Last Valentine’s Day, one in five of the couples out on romantic dates together had a dating app like Hinge, Bumble, or Tinder to thank for matching them together first. Statistics from developers at Coffee Meets Bagel reveal that 11 percent of American couples who have been together for 10 years or more met online. 40 percent of Americans know a person who met a partner or spouse online. The numbers only seem natural, as the average American spends eight and a half hours a day staring at a screen!
While we have come a long way in accepting and advancing the world of internet dating through a growing user base and an overwhelming number of online dating services and applications over the last four years, the chance of meeting a compatible, long-term partner on an online dating application in an urban environment is slim. How often do users trip up on the communication component? The number of times my friends lose out on connecting with a potential match on Bumble because they are too nervous to say anything or the lingering conversations that die without momentum on Hinge over the course of a night are endless. I can confess that I reuse and recycle a select few dating applications myself, depending on my level of commitment to the online dating scene at the time. In the words of the Black-Eyed Peas: where is the love?
Emotional connections cannot be determined by similar bios and attractive photographs of singles in the same location. You have a cat, I have a cat, we have three mutual friends, and we’ve been to Paris, LET’S DATE! Hold the phone, literally. We can’t rely on an algorithm alone developed by an intelligent, nit-picky application developer in India or Asia who is so far removed from the complexities of today’s hopeful, urban-living singles here in Boston and cities alike to give us that heart-throbbing, knee-buckling romantic relationship. Moves must be made. Time is precious. Your man or woman on the other end of the phone maybe meeting a potential candidate for a pizza date right now – organically! Ouch. What the online dating world is missing is the element of fate. After all, what is a romance without the game of chance?
Dipity, a first of its kind online dating application tackles the issue of establishing instant connections online by using the innovative approach of geo-targeted locations- in combination with a hint of fate- for first date meet-up spots. Adding a bit of romance to the online dating world, Dipity allows users to play a game of chance. Once matched, each user picks one locale from 10 different date spots. If the pair chooses the same location, it’s fate! An instant conversation has started, no worries about coming up with a catchy message or appearing too forward.
The app went live on February 11th and has been climbing already with over 100 downloads from the Apple Store. Users sign in using their facebook accounts and from there can search for other singles in their area by age, sex, zipcode, and distance. Here’s how it works: Once you find a potential match, you can start chatting on the app immediately. If there’s a spark or a potential interest on both sides, you can move forward by choosing amongst 10 locations in the vicinity between both you and your match. If both users pick the same place, boom! It was meant to be. The app then makes it easy to make things happen by allowing users to pull up a calendar and set a time and date. This small feature of the app gives some accountability to each party to meet up and moves things forward in a realistic way. Each matchee has the date on their calendar. The rest is up to fate. If both users don’t pick the same location, maybe it wasn’t meant to be, and you can continue playing the game with the other users in the Dipity dating pool.
Patrick Flynn and Dominic Amenta, the Boston co-founders of the app, are excited about the potential of the app for the intentions of its users. “Dipity gives people a call to action to make something happen by picking a location to meet and setting the date,” said Flynn. “There is a romantic flare to it. By simultaneously picking the same date spot via an algorithm instead of one person choosing some random bar, we hope users will think more seriously about the dating game.” Aside from the game of chance, the app also offers unique privacy features that make the user experience much more comfortable and safe. The “hide me” feature is a privacy mode that disables any mutual Facebook friends from seeing you on the app. You can switch this on and off at any time. Similar to Hinge, there is an “un-do” option that allows users to reverse their decisions and consider past potential matches a second time.
Both co-founders come from different dating histories. Currently, Pat is single and Dominic is married. However, they both understood the frustrations of the online dating world from conversations with friends and personal experiences. Both Pat and Dominic took their friends’ complaints into consideration to create an app that satisfied people that are interested and serious about meeting a potential life partner via online dating. “We wanted to create an application for users that are genuinely interested in meeting someone and that are seeking something long-term,” Dominic said. “The premise was to get away from the stigma other dating apps have, like quick hook-ups, and to create a dating culture with more meaning and romance on Dipity.”
When asked what the biggest challenge has been so far, Dominic and Pat both talk about patience. What seemed like a two to three month time frame to build and launch the app turned into a 10 month trial and error, perfection-driven journey to develop and launch the app. “We were so excited about the idea, so it was hard to sit back and be patient,” said Pat.
The name, Dipity, is a play-on-words of the 2001 romantic comedy, “Serendipity”, with John Cusack and Kate Beckingsale. The idea for the dating app really sparked for Pat after he dreamed up a modern re-telling of Serendipity, including the era of iPhones and social media in the modern-day cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of city life. In the movie, the two main characters, Sara and Jon, meet for the first time in their twenties by pleasant surprise. Jon finds love at first sight, while Sara believes in destiny. As the two cross paths through time, the audience is left wondering if they will find each other again. The message of faith in destiny the movie captures so well by plot is what the co-founders wanted to build into the app. By using geo-targeted locations, the app allows for a modern “mean-to-be” moment when two users pick the same location to meet, possibly brushing by each other on the street at an earlier time and place.
As the co-founders continue to collect data and feedback from app users, there is a lot of potential for Dipity to develop close partnerships with restaurants and other venues in the Boston area. The geo-targeted locations for first-date meet up spots include bars, pubs, restaurants, event halls, the aquarium, Boston Commons, and other locations that could make for a fun, romantic date spot. The app is set up to run in any city, nation-wide, but the two Boston co-founders want their city to remain as the place where Dipity launched. As the app continues to evolve over time, there is enormous opportunity to connect with the community as more users interact with the app and discover people and places in the quest for the perfect match.
Many critics comment that the online dating market is becoming saturated. However, statistics prove that although there are a lot of dating apps in the space, the online dating market is a 2.5 billion dollar industry with the usage of dating apps tripling for the 18-24 year olds since 2013 and doubling for 55 to 64 year olds. As the user base continues to grow, so does the space for more dating apps. Dipity may be on the leading edge of using geo-targeted locations and innovation to create an interactive app that advances human connection across cities with a touch of romance.
Download Dipity. You may find yourself by fortunate accident in one of the best dates of your life.