In other words – dating is awful.
Finding partners seemed easier in the years of forced socializing, such as primary school and college, wherein meeting new people was a required way of life. Adulthood on the other hand presents the weighty challenge of forcing oneself to swim in whichever sea of strangers one feels tolerable that day. Social clubs, churches, and gyms are popular places – but adding extracurricular social activity can be a struggle for the busy working professional.
Enter online dating – the only way to meet people on the comfort of your couch or the solace of the toilet. Scores of singles’ portfolios scatter the myriad of paid or unpaid dating apps, some intended for casual hookups, others for serious commitment. Popular dating apps like OKCupid or Match are based on the idea of entering partner preferences and personal information, then allowing the app to select matches based on your personality and ideal partner traits. Some apps use this same idea but are more selective, such as E-harmony. E-harmony is an app so committed to assisting users in long-term relationships that persons who do not meet a certain set of requirements can be expelled from the app entirely.
Further still is Tinder, a newer app popular with young daters. Tinder helps users find individuals they perceive as visually attractive as a primary means of connection. Secondarily are personality traits such as hobbies or personal preferences, which has since caused the app to earn a reputation as a means for finding short-term relationships or one night stands.
The great challenge these and most other online dating apps is this – it’s strangers trying to find love among strangers. As popular online dating blogger Single Steve laments, “I’ve always hated online dating. But I’ve always done it….[and am] going to keep doing it, because that’s just what you do. And you know what I hate most about it? It’s the philosophy of online dating. It’s the process of going on dates with strangers.”
Granted, getting to know anyone from a friend to a colleague to a romantic partner is always awkward – but there’s something extra special about the bumbling awkwardness surrounding online dating. Strangers looking to find the greatest commitments of humanity with strangers. Weird.
Eliminating the Cyber Stranger
The landscape of online dating is an expansive valley of self-written profiles, professing how interesting, charming, or hipster-geeky-chic one is. Daters tweak said profiles regularly in hopes of ensnaring a person with a pulse who will find the lie-laden profile convincing enough to give a real life meeting a shot.
But people aren’t stupid – everyone knows everyone is lying. For example, shoppers are more likely to give business to a company referred by a friend over a company they learned about via advertisement. Through a similar vein, wouldn’t daters trust dating recommendations from friends instead of the self-advertised, falsified, often ridiculous portfolios that clutter the dating world online?
That’s what Pear Friends is hoping.
The Dating App Based on Real Friend Introductions
In mid-December 2014, a new type of dating app was launched, aimed at getting rid of unwanted stranger danger. Pear Friends is a free mobile app available on Android and iOS connecting friends-of-friends for long-walks-on-the-beach dating purposes. Once downloaded, the app syncs with the user’s Facebook profile. As the largest and most used social network on the internet, Facebook profiles are usually complete with profile pictures, work history, age, and personal preferences…the essential elements of an online dating profile. All the user needs to do is allow the connection.
From there, the app works in two ways:
Find a Pear – Your Facebook friends have their own Facebook friends with whom you don’t share a direct connection with. Once friends allow Pear Friends to access their contacts, the user can browse through friends of friends to find a person dateable.
Find someone intriguing? Tap the profile and the app will ask your Facebook friend to introduce you.
Pear Friends – Here’s the big difference with Pear Friends. Not only does the app allow users to actively search for a date, but people who aren’t even interested in dating can use the app as well. If any friend truly is a friend, most of the time they are interested in matching together people they like, connecting their own network and helping people they care about find people to care about.
By tapping into innate human desires to 1) find a romantic partner and 2) help friends, our prediction is Pear Friends is going to change online dating significantly. The reason is the app moves online dating strategy away from the proactive profile hunt done alone, but into a space that includes friends in the match-making experience. Social opportunities in the real world tend to revolve around who knows and introduces who, meaning Pear Friends is moving the online dating game much closer to the real life dating game.
What do you think? Will Pear Friends change online dating? Let us know what you think in the comments below.