aides in this White House have isolated themselves along with Mr. Trump. They tend to retreat into their own homes for socializing or to the safety of the president’s properties. Technology has also made it harder for the willing to date outside their political tribe, even if they wanted to: App-based dating platforms, including OkCupid and Bumble, have started allowing users to filter out one another based on personal politics.
According to data released by OkCupid — whose recent ad campaign includes slogans like “It’s OK to choose Mr. Right based on how far he leans left” — anti-Trump mentions on user profiles have increased by more than 52 percent since 2017. More pointed projects include a Never Trump dating site, which invites users to “escape Trumpism with an enlightened lover.”
“In many parts of America, your parents would have said to you, ‘Don’t talk politics until you’re way down the pike in your relationship,’” said Melissa Hobley, the chief marketing officer for OkCupid. “What’s changed is we see millennials and Gen Z don’t even want to match with you — let alone talk, go on a date, sleep with you, get in a relationship, get married — they don’t want to match without knowing how you feel about certain issues.”
There has been a rise in Republican-only dating websites and apps, including an app called DonaldDaters and a site called Republican Singles, which lists as part of its key tenets an adherence to “traditional marriage between one man and one woman, as God defined in the Holy Bible.”
Julie Spira, a dating coach and author of “Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics Is Polarizing Relationships,” said politics has become the “No. 1 deal breaker” for singles, with many holding Mr. Trump responsible for cleaving a wider cultural divide. The president and his supporters counter by blaming the news media.