In the era of “ain’t nobody got time for that”, when most online dating services are largely based on profile photos and conversation is kept as simple and monotonous as possible, the world’s first “slow dating” app is trying to get people to take things slow by first talking and getting to know each other.
Appetence is a dating app designed around the principle of ‘taking it slow’. Instead of swiping left and right based only on your matches’ looks, you have to earn the privilege of actually seeing what your match looks like through conversation. And we’re not talking just a few short messages, either. Two people need to exchange at least 100 messages, or “encounters”, before they can see each other’s profile pictures, and that’s if they really hit it off.
So how does a slow dating app work? You start off by downloading the app from iTunes and registering, after which you will be asked to specify a bunch of interests and preferences relating to music, food, movies, pets, etc.. Once you’ve completed your profile, a matchmaking algorithm shows you compatible profiles based on the interests you imputed and your search settings (location, age, sex, etc.). Then comes the slow part.
Unlike pretty much any other dating app, Appetence doesn’t show you the profile pictures of your matches. Whenever you check out a profile, their photo is concealed by an abstract pattern, and it’s up to you to find out what lies behind it, through conversation. But it’s a bit trickier than just sending someone random messages just to see what they look like. Users have the opportunity to like the messages they receive, and the more they like, the more pieces of the profile picture of the sender are revealed. To fully reveal your match’s profile photo you have to like at least 50 of their messages/encounters, and they have to like 50 of yours to see your picture. So yeah, you’re in for a slow ride, but that’s the whole point.
“Unfortunately, our society today promotes relationships with increasingly fragile ties. ‘Fast Dating’ has made many women and men tired of not feeling special,” Appetence founder Camilla Forsell told Mashable. “The conversations have become monotonous and similar, and having a ‘Match’ is no longer as exciting as the first few times.”
Appetence is undoubtedly a novel approach to modern online dating, but it remains to be seen how many people are willing to put in the time and effort required to seduce a potential partner just with their words. So far, feedback has been mixed. While some people see it as a breath of fresh air that gives finding a compatible match more meaning, others just don’t see the point.
“Not that either of you has to be a supermodel, but let’s face it — if you don’t have a mutual physical attraction from the start, then there’s no romantic connection to be made, period. You simply can’t fake or replace that!” Your Tango editor, Brittany White, writes. Having mutual interests and hobbies is great and obviously super important when starting a relationship, but at the end of the day, if you don’t want to rip each other’s clothes off, what’s the point in being anything other than friends?”