Can Your Refrigerator Improve Your Dating Life?

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The first time John Stonehill was invited back to his girlfriend’s house, he headed straight for the refrigerator. It was stainless steel with a water and ice dispenser. It told him that his girlfriend, Rachel, was financially comfortable.

The contents were revealing, too: a bottle of wine, a bottle of champagne, hummus, olives, fresh fruits and vegetables.

“In Rachel’s case, it told me she liked to entertain and could probably create a quick and shareable snack for friends who unexpectedly popped by.”

That idea gave rise to what he calls “refrigerdating.” … The app works with Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, which sells for around $3,000 and has a screen in the door that can show you the contents of your fridge. The idea is that you can look at your phone while you’re at the store to find out if you’re out of milk. But the dating app lets you see the inside of someone else’s fridge.

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Anti-dating apps

Onward-phone-intake

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In February 2019, Onward launched its new “breakup concierge” platform that aims to ease the stress of post-breakup life. “If you don’t have a strong social network and disposable income, [a breakup] is an incredibly derailing process,” said Onward cofounder and COO Mika Leonard. “We realized there had to be a better way.” The company offers plans that address the logistics of relocating and rebuilding after a split, ranging from a $99 ten-day “reboot” to a $400 month-long “recalibration.” The plans provide assistance with everything from practical considerations like packing and apartment searching to self-care encouragement like dietary and fitness recommendations, therapist match-making and community building to heavy-lifting resources like financial planning and legal aid.

Against Chill

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To the uninitiated, having Chill and being cool are synonyms. They describe a person with a laid-back attitude, an absence of neurosis, and reasonably interesting tastes and passions. But the person with Chill is crucially missing these last ingredients because they are too far removed from anything that looks like intensity to have passions.

Chill has now slithered into our romantic lives and forced those among us who would like to exchange feelings and accountability to compete in the Blasé Olympics with whomever we are dating. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean whomever we are “hanging out with.” Whomever we are “talking to.” Chill asks us to remove the language of courtship and desire lest we appear invested somehow in other human beings. To even acknowledge that there might be an emotional dimension to talking or dating or hanging out or coming over or fucking or whatever the kids are calling it all these days feels forbidden. It is a game of chicken where the first person to confess their frustration or confusion loses.

 

What Can an Online Dating Coach Do for You?

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Over video, chat and text — though rarely IRL — digital dating coaches help you create a more attractive online profile, decipher your date’s cryptic text message and boost your confidence after an unsuccessful Tinder fling.

These are not substitutes for a licensed therapist, but they’re convenient. “We strive for instant gratification,” said Liron Shapira, 30, the co-founder of a chat-based Silicon Valley start-up called Relationship Hero. “We give 24-7 service. If you want advice at 4 a.m., you can get it.”

Business or Pleasure?

A peach emoji nestling into a folder emoji.

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Peers of mine had experienced both men and women “sliding” into their DMs on LinkedIn with more personal than professional goals in mind. One friend made what she thought was a professional connection in real life that led to a LinkedIn connection. Then she got an ambiguous message suggesting they get drinks to help “build the connection.” One friend met someone out at a bar one night and was later contacted by him on LinkedIn based off only a first name. Potential daters love as much information at their fingertips as possible, and app developers, who treat dating and networking like two sides of the same social media coin, have found big business in gathering that data.

So what’s behind the rise of career apps and dating apps that look almost identical to each other? It’s all about being forced to actively market ourselves to stand out in a hyper-competitive crowd. Work for millennials is a very different experience than it was for most of our parents or grandparents. We live in a gig economy. We stay at a job for shorter amounts of time, our email is almost always on, and independent contract work is on the rise. This economy creates a growing pressure for new professionals to learn how to sell themselves, to turn their skills and themselves into a single, coherent package someone will want to buy (or at least contract out).

You Up? College in the Age of Tinder

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Dating apps may have killed the college dating scene. Because it’s so easy to swipe left or right on a seemingly endless pile of potential partners, it’s become harder to actually meet anyone. As students, we are told over and over that college is a time for us to expand our social groups, to meet new people and grow into adults. But the indecisiveness that is built into dating app culture can stunt us — we’re trapped in an endless cycle of swipes! Commitment, already a scary concept to many, becomes even more difficult with the false illusion that the dating possibilities are endless.

Frankly, dating apps can also just make things incredibly awkward.

While single students at Mercer University use dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, Snapchat reigns as the most eye-roll-eliciting app for sparking college romance. To know if Brian is interested in a serious relationship or a casual fling, read the time stamp on his flirtatious Snapchat message. The same Snap asking to “hang out” sent at 2 p.m. can have a completely different meaning when sent at 2 a.m.

The New Dating Requirement: Consuming All of Your Partner’s #Content

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Declaring your relationship on Facebook used to be enough to solidify your online bond with a partner.

Not anymore.

Now, couples are forced to navigate the murky waters of Twitter faves, Snapchat streaks, twinstagramming, subgramming, going Instagram official, and more.

As Alana Levinson wrote in Splinter, “A love interest consuming your content is now as perfunctory as opening a door for a woman once was.”

If you really cared about me, the theory goes, you’d care about what I’m up to. Ergo, watch my Stories.

For most people, watching their partner’s Instagram Story is a way to show they care. Whether done consciously or unconsciously, it sends the message that you’re interested in what your significant other is thinking and doing.

“I’ve never been in this situation, but I think if I were dating someone who was as into social media as me and they didn’t rabidly consume all of my content, I would definitely be pissed,” said Molly in New York.

Most partners will begin watching each other’s Stories in the courtship phase of the relationship.