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Swipe right: Is France’s new right-wing dating app for ‘patriots’ as romantic as it claims?

Droite au Coeur is France's first right-wingers-only dating app, targeting "patriots" who wants to protect France's traditional identity.
Droite au Coeur is France's first right-wingers-only dating app, targeting "patriots" who wants to protect France's traditional identity. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Giulia Carbonaro
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A new dating app for right-wingers only is a sign of how far-right ideology is becoming increasingly mainstream in France, an expert tells Euronews.

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“Patriotism has never been so romantic.”

That's the motto of Droite au Coeur, France’s first dating platform for right-wingers looking to meet their match online and start a romance with like-minded “patriots.”

Droite au Coeur, which can be translated as “Straight to the heart” but in French also can also be read as “Right of the heart”, presents itself as a dating platform for “patriotic singles.” The dating platform, founded by Stéphanie and Yohan Pawer, a far-right influencer promoting “Western values”, was launched earlier in June for desktop, but the mobile app version is live now. 

The goal of the platform is to “connect women and men proud of our country, and sharing the same values.” 

What are these values? Defending France and its Christian roots, according to its founders. 

“Education, culture or religions, our roots are unwavering beacons that guide us on the path of life in a deconstructed and unhealthy society that no longer resembles us,” they write.

For Cécile Simmons, a researcher at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), an international think-tank that analyses and crafts responses to extremism, hate and polarisation, the platform is really about “the preservation of identity.”

“For me, it’s motivated by the desire to exclude,” Simmons tells Euronews. “On the app, there’s a mention of having children. There’s the idea, implicitly, that people will meet and have white children,” she continued.

“It’s motivated by anxieties about racial replacement -- it doesn’t mention things like the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory, but is completely steeped in that kind of fatalist anxiety.”

The platform calls its users “guardians and defenders of our civilizational richness” and calls itself their “big family.”

Though Droite au Coeur says it’s not affiliated with any specific political party, the site was promoted by Bruno Attal, a police unionist who ran with Reconquest in the past legislative election in 2022, and Patrick Libbrecht, director of the Institute of Social, Economic and Political Sciences (ISSEP) founded by France's far-right leader Marion Maréchal Le Pen.

Euronews has contacted Droite au Coeur for comment ahead of publishing this story.

When setting up a profile, users must provide information about their ethnicity, their family situation, and their religion. They must indicate at least one or two political interests, from among a  list of right-wing parties which includes Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, Florian Philippot’s The Patriots, François Asselineau’s Republican People’s Union, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s Stand up France, and Eric Ciotti’s The Republicans.

On top of that, users must answer how important they think religion is, whether they smoke or not, and whether they have or want children. They can also let others know whether they want a long-term or short-term relationship, or if they’re open to wait and see what happens.

There’s no doubt that users on the platform buy into its philosophy.

“Finally I will find a patriotic woman,” writes a 29-year-old Parisian in his profile. 

“In search of the woman with whom to build a future and resist the decadence and agony of the West,” writes a 34-year-old.

A 26-year-old man in the app describes himself as “white male, cis-gender, heterosexual, Christian,” adding sarcastically that he’s “the cause of all the evils in the world.” Another said that “guided by God and the aspiration to a better world,” he’s looking for the woman “who will follow me to escape this cold and sterile world.”

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Another promotes himself on the app with another ironic slogan: “Future ‘racist’ uncle seeks future ‘racist’ aunt.” A 34-year-old woman “passionate about traditional values” and proud of her heritage is looking for a soul mate who shares her “conservative outlook” to “build a strong future on the foundation of our nation.”

She could be described as a “tradwife”, a concept born in American far-right circles which is essentially a “romanticisation of the 1950s housewife,” Simmons said, “the promotion of the return to traditional gender roles” where women are focused on traditional homemaking and motherhood.

For Simmons, Droite au Coeur is a concerning sign of how the far-right has become increasingly trans-national, with many ideas coming from the US being exported into Europe. Dating apps targeting right-wingers only are already common in the US, where you have the likes of Righter -- whose founder Christy Edwards Lawton claims conservatives have “better sex” than liberals -- and The Right Stuff, founded by Donald Trump’s advisors.

“What we have seen in the US is the growth of new spaces of socialisation that are very ideologically motivated,” she said. “Dating apps and far-right-only spaces are part of that concept.”

Simmons said that the launch of the far-right-only dating platform is concerning because it shows “how the far right is adopting new tools and creating new spaces to spread its ideas and to connect with new recruits.”

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Essentially, the far-right has become mainstream in France, Simmons said, and Droite au Coeur shows that. “Traditionally far-right spaces have been quite exclusive,” Simmons said. “The app is sort of a desire to democratise far-right ideas. Technically, the app is open to anyone -- and for a long time, access to far-right circles was quite limited; they have a smaller audience.”

Droite au Coeur, on the other hand, is for everyone: as long as you’re a so-called “patriot”, that is.

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