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Once - The Match-a-Day Dating App Which Puts Your Heart on Your Sleeve

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The heart is a muscle, it has absolutely no say in the decisions that you make on a daily basis (apart from whether or not to have that second espresso). The reason that terms like 'listen to your heart' and 'the heart wants what it wants' exist is because when you meet someone and become overwhelmed with a burgeoning desire to spend the rest of your life with them, or at the very least let them see you naked, your heart rate jacks.

It's that sensation which has been responsible for centuries of poetry, art, music, theater, literature, film, television and soft-core pornography which has associated all things love-related with the heart, and all of it based around a misinterpretation. Even the classic heart symbol is wrong, origin theories vary, from the silphium seed pod (once used as a woefully ineffective contraceptive) to the idea that it might simply have been an impression of a woman bending over.

Anyway, it's not often that the literal association between the heart and romance is put into practice, but now a dating app called Once has done exactly that. Once's USP, the thing that sets it apart from the Tinder, is that you're only given one match per day. More to the point, they claim that all the matchmaking is done by human staff, rather than algorithms. When you get your daily match, it's on you to decide whether or not to hit the like button, you're given 24 hours to make that decision, then the next match arrives.

It's an interesting premise, and one which obviously carries a lot of appeal for the many people who are bored of deftly swiping their way though dozens, if not hundreds of potential partners on a daily basis. Since being launched around 4 months ago, the European app has netted over 600,000 users and at the rate it's going it will probably breach the million milestone before Easter. Now though, they've added this new, fascinating feature.


With the aid of either a FitBit or Android Wear, the fitness tracker is integrated into the app so that you can actually see what your heart rate is doing when you view a new match. Once are also saying that they can use that information to better refine the matching service for you going forward, and there will even eventually be an option to actually send your heart rate 'score', so to speak, to new matches once it's recorded. Since both parties are sent information about it each other at the exact same time, this has the potential to either be really telling, or really awkward.

Imagine if you were out in the world, saw someone that got your heart fluttering, and suddenly a message pinged into your head to tell you that the exact same thing just happened to them. You'd go over and talk to them, right? The whole ethos behind Once is that if you're only given one match per day, you'll give it more thought and if you're interested you'll make more of an effort. It's an agreeable bridge between old school sites that try and do too much of the work for you, and the newer apps that don't do enough.

You don't need 1000 matches dumped on your lap on a daily basis for you to sift through, but equally you don't want to be dropped into an online encounter with someone you know nothing about, with a series of random numbers assuring you that they're actually your soul mate. As the ad states, your heart doesn't lie, so even if you feel somewhat apprehensive when the 'new match' notification pops up, if your line starts jumping, it's probably worth at least throwing out a 'hey, how's it going'.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Once - The Match-a-Day Dating App Which Puts Your Heart on Your Sleeve Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, January 18, 2016 Rating: 5

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