Looks matter—to a point. When you’re seeking out qualities in a potential romantic partner, physical attraction is a biggie, but there’s plenty more that goes into the compatibility equation: shared interests, values, even pheromones?
As our Going Out editor Eva Kis says, “You can always look better, but you can’t pretend to like ‘Star Wars’.”
So, working off that premise: imagine you are single in New York and you’re really excited about seeing “Rogue One,” but you don’t have anyone to go with. What if you could arrange a date based on who else out there is really excited to see “Rogue One”?
Avec, a new dating app now available for free download on IOS, aims to change our approach to online dating by privileging interests over looks: what you like, not what you look like. More specifically, what you like to do.
You search by activity—looking up a specific event, be it a film, concert, brewery tour, etc.—instead of scrolling through user profiles. Only after you express interest in a given activity, are you able to see who else is also interested in attending.
By the same token, if you already have tickets or reservations for something, you can post it on the app and see who might like to accompany you. (You’ll receive a push notification that a user is interested).
For those tired of swiping through a sea of faces paired with faux-witty taglines on Tinder, or suffering through dissertation-length OKCupid profiles, Avec could be a refreshing change of pace.
Founder Dr. Rhett Silver says he got the idea for the app after a date cancelled on a date for a ticketed bike meetup at the last minute. “It hit me that many women would think it was a fun date idea—but how to find one?” he says.
While dating site How About We presents hypothetical date ideas—“How about we…have a picnic in Central Park”—Avec encourages the proposed dates to be pre-planned or purchased. He describes the app’s function as “finding a date for a date.”
And while OkCupid uses an algorithm to match users based on compatibility after they answer a whole slew of questions, Silver makes a good point that it takes hours to answer said questions and even longer to sort through user profiles and photos.
Avec eliminates that arduous process and gets folks face-to-face faster— and, as anyone who has been on even one online date knows, you can’t predict chemistry until you actually meet, IRL.
Of course, just because you and your match are both psyched to see Louis C.K. live doesn’t guarantee you’ll hit it off once you’re there. (As “High Fidelity” has taught us, what you are like is not the same as what you like).
But at least with Avec, even if you don’t like your date, you know you’ll both like the date. And even if there aren’t any romantic sparks, maybe you’ll have found a platonic “activity partner.”