The Handbook
The Handbook

As a recent returnee to the London dating pool, I am already bored, done with it. Explaining to your doctor that you think you have RSI from too much swiping is no laughing matter. Quite frankly swiping through photo after photo is exhausting and I already have enough going on. Sure, I could just come off dating apps but as we now know if you’ve met your SO in real life you’ve pretty much reached mythical status. However, there is a new way to date it’s called slow dating and yes there is an app for that: Once.

What is Slow Dating?

Slow dating is not taking three days to reply, rather it’s about quality over quantity. It’s taking time to get to know someone. To not be juggling numerous different conversations at once, receiving copied and pasted stock phrases, but rather investing in just a handful of conversations. Once will use algorithms to work out your type and match you with people that you’re more likely to be genuinely interested. And they don’t show you hundreds of profiles a day, instead they’ll show you just one. Like the look of them, then match. Not feeling it? Then wait until the next day. Quite frankly a saviour for all us who waste too much time swiping, although you will need to find a new Sunday evening activity – it’s said use of dating apps increases significantly when we have the end of the weekend blues.

It Can Change Your Opinion of Online Dating

Online dating is scary. I’ve been told that you shouldn’t get emotional about it, you have to have a tough skin. Which seems crazy when the exact thing you’re looking for is all about emotions, but in a way it’s true. Every time a person doesn’t match with you it can feel like a rejection, if only fleetingly. With only one person to match with (and 24 hours to decide) you can really take your time to think about whether you want to match or not. And if you both say yes then you’re more likely to actually talk and you won’t be hit with some cheesy line…hopefully. And with Once showing you only profiles that they think you are interested in, when you are presented with someone who might not look like your type, you can actually take a look at their whole profile. There might be another reason that Once reckons you’ll be a good match, like their personality for example (crazy right?!).

Slow Dating Isn’t Just About Hook Ups

Online dating gets a bad rep for being just about sex or hook ups. How many times have you matched with someone for their message to suggest that all they want is, to wine, dine and sixty-nine (usually without the first two)? You’re less likely to attract the sort who are prone to skipping pleasantries when you’re only shown one profile a day. You’ll also be more likely to spot if there is a genuine spark when engaging in actual conversations rather than just sending quick one liners. Once is for meeting people who are actually looking to find a real relationship and love.

It Can Be Safer

You just need to look at the Ask For Angela posters, Bye Felipe, those unsolicited d**k pics you get and the Dirty John documentary to realise that online dating can give a platform to, in the best case liars, in the worst case dangerous individuals. And yes, there are women out there who do just the same, but Once has decided that it should be women who can rate and date the men to make us feel safer.

This isn’t a chance to write scathing reviews about individuals, but rather, once you’ve been on a date you can say whether they look like their photos or if they have a masters in Photoshop and how the date went. And if a user is disrespectful or behaves badly during a date, then the Once support team will investigate and if necessary, ban the user. Likewise, the support team is on the lookout for fake accounts and will get rid of them. All it is doing is encouraging people to be truthful with their profiles and act respectfully on dates, not so much to ask is it?

Help Others Out

The rating isn’t just to flag up potential deceivers, it can also use it to recommend dates for other women. Say you went on a date with a great guy yet you just didn’t feel a spark, but you know that someone who was, say into hiking, would then say that. Let others know he is a 5 out of 5 for those who like the great outdoors.

In a city that is constantly rushing, it’s time we slow down when looking for love. As with anything important, it’s worth investing time in. As they say buy cheap, buy twice or to quote The Supremes, you can’t hurry love.