New Around Here? Dating Sites and Apps You Haven’t Met Yet

Bored of the usual offerings from POF, OkCupid and Match? Grindr no longer turning your crank? With spring finally really here and wedding season hitting its stride, now is the time to act if you don’t want to be stuck at the weird cousins’ table again. Fortunately, technology continues to conspire in favour of getting you a date, no matter how specialized your needs. I’ll go wherever I must to help my clients find love, so I’ve been doing a little research, and am pleased to present this short primer of some of the newest niche offerings in the online dating market. Please note: a mention here should not necessarily be interpreted as an endorsement!

"Hey, you look just like my...." Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs, married since 2003, do indeed resemble each other rather strongly

The idea that we unconsciously seek out partners who look like ourselves is creepily well supported by science. I’ve been alarmed to note (many years later) how much some of my former partners resemble my young dad in photographs, and in high school, my first terribly serious boyfriend and I were often mistaken for siblings. So this is totally a thing, and that means there is totally going to be a dating website just for people who are into it. Find Your FaceMate purports to match you not based on a bunch of questions, but a bunch of points on your face, and how well they correspond to those same points on other users’ faces. Apparently the geniuses in charge of this site can even attach personality traits to your facial features, but considering that I uploaded a pic of my not-too-uncommonly-featured self and got no matching results, I’m not sure they’re trying very hard yet.

Of course, if you live in Iceland you ought to have no problem. The country’s population of just over 300,000 are all related by blood – it’s just a matter of how closely. So there’s every chance that when you pick up in a bar, you may be about to commit incest, and most people would prefer to keep the degrees of separation as far apart as possible in that scenario. Enter IslendingaApp, which handily enables registered users to “bump [phones] before you bump in bed” (their joke, not mine) and find out just how freaky any resulting children might be. As one user comments, “If I would have had this app last year I probably wouldn’t have gone home with my cousin.”

Ready to meet Ms. (or Mr.) Right Now?

Proximity is the name of the game with the incredibly popular iPhone app Tinder, which uses a “hot or not” style rating system as opposed to useful things like biographical information to help you decide who you’d like to meet. It’s probably the closest thing to a heterosexual Grindr that’s ever going to be popular, even though it’s led to more than 70 men descending upon a one frozen yogurt shop in pursuit of the same (fictional) woman.

Less likely to lure a bunch of unsuspecting wannabe Romeos is the travel-themed Meet At The Airport, which promises “Romance, travel companion, friendship, networking. The possibilities are endless.” Presumably the people using this site wouldn’t be desperate enough to buy a ticket unless they were actually going somewhere, so it may in fact be a handy way to find a mate who also likes to see the world – or has to do so for business. At the very least, mile-high-club membership numbers should surge as a result. As the site breathlessly suggests, “Meeting someone new at the airport is fun and exciting. We’ve all thought about it while waiting for our flight. It’s a bit of adventure that adds spice to your everyday life. MeetAtTheAirport.com can now make a fantasy a reality. Find fellow travelers that are looking for that added sense of excitement that you only get when meeting someone new. Share a drink with an attractive stranger in the totally safe environment of a public airport.” (I’m not sure why, but that last bit – while probably very true – actually inspires very little confidence in the reader.)

Have you met Ted?

Like Tinder, Grouper is a Facebook-reliant members only site (and app) that allows you to set up “dates” between social cliques, in groups of 2 or 3. The obvious benefits to such an arrangement – having your wingmen (or women, or both) on the premises will keep awkward conversational pauses to a minimum, and hopefully stop you from doing anything too stupid – could be offset by the type of issues that haven’t plagued us since high school. “My BFF and I both like the same person!” Still, if I were single, I’d probably give this one a try. And if you’re ready to look for love online and find it, get in touch with me! I’d be happy to help.

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