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Everything you need to know about 'slow dating', the latest dating app trend

Something to consider if you’re fed up with Tinder.


IT’S HARD TO believe that Irish people have been depending on Tinder for half a decade already.

A lot of users will say it’s the bane of their lives. For others, it’s quite useful. But for most, it’s just a bit of entertainment. Another app to open and browse when boredom sinks in. People swipe all day, accumulating hundreds of matches that they’ll probably never even bother talking to, which kinda defeats the purpose. 

So, the makers of dating apps are going back to the drawing board and trying to find a way to reduce what the likes of Bustle and Refinery29 have long been referring to as ‘dating app fatigue’, a phenomenon in which users of dating apps are exhausting themselves trying to find as many matches as they possibly can, in case the right person is just a swipe or two away. Who’d have thought that having all of the options in the world could instill such a feeling of FOMO in people? 

Earlier in the year, NYLON wrote about a French dating app entitled ‘Once’. Yes, like the musical. Unfortunately, with a name like that, it’ll never be able to go down the musical route like Tinder did (or at least, not without some legal difficulties). This French dating app only generates one single match for each user per day, and does so by determining what each users ‘type’ is with some artificial intelligence and a computer algorithm. As NYLON explained:

Other apps aren’t taking note of whom a user approves of or doesn’t, but Once does, and works to parse through individuals in an effort to (a) not waste a user’s time and (b) put individuals they’re more likely to give five stars ahead of those they wouldn’t. 
After a date, users are able to share how truthful their respective dates’ profiles are, from their photos to how engaging they are. 

It seems as though it works similarly to Raters, the fictional dating app from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, that has Dennis screaming “I’M A FIVE-STAR MAN” at countless terrified women who are turned off by his very poor rating. 

Source: Once Dating AG/YouTube

NYLON’s feature on Once was published back in March, but in the months since then, there’s been an increasing amount of buzz about Once and the style of dating that it encourages. Cosmopolitan said that ‘slow dating’ might just be the thing that “saves your love life“.

PastedImage-50895 Source: Once

Cosmopolitan reached out to the CEO of Once, Jean Meyer, to ask what happens if you end up with awful matches each day. He explained:

Even if your match of the day is crap, it’s okay. Maybe you’re not going to talk to that person, but at least you’re going to put the app away, and you may even put your phone away and do something else with your day. You can put 100 percent into another task that’s not swiping ten-thousand profiles. 

Because it’s a location based app, there’s also another potential issue. 

What if nobody in your area has the app? It’s increasing in popularity, but what about users outside of major cities, who have pretty slim pickings even on Tinder? Chances are, there are probably very few straight men beyond the pale who are massively excited to try out the latest French dating craze. 

For people with limited options, Cosmopolitan offered some life hacks for Tinder. They suggested that first of all, you should be using an app to limit your screen time. Beyond that, you should designate certain times and places where you can check your dating apps and when you do log on to Tinder, you shouldn’t swipe on anyone if you haven’t spent more than 20 seconds on their profile. On top of all of that, they suggest limiting the number of people you swipe through each day. 

Of course, that’s all great in theory, but realistically the person on the other side of the screen is probably flying through Tinder profiles at great speed, wherever they are, so you’re still not guaranteed a high quality match.

So, basically, you can either just wait it out until Once becomes more popular in your area, or you could do something really crazy, like try meet someone the old fashioned way – in a nightclub smoking area. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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