The new dating app from Betches lets your friends swipe for you

If you have ever sent your group chat of BFFs a screenshot of your latest match on a dating app or have had to poll your squad on what the perfect opening line is to send to the new cutie you're swiping on, then it's time for you to download Ship.

From the minds of the Betches, the media group behind the hilarious and brutally honest blog of the same name, the book "I Had a Nice Time And Other Lies..." and the popular relationship advice podcast U Up?, comes a dating app that brings your friends into the mix to help you find your next date.

 "With Ship, friends can set each other (or themselves) up — because who knows you better than your friends?" But don't worry, while your friends that are already in relationships can swipe for you, their app experience will look a little different to make sure that it's all about you, the dater!

We caught up with the three women behind Betches, Aleen Kuperman, Samantha Fishbein and Jordana Abraham, to find out how this idea of a group chat upgrade got started.

10 dating app tips
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10 dating app tips

1. Write a bio

"We know this seems obvious, but many people's 'about me sections' are blank! If you don't put the minimum effort in to create an online dating profile, it shows you're not taking it too seriously and doesn't bode well for the kind of effort and attention you might put into a date or relationship," explained Amanda Bradford, founder of The League. 

2. Include a diversity of photos and avoid anything controversial 

"You don’t want all your photos to be party pics; you don’t want all your photos to be skiing. You want to look like you have a pretty well-balanced life. A dating profile is your chance to communicate what your life is like, and what it might be like to date you," explained Bradford. 

3. Use the word "Foodie"

A study recently revealed that mentioning the word Foodie in your dating app profile resulted in 82 percent more incoming messages. 

Guacamole, potatoes and chocolate resulted in the three most attractive words. 

4. Say "hi" with a spin 

The same study suggested introducing yourself with a "hello" and your name. Make things interesting! 

5. Know how to spot a "phony" picture 

It'll be your first impression, so make sure it's an accurate representation of the person you're talking to. For example, fuzzy photos might mean the picture is 20 years old, reveals Million Dollar Matchmaker Patti Stanger.

6. Increase your odds

Patti Stanger also suggests users to increase their chances by downloading multiple apps. "Three apps is really good, but if you have the downtime and you can afford to do five, go for it," she said. "You got to take every action you possibly can to find true love," she said according to ET

7. Add a conversation starter to your bio 

Tinder's sociologist Dr. Jess Carbino reveals men don't really know how to spark a conversation with women. On that note, she suggests including a question in your bio that people can answer in the first message to get the convo rolling. 

8. Don't give up

According to the New York Post, a study revealed that sending another message to a person you've matched with the second time increases chances of "sparking a conversation." Double texting is normally a red flag, but if you matched with them again, "the mutual attraction is there." 

9. Let him or her talk

Once you meet IRL, make sure the person you're on a date with has a chance to talk. You might be chatting away because of social anxiety, but it's not all about you. Ask the other person questions to open them up. 

10. Don't be too arrogant, but don't be too modest

Find a balance! You want to sell yourself, but not in a narcissistic way. 


AOL: How did you ladies come up with the idea for Ship?

Betches: "We built this company in 2011 and have been lifelong friends. We’ve grown up and really have gone through every phase of life, including dating, [together], and it's what our audience has always really asked us about. Then a while ago we got together with [Match Group’s CEO Mandy Ginsberg] to talk about the dating space and what was missing from it. And we were talking about how we go through all of these aspects of life with our friends and we're always looping them in, and the dating apps that were out there didn’t really reflect that -- and that's how the idea of Ship was born, which brings your friends back into the mix and really takes away from the isolation that a lot of people feel when they’re dating. It really makes dating more social and fun than it was before."

Why do you think having your friends swipe for you will work and create more connections?

"There's the aspect that your friends know you in some ways even better than you could know what you want. If they’ve seen you dating for a while and they know what kind of [people] have worked out for you -- or not -- that aspect really deepens the relationships. And it makes for like a good story if it does work out!"

What do you think makes an awesome dating profile?

"I think it's important that [your profile] actually reflects who you are. I think a lot of people go in and try to be someone that they think people will like and they misrepresent themselves, whether by using older pictures which aren’t reflective of what they currently look like or maybe they're trying too hard to project a certain image... I think it's really important to put your true authentic self out there because that's what's really going to get you the matches that are going to last and that are actually going to be good for you, because you’re showing who you actually are instead of what you want people to think you’re like."

On the flip side, what do you think are some red flags or things people should avoid on their own and other people's profiles?

"I would say to avoid using older pictures. Use something you feel really looks like you right now or what's the point? You want the person to see who you are right now, not who you were five years ago at a certain angle that you thought looked really good. Also, I think that having all group shots is a red flag, sunglasses in every picture, excessive selfies or [only pictures with] angles that look a little bit suspicious."

What advice would you give to someone who is nervous to start using dating apps?

"We think that Ship is sort of the perfect jump into dating apps. We feel like Ship is sort of the perfect place to start because you can do it with your friends, it doesn’t have to feel isolating and weird. And there's way less pressure because you can look at it as just kind of a fun social thing you're doing with your friends rather than a high stakes thing that if you don’t get a date from it or enough matches, you don’t have to feel as much pressure because it's not only about that. It's also supposed to be about the fun of dating."

You can download Ship here.

This interview has been edited and condensed

Tips from Tinder’s Dating and Relationships Trend Expert
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Tips from Tinder’s Dating and Relationships Trend Expert

Ask yourself why you’re on the app

Are you looking for marriage, a casual relationship or just a fun dating experience? Once you’ve determined your reason for being there and what you’re looking to get out of the app, you can begin swiping. 

If you have hard dealbreakers, like you don’t plan on having children or you are only looking for something serious, Dr. Sterling suggested leading with that in your bio.

“I know people hesitate to lead with that information because, and the feedback I’ve gotten from my clients in my private practice is that, they don’t want to sound arrogant or like they’re flattering themselves,” she said. “But there’s nothing arrogant or flattering about that. If you indicate in your Tinder bio that you’re not looking for marriage or you are, or you don’t want children or you must have children, then none of your Tinder matches can take that personally. They’re not going to interpret that information as, 'Oh, this person is really into me and thinking too long term.' Because it’s just out there for everybody. So I don’t think you can be forthright with that enough.”

Be smart about how you text

Although there’s technically nothing wrong with starting a conversation with “Hey, how’s it going?”, it doesn’t exactly stand out. On the other hand, cheesy pickup lines often go ignored or worse, get turned into Instagram memes.

Dr. Sterling suggested sticking to your personal style and opening with what feels most authentic to you, like a GIF. “I think a GIF can communicate so much more than just text. I think that they can be done really adorably and they can make you look more vulnerable and open and more emotive than words can,” she said.

Text is obviously the next step to starting a conversation and getting to know your match, but too much text is a no-no.

“Don’t overwhelm your Tinder match with too much communication. Definitely allow space so that they can respond back. People can get really overwhelmed very quickly in a text tsunami situation, so definitely control the urge to text too much,” Dr. Sterling said.

However, every conversation has a tipping point — if you exhaust the conversation, it can often feel like there’s no point in meeting up. So, once you’re pretty sure you're into your match, it’s time to initiate a date. 
Meet up in person

Deciding where to go can also be a pretty intimidating. (Are drinks too casual, but is dinner too serious?) Dr. Sterling suggests straying from the norm and trying a new activity together.

“I would encourage people to engage in activities that they wouldn’t normally engage in that challenge them, because I’m all about personal development and growth,” she said. “You learn a lot about values that way. You know, if the person hasn’t been as forthright as you wish they were in their bio or in their communications about what they’re looking for, you’re going to learn a lot about a person based on their willingness to lean into an activity like that.”

Some examples include taking your date to a cooking class, rock climbing, a salsa club or exploring a new area of the city.

Embrace your first date jitters

If you get nervous before a first date, embrace it (as in, don’t turn to alcohol).

“I think that we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and actually use those nerves,” Dr. Sterling said. “I  hate hearing people say, 'Oh, don’t be nervous!' Well, unfortunately we can’t dictate the emotions that we feel, but what we can do is acknowledge that we feel that way and honestly, there’s something really sweet and vulnerable about disclosing [your nerves] to your date.”

So, let your date know you’re a little nervous. If they don’t appreciate your honesty and authenticity, and that’s something that you yourself value (again, know what you’re looking for!), then consider that maybe they’re not the best match for you. Everything you experience on a first date can provide you with insight as to whether or not you and your date are going to be long-term compatible matches.

Ask the right questions and really listen

One way to find out if you and your date could be a long-term match is looking at your common values and principles, not just common interests. 

“In a long-term relationship, both people are going to change over time, "Dr. Sterling said. "But if your values and principles are aligned, if they’re similar, then those changes are going to manifest in ways that remain compatible.”

Although it can be pretty tricky or even intimidating to ask someone about their values on a first date, creative questions can help you get to the root of a person and even help you stand out.

Dr. Sterling gave an example: Say you’re looking for a long-term relationship and you value personal integrity and happiness, and look for depth in a person. Ask them something like, “Would you rather be at a job for 10 years, making half a million dollars a year, but unhappy and unable to quit, or make $25,000 a year and feel completely fulfilled professionally?”

The answer to a question like that is going to provide you with information on whether or not you and your date have similar values and what that person prioritizes in their life.

When asking your questions, however, make sure you’re really listening. Dr. Sterling agreed that sometimes we really want something to work out, so we ignore major signs or red flags.


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