Some say dating is a numbers game; the more dates you go on, the closer you are to supposedly finding the one. But many people are serial daters who simply don’t have the time to sit down and really think about what went wrong with the last one, or why there wasn’t any chemistry. Enter Evolve – a 'dating and relationship manager’ that helps people reflect on the potential partners they meet, turning dates into data. We explore the insights behind why today’s singles are in need of a relationship manager, and if romance can really be boiled down to data.
The app is powered by machine learning that allows people to ‘reflect on their experiences’ and ‘uncover hidden patterns' in their relationship history. Launching post-beta, fuelled by $1 million in funding, it lets people rate their dates from one to ten, rate the date spot, assign qualities to their date such as 'sketchy' or 'trustworthy', and add other notes like ‘too much baggage’ or if they scored a post-date smooch. Ultimately, the more information a user adds about dates over time, the better the app will be able to judge likeability. And the more dates you input, the more you’ll be able to find out about – and learn from – your dating patterns. “Evolve changed my outlook of dating,” says user Stephanie Gold. “I thought I needed better matches… What I really needed was a way to reflect on my dates.”
Evolve boils the art of dating down to data
Hamza Butt, Creative Commons (2017) ©
With Tinder boasting over 50 million users and an estimated 1.4 billion swipes a day, people are increasingly comfortable with the idea of finding a romantic partner online. But while making first contact with a potential partner is easy through dating apps and social media, the sheer amount of choice on offer can make it difficult to decide on one person – not to mention the amount of approached people have to dating. “How do you self-regulate your emotions when there’s two competing scripts at play?” asks Lisa Wade, associate professor of sociology and author of American Hookup, who has dedicated much of her career to understanding ‘hook-up culture’. “What emotions are appropriate? It’s impossible to know. It’s very confusing.”
It’s not just dating that’s been given the data treatment; in a similar stint by Peeple, people were invited to rate others like they would a business on Yelp, but the app received such a backlash, and was forced to be watered down and revised to a more positive sentiment. With people working longer hours and trying to fit in as many exciting experiences as possible into an already packed social schedule, sometimes dating falls by the wayside. Evolve can help people date smarter, and with more intention to help them find that ever-elusive 'spark' for the 59% of Americans who think online dating is a good way to meet new people.
Alex Rückheim is a Behavioural Analyst at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. Having lived in nine countries, he holds a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing and is fascinated by cross-cultural shifts in consumer behaviour. He is also the founder of design-focused site GOODS WE LIKE.
19 May 17
3 min read