Wednesday, 21 July 2021

New dating app ends repetitive patriarchal matching by turning the chore into thrilling 'love experiment' | review

It's not often you will see me pulling a gimpy smile while on the likes of Tinder but as soon as I started using the new dating app Once jaw ache commenced. 

Never have I ever been so impressed with not only the experience on such an app but also in the quality of like-minded folk on it, and the creative thought process that has gone into creating such a neat algorithm. 

The genius and pioneering French app were created by an all-female team and now they're bringing their new matching algorithm to the UK.

I, for one, am thrilled about this.

Setting up my profile took a maximum of 15 minutes after quickly making an account through my iCloud (I'm just lazy) filling out my name, age, and selecting a number of my interests to display on my profile.

The interests work as part of the clever little algorithm in a bid to bring up like-minded souls.

From sports, culture and arts, spirit and mind, food and drinks, to outdoor activities there's quite a few to paint a nice little portrait of what you're into while giving potential matches the chance to see what you have in common. 

Unlike other apps that usually only allow you to select five you can choose to display as many as you want to so, I, of course, went OTT because why the hell not? I want a good match!

Sports I struggled because well, lazy in that department, but I do adore my yoga, I can deal with HIIT, and I love me a bike ride so I also selected cycling.

Meanwhile, on culture and arts, I went to town. Selecting writing, reading, home improvement, photography, video making, blogging, journaling, and cinema. 

After telling them half of my life story in that area, I then let the algorithm know that I am a dog and pets lover, am into meditation, and chess (a partner who I can play against in the evenings when we're 70, please step forward). I'll admit, I was disappointed with the spirit and mind section and feel it should add interests such as mental health, philosophy, etc. That way it's easy to begin those more deep-thinking conversations on those topics if you know the other person is into them.

For food and drink, I could have honestly selected them all but went for pasta specialist and coffee drinking.

And lastly, for outdoor activities, we informed the algorithm of my loves for going to the beach, shopping, and the odd option of 'survivalist prepping' because it just sounds bad arse and interesting, to be honest. 

There is also a section to fill in where you have travelled but as someone with a fear of heights and flying (working on it) I've only been on a plane a number of times so skipped that part but it fascinates me that you can display it as imagine the fascinating conversations regarding exploring you can startup.

You can then pick three of what the app calls 'biscuits' which is questions to have on your profile that you have answered. 

If you need ideas, I opted for, "My friends always call me to..." and answered with "reassure them it's going to be okay" as I feel it portrays my caring side.

For my second, I choose "The thing I love the most in my life is..." and responded "my passion for my career" to subtly highlight I'm a busy woman and not to waste my time.

And for my last one, I selected "If there's one thing to do with me it's..." and said, "I'll leave that to the imagination" followed by the old winking emoji however, I'm constantly torn between removing that or not but I feel the other two make me sound very serious and low-key dull. So, in option three we add a little flavour. 

For pictures you get to upload six so I followed the apps recommendation (slightly there was one photo with glasses) and used a headshot first followed by another pic true to me, then I avoided using any group shots or big hats - it also advises no sunglasses but they just look so good with the outfit...

What I will say is you can only upload square-shaped pictures which is very annoying for full-body snaps so I had to use grids which I think might make me look vain but there was no other way other than just having cropped pics of half of my body - something I did find a lil irritating when looking at my matches too.  

Nonetheless, the love experiment part picked up my interest after I filled out 26 questions for the algorithm to work its magic. For those wondering, they are whacky and wild would you rather questions, my favourite example on it is, 'which is worse being alone forevermore or stuck in a room with 100 people forever' I, of course, said being alone forever would be great so I'm sure that will help me find love. 

The only thing I will say is some of them didn't make much sense as they're just not going to represent me as a person at all. For example, one was 'how does your partner know you're mad at them?' with only two options of 'you tell everyone you're over' and 'you accidentally burn down their house' neither apply but there was no option for 'have an adult conversation'.

Saying that, the app had some fantastic questions such as your plans for your future, having kids, are you good at saving money, etc etc all the ones you're scared to ask but dream of aligning with.  

Once you're done with the questions it tells you what kind of lover you are as well. Very neat and I am apparently a pilot. 

According to Once, my love language as a pilot means: "You are guided in love by your head more than your heart. You enjoy meeting new people who share your interests and even though you have high energy levels, you still need alone time to recharge your batteries. Your love will be steady whilst giving your partner time to explore their own passions, which will excite you." 

Now we're into the fun part... once the experiment has worked out your love language it lets you know who you are allegedly best compatible with. 

For pilots it's professors and unicorns so Once then delivered on its word and bought up a load of local profiles of people who will connect with me on an emotional level and share similar interests which made starting interesting conversations exceptionally easy.

I don't usually start them and do leave guys to it but I did find myself messaging people because I was genuinely curious and interested to hear more about them after scanning their profiles. 

Oh, and I apparently have the best sex with fellow pilots so there's that. You can even scroll through a 'magnetic attraction' section which is basically supposed to be a selection of people whom you will both want to rip each other's clothes off.

There is also the option to scroll through people you are likely to have an 'explosive reaction' with. Meaning, you're complete opposites. 

To help you find the ideal person you can also do a neat little task of literally showing the algorithm what your type is. It does this by bringing up people's profiles and asking you to rate them privately on the appearance out of five so it can work out your type on paper.

The selection of people on there can't be compared to the likes of Tinder who have been building their database for years but it wasn't poor and it did always reload new people. I'm not a super swiper and never have been. If I am to use a dating app I'll go in, swipe for five minutes then leave it at that so matches running out and having to regenerate does not bother me but I know it does for some.

I spent a week on the app and take it from someone who used them on and off for four years, I had the most delightful and engaging conversations while using Once.

If you're looking to actually get to know an individual instead of spending all your precious time swiping on the likes of Tinder then I really recommend this neat little app.

In my prediction, if they have a strong marketing campaign, I see no reason why the app won't be soon swarming with even more options and by listening to constructive concritism I see no reason for it knocking Hinge out of the market.

Saying this, the issue with modern dating - in my opinion - is that we have too many options so therefore we keep swiping as you can't be bothered to get to know each match.

On Once it's easier than ever to find a match judging off their profile alone so you can cut all that small talk bullshit.

As who has time for that? If you're a busy bee who is a romantic at heart longing for a deeper connection than sex then Once is the one for you! 

It's a 4/5 from me. 

If you'd like to give Once a try too, you can download it here for free!

Written by VavaViolet's Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Blackman

*This is a paid sponsored article. Nonetheless, all thoughts are that of VavaViolet Magazine.*


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