A 6’6″, fit, dreamboat of a gent sauntered into Soho House in Toronto on a rainy Wednesday evening. I awaited his arrival at the door, so we could avoid that awkward thing that happens when you meet someone off a dating app for the first time in real life. As soon as I met him, there was an obvious and immediate chemistry. I lead him into the main room, where I had my drink waiting on a table with friends.
Why would I have a first date meet me while out with my friends? Because, when I looked down at my dating app Happn – the only geo-location based dating app – I saw that he was close by. I figured that since I was out and dressed up, I may as well meet him right away to avoid potentially wasting days or weeks of back-and-forth messages before meeting.
Happn: A Second Chance at a Missed Connection
That’s why Happn has become my dating app of choice. The whole premise of the app is to move from online to in real life as quickly as possible, so you don’t waste people’s time if there’s no immediate connection. This geo-location based feature means that the app matches you with people you’ve actually crossed paths with (well, within 250 meters). Whenever a registered user walks by you, they appear at the top of your ‘Matches’ list, along with their chosen profile images, a map of what intersection you crossed at and when, and, if they choose, their Instagram handle and a list of their favourite songs. Perhaps you hadn’t notice them, or perhaps you did but weren’t sure whether they were single and looking. Happn is your second chance at a missed connection.
This is seen in Happn’s new feature, “See You There” , which is similar to the ‘online’ status on Facebook chat. Using the “See You There” chat feature, you can indicate which activities you’re available for and interested in, like grabbing a drink or going for a run together. Unlike other popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, which require you to swipe until you find a potential match, this app saves you time because you see images of your matches all at once and in real time.
I make sure to check my Happn throughout the day, just so that I’m mindful of who’s around and who I can catch while they’re still close by. Whenever I don’t want to be “spotted”, I just turn off the location on my app, which stays off for up to 8 hours.
Second Dates? Yes please!
My date got along so well with my friends, that we all went to another bar in the area together. Afterwords, him and I took off for a nightcap at one of my local spots, where we talked about our workout regimens (we’re both yogis!) our dietary restrictions (veg for me, all meat everything for him) and our upbringings. We sipped our cocktails and, because it felt right, we kissed pretty early on in the night.
Since we hit it off so well, I decided to invite him to be my plus one for an intimate media event I had the following night. We moved quickly from Happn to meeting in real life to texting, and we have plans to hit the yoga mat once my crazy deadlines settle down. Two birds, one stone.
A year ago I came out of a serious relationship, and right now, I’m not looking for a life partner or true love, although this app does allow that to happen. But for me, it’s about meeting new people that work, live and play close to where I do, creating connections, and seeing where these new romances may lead.