The Latest & Greatest Dating App Injects Some Substance Back Into Online Dating
How tall are you? How much do you weigh? Do you have a good hairstyle? Is your fashion game up to date? Have you dieted recently? These are all some of the self-esteem-destroying questions we have become accustomed to asking ourselves every time we use online dating apps. Worse, still: they’ve become the first (and therefore most important) questions we ask of our prospective partners.
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Whatever happened to kindness, integrity and a sense of humor? Do those things still matter, or should they always be subordinated to good looks and filtered photos?
Jigsaw is one of the latest dating apps to challenge the status quo, billing itself as the “anti-superficial dating app,” and based on their success in the United Kingdom, a whole lot of dissatisfied daters are ready to try a new approach. Jigsaw is making its way to the United States soon, and it’s poised to make a splash.
Here’s what you need to know:
The people who you chat with on Jigsaw are anonymized. You can see the background of their photos, and their bodies, but their faces are covered in “16-piece digital jigsaw puzzle.” Want to see the face behind the person with the great taste in music and corny-but-cute jokes? You’re going to need to keep talking. The more you talk, the more the jigsaw puzzle disappears, revealing the person beneath.
According to Jigsaw’s co-founder and CEO, Alex Durrant, their own internal research has revealed some startling facts about American daters: they’re much more excited about “the chemistry that comes from a good conversation” than they are about a mere pretty face. Fully 30% of American respondents to their studies reported feeling dissatisfied with the quality of online dating chatter – which rarely gets beyond “how are you?” and “what do you do for a living?” Worse, still, many have reported being insulted or belittled by their chat partners.
Jigsaw cuts through the awfulness by foregrounding good old fashioned conversation. “On Jigsaw, people are encouraged to show who they really are rather than list generic things they like, such as movies and travel,” Durrant told us. “We make this easy by giving users a selection of sentences to finish like, ‘The scariest thing I did for fun was…’, ‘You wouldn’t know this about me from my photos but…’, ‘I can’t live without…’, etc.”
Even the user profiles on Jigsaw are designed to showcase your personality more than your killer smile. You can add up to three “Personality Pieces,” which give your prospective matches a better idea of who you are as a human being by completing generic sentences: “Technically I’m an adult, but I still …” or “If you date me, you’re also dating …” You can even share aspects of your lifestyle with Essential Pieces, with options on dieting (vegan or keto, say) and religious belief and hobbies.
Jigsaw has done away with the over-played swiping mechanic in favor of a simple “like” button, but unlike many other apps, you are able to send a direct message to someone you’re curious about, without matching in advance. We particularly like that feature, since it allows someone with charm and humor to shoot their shot without the barrier of the initial match.
All in all, we’re very excited for Jigsaw, and hopeful that it will help counter-balance the tendency in modern dating towards short, superficial and ultimately unsatisfying encounters, in favor of something more fun, more substantive and ultimately more fulfilling.
Jigsaw has already launched in the United Kingdom and New York City, and will be available throughout America before the end of 2020.
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