‘I let my friends choose my boyfriend’
MODERN dating is like a multi-car pileup.
There might be a few drivers that pass by unscathed (that friend of yours who went on Tinder once and found a long-term partner) but very few of the people caught in the middle know how to find their way through the mess.
Do you swipe right on that guy posing with a tiger in Bali?
How strict should your rule against gym selfies be?
Does that dude have serial killer eyes or is he just brooding?
These are the questions single folk ask while swiping, and sometimes it can be tricky to land on the right answer. Sometimes, what you need is a friend to slap your phone out of your hand before you match with another Virgo.
The new app is injecting a little more fun into online dating by allowing users to invite their friends to assist in finding them a match.
When you register, you're given a choice to list yourself as "single" or "not single", and you can either swipe on your own or join a "crew" and review potential matches for your buddies.
Once in a crew, you and your friends are given a private group chat in which you can giggle about boys and share profiles to judge.
Curious about the fresh take on online dating, I chatted to a couple of lurve experts to get their thoughts.
According to Jaimie Bloch, Clinical Psychologist and Behavioural Specialist, involving your friends is kind of a genius move:
"As a culture, we put a lot of value and importance on our romantic partners fitting into our … social networks," she said.
"A friend can help vet potential candidates based on this idea of whether they are well suited to a friendship group, or person's family and general lifestyle."
Certified dating and relationship coach, Iona Yeung Arratia, agrees:
"I think it's a great idea for most, especially single men," she said.
"Some of them don't know where to start and having a friend give them a little nudge can make all the difference."
The one warning both experts gave, however, was that matchmaker friends should avoid getting "too involved".
"It's when friends get too involved in a relationship that causes the real issues," Iona told me.
Jaimie echoed those concerns:
"It is important to know while friends have an important place in our lives … it is ultimately your own opinion that matters most."
With this in mind, I signed up, pitched the concept to a few mates and got them swiping.
Here's what I found:
EVERY FRIEND I SPOKE TO WANTED TO GET INVOLVED
Whenever I mentioned the app to anyone - whether I was inviting them to join or not - they wanted to be added to my crew.
Especially my taken friends. They jumped at the idea of being able to a) play on a dating app and b) have a go at matchmaking.
IT GOT A LITTLE COMPETITIVE
I noticed early on that everyone in my crew was invested in being the one to find me a standout match - they're great mates, what can I say?
As my sister put it: "Obviously I'd be happy if any of the people in our squad found you someone you like, but I want it to be me."
THEY ALL SHARED IN THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF UNREQUITED SWIPES
We celebrated when we found an impressive profile.
"Ooh, how great does Mike seem?!"
And we all felt the sting when the person behind said profile didn't like me back …
"What the hell, Mike?"
"Mike's dead now."
THEY GOT ME TO CONSIDER PEOPLE I WOULDN'T USUALLY MATCH WITH
The thing with this app is if your friend swipes right on a profile and the person behind that profile swipes right on you, it's a match.
You can choose to un-match if you really want to, sure. But it still means the person on the other end has a chance to send you a message, forcing you to consider people who might not traditionally be your "type".
THE CHAT FEATURE IS LOTS OF FUN
Having a group chat where you can weigh up potential dates is a seriously good time.
Did the conversation ever slip into silly banter? Absolutely. But everyone always stayed on topic; they only ever used the group to talk "business".
So, after my first foray into friends with dating app benefits, what are my thoughts?
Well … bringing your mates along for the ride is way more enjoyable than swiping solo.
We could all probably use a friendly nudge to break down the superficial walls that limit us on apps.
And I'm absolutely over Mike. Who needs him and his French Bulldog, anyway?
Stephanie Nuzzo is a freelance journalist. Continue the conversation @StephNuzzo