If you’re fed up with Tinder and looking for a more considered approach, you might want to give 21Pictures ago. Founded by a former editor at New Scientist, it uses insights from psychology to help people use their intuition when choosing a date, which is kind of how we all do it in the real (offline) world.
The concept is pretty simple: describe yourself in pictures of your life, and find people you like by looking at theirs. What pictures you use is up to you, so long as they sum you up in some way. You might show your favourite café, the books on your shelf, your pet if you have one, some travel shots, a favourite pair of shoes or a coat. Anything to give a sense of who you are.
It’s certainly zeitgeisty in our Instagram age. It’s also as friendly an environment as online dating can ever be. For example, come across someone you like and you can message them directly through one of their pictures. No need for awkward chat-up lines, since you’ll already have something to talk about.
21Pictures has been up and running since 1 January, and it’s still free to join. You can sign up here: www.21pictures.com.
It feels pretty different from the buzzy dating apps currently in vogue. For instance, rather than let you browse ad infinitum for the date of your dreams, they limit you to viewing 21 matches at any one time (though you can change and you don’t like the look of). The aim is to reduce the often paralysing effect of having too much choice. Rest assured, it’s all based on the latest science of decision-making.
Learn more about the psychology of dating by following 21Pictures on Twitter at @21_Pictures.