Would you go on a first date without messaging each other first?

A new dating app called First has entered the scene, and it’s sparking a lot of discussion. We know, we know, new dating apps come on the scene almost on a daily basis, but they are all ultimately the same. So, what sets this one apart? Well, for starters, you don’t get to talk to your date before you meet in person.

Say whaaaaat?

Here’s how it works: You post a date idea and people can request to join you. You look through your list of options and choose who you want to go on the date. And then…you just show up!

The goal of the app, according to creator Truman Kain, is, “getting you off of your phone and onto the date.” At its core, this is a great concept. How many of us have gotten stuck in the messaging black hole, chatting endlessly online but never taking the next step to actually meet in person? But, according to our unscientific poll around the water cooler, the idea of meeting up with a stranger without the vetting process of a conversation is a scary concept to some.

“Noooo…. sounds so, so sketchy and like a farm team for predators…” says editor Gaya Gerdie.

But for others, it makes a lot of sense:

“It’s not unlike meeting someone at a bar.” says writer Misty Manson. “You see each other across the room and you have little to go on other than looks. But you can’t just start texting right away. You have to actually walk up to him and have a real, in-person, conversation which, in my opinion, is the only way to get to know someone for realsies. It’s easy to be Mr. Perfect online.”

[Editor’s note: Yes, our 40 year-old head writer does say, “for realsies,” but we hired her, anyway.]

What do you think, dear readers? Would you go on a first date without messaging first?

Would you go on a first date without messaging first?

14 comments on “Would you go on a first date without messaging each other first?

  1. I find this idea fascinating. I’d totally try it out if there was an android version.

    Didn’t okcupid have something like this? “Crazy blind date” I think it was called?

  2. They did! I was really interested in it, but they pulled it. I think too many people are afraid of stuff like this. I”m of the opinion that if people just get out more and talk to people in person they’d have better luck on these sites.

  3. I think it makes sense, I imagine they will discover the success rate is the same as traditional apps, because it’s hard to discover compatibility without meeting no matter how many multi hour chats/phone calls happen.

    I do wish it wasn’t just focused on dating. Also, it would be awesome if there were no pics, no gender/age indication and the activity was randomly assigned by a fledgling AI’s pool of recently generated ideas of what people do.

    It’s so hard to meet people outside my bubble and it would be lovely to go on a platonic date with say an elderly person to racquet meat boating or something equally as surreal.

  4. I think it’s an excellent idea. It has some potential for abuse, but you can report people, and flakey people get ditched after two no-shows. It’s also more fun focused then sex or romance focused, which I think will help people grok that dating is more about meeting people at first. I think our current model just breeds dick pics and spamming, because it automated too much. When you have to see the person face to face, it will change the dynamic a bit and probably scale back some of the big things people complain about with 9nline dating in general.

    The big downside is that it puts you under pressure to show up.if you are uncomfortable with the situation when you arrive, you may feel compelled to go anyway, which is both a good thing g and a bad thing. Good because people jumping to conclusions or who tend to let their anxiety and insecurities get the best if them, will be motivated to take some risk. Bad because a person who feels unsafe may ignore warning signs that they’re in legitimate danger because of social pressures from the app.

    I think it’s also open for abuse in people lying and saying someone didn’t show up when they did, or if someone reports someone simply because they don’t like them like a jealous or spiteful ex, or a crazy stalker.

  5. Mixed feelings. A severely abusive relationship definitely didn’t lessen my already high interest in extensively researching people before going on a date with them. At the same time, smart predators know how to hide. But usually I research the person and then suggest meeting immediately vs a lot of back and forth chat.

  6. All the articles I’ve read that have statistics on this say it’s better to hurry up and meet in person than to have extensive online or phone chats prior to the first date.

  7. Blind date app? That sounds intriguing.
    I have no first-hand impressions of any dating apps, but I’ve seen the devastation that Tinder has caused to people who want an emotional connection. Maybe this will help some people move past the superficial and onto something more meaningful.

    I told my wife yesterday that I think that people looking for a ‘real’ relationship need to start looking to meet someone IRL instead of using an app. Go join a group or event and try to meet people who share your interests…. I know it;s old-school, but it actually worked for people for many years before smartyphones (I’m leaving that typo because I like smartyphones better).

  8. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I think that people who are meeting people that aren’t looking for the same types of relationships are not paying close enough attention to profiles and chats. I’m no genius, and I can EASILY tell from someone’s chatting whether they are looking for a hookup or something more. And their profiles – even the short ones- have a lot of clues. I wish people would just start looking for them. Hm. Maybe THAT’S the angle of the book I’ve been wanting to write about all of my dating experiences…

    Anyway, I’ve met a lot of people from both OKCupid and Tinder that are great and wanted more than just a hookup. Actually, EVERYONE I’ve met from Tinder has been great. The only “bad” one I’ve met from OKC are those that simply turn out to be boring. And, honestly, I knew it before I went. I am just an eager student of human nature and want to find out if the impression I get from their profile and/or chat is correct. It almost always is. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I appreciate our perspective. I don’t have any personal experience with OKC or Tinder, it’s good to hear that they work for you if you take the time to check out the person you’re connecting with.
    I think the stories I’ve heard from other people are based on them choosing their matches besed only on the profile pics.
    It sounds like you are a pretty good judge of character, which is a great skill and probably excludes you from the need for a blind date app. That said, let us know if you use it because I’d love to know how it works ๐Ÿ™‚

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