Dating apps to which you have to apply to join promise to end time-wasting mismatches
New year, new love life. Its a resolution that hundreds of thousands will make this month and January 2016 is expected to see the highest ever number of sign-ups to dating apps. But this year the apps are going in a new direction instead of spreading the net as widely as possible, the new ones are all about keeping out undesirable people.
The League is one such app. It heavily vets members, boasts that only 20-25% of those who apply are allowed in, and has more than 75,000 people on its waiting list. It launched in America last year and is now coming to the UK. Applicants must provide access to their profiles on LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network, to check out their academic achievements and employment history.
Its spokeswoman, Meredith Davis, says: People are attracted to The League because with other dating apps anyone can log in, but this is about building a community of high-achievers and trailblazers. People can say what they want, but if being smart and standing for high values means exclusive, then so be it.
One selective dating app already operating in Britain is The Inner Circle, which has 22,000 members and another 24,000 on the waiting list. Even to get on the waiting list you need to be invited by a friend who is already a member.
Its founder, David Vermeulen, explains how it came about: I was single and on two different dating sites. But I didnt like the way they were focused on quantity I wanted to create one focused on quality for like-minded people. In the screening process we look for well-educated, well-travelled professionals. Yes it is controversial, but in my opinion its the best way to offer high quality.
The app will launch in the US this year. It can look a bit snobbish, but its really just a nice community, adds Vermeulen.
Interior designer Tally Higgins, 32, says using the app has meant fewer wasted nights out with dates with whom she had nothing in common. I tried a few dating apps, but the good thing about Inner Circle is that you know what you are going to get. You are going to get somebody like-minded, with a similar background, she says.
You can see where somebody works, their education, and its quite reassuring. I dont want to sound like a snob, but with Tinder and the other apps you dont know what youre going to get. Anyone can join. But you know that everyone on Inner Circle has been invited by friends of friends.
The Inner Circle is also unusual for hosting a number of live events, such as polo matches or other sporting events. Higgins recently attended an Alice In Wonderland-themed event at a London private members club, complete with live music.
The live events are so much fun. Ive never not had a good night with them. People are really friendly and open. Everyones well dressed and can hold a half-decent conversation. The events are good for networking on the business front, too.
But is it necessary to meet people like you if you are looking to start a relationship? Chartered psychologist Dr Adela Apetroaia runs a consultancy for people trying to find the right match. She says it can certainly help. The evidence shows that its true that people are attracted to people who resemble them, or who resemble their idealised selves and have the qualities they would like to have. And I think thats what is going on with these apps, she explains.
If those qualities include being in the public eye, then Raya is the app for you. Users have reported spotting TV personality Kelly Osbourne, the musician Moby and professional sportsmen among its members. In order to be approved, applicants have to detail how many followers they have on the photo-based social network Instagram tens (if not hundreds) of thousands is desirable. An anonymous committee then decides if you are sufficiently Instagram-influential.
For those with a luxury lifestyle in mind, Luxy bills itself as Tinder without the poor people. To be accepted, you must be either rich or beautiful. Applicants who want to get in on looks must subject themselves to a vote by a number of existing users. The company claims that the average members annual income is well over 100,000 and users are encouraged to post moments photographs of themselves in helicopters and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Dating can be tedious, says the firms spokeman, Andrew Mar. There are countless dating apps where everyone is a lost cause no jobs, no ambition, no drive. Luxy users are successful they have passion, determination and they look good. Those that say our app is snobbish say it because they know that they cant get on.