EDITOR’S NOTE: We gave a Daily Hive writer a week to use The Inner Circle. Her name has been removed for the sake of her future dates (as well as her DMs.)
It hardly needs to be said, but modern dating is, well, complicated.
In the age of technology, we have a lot of choice at our fingertips. Not that it’s a bad thing in some areas (Netflix and Uber Eats, I will always love you) but naturally, it can limit our capacity for dating in a traditional sense.
And don’t get me started on the trials and tribulations of dating in a big city. How do you even go about meeting someone in real life in Toronto, anyway? (It’s been too long, I’ve forgotten how to do it.)
Sure, online dating was once, long ago, seen as a somewhat taboo thing to partake in, but in recent years with the rise of social media and our web-connected world, dating apps are probably one of the most commonly found apps on anyone’s smartphone. (That, and Candy Crush.)
Admittedly, while I can’t call myself an expert on dating apps having not used many in the past, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by The Inner Circle.
Perhaps it was the idea that I would be selecting a date from a screened and approved group of members on The Inner Circle, as opposed to being thrown into a pool of tens of millions of users on certain other dating apps, that drew me in.
The Inner Circle makes sure that time-wasters, ghosters, and the dreaded catfishers are weeded out, so all that’s left are like-minded, intellectual, and ambitious individuals who are actually looking for love. What could go wrong, really?
First things first, the registration started with linking my Facebook and LinkedIn profile for my initial screening process. After a brief waiting period to get accepted (phew!), it was time to create a detailed profile — by that I mean interests, goals, my career, and more. This made it easier for The Inner Circle to show me my potential matches based on profiles that are similar to myself, rather than just based on location. So far, so good.
One thing I noticed when getting started was the complete omission of any form of swiping, unlike other popular dating apps. The Inner Circle eliminates the swiping process entirely, connecting approved members with others, encouraging users to create more extensive, in-depth profiles as opposed to an attempted witty, quick, one-liner bio.
(Oh, you like long walks on the beach? Nice, never heard that one before.)
I found that this made it easier to find people who shared the same interests as myself, so I wouldn’t have to rack my brains for ways to make conversation, or worse, deal with corny pick-up lines. Once a few fellow users initiated conversation, it was clear that listing my interests, favourite spots around town, and hobbies made it significantly less awkward to chat to a complete stranger online and arrange a first date location. Definitely far less cringe-worthy than “How much does a polar bear weigh?”
(Just so you know, it weighs just enough to break the ice.)
Another interesting aspect of The Inner Circle is its social approach to dating by organizing and hosting events at local bars and restaurants to give members the opportunity to meet and mingle in a social environment with other singles. You can also share your favourite bars, gyms, restaurants, or more around your city and see who else on The Inner Circle likes that place too.
When going on my first The Inner Circle date with Male Subject A (we’re protecting privacy here, this isn’t How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), I was glad to see that firstly, he looked as his pictures did (check, no catfishers on here), and secondly, the initial awkward small talk wasn’t required. We’d already known our common interests after browsing each other’s detailed profiles, making the experience far less uncomfortable!
Perhaps this whole dating app business is less painful than I initially thought.
So, after using The Inner Circle for a week, did I find my soulmate?
Okay, no. But there’s definitely potential, and it was a way better experience than other dating apps I’ve come across. It’s definitely worth a shot if you’re tired of endlessly swiping through profiles to find someone worthwhile. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
You can register for The Inner Circle for free, today.