Are you in a dating-app rut? Do you have a nauseating number of Tinder nightmare experiences piling up, but aren’t a celebrity with the red carpet resume to make it into the highly exclusive Raya app?
Enter, The Inner Circle. This Amsterdam-born “selective dating app” promises to “connect ambitious, like-minded people.” Since its launch in 2013, it has been met with a large amount of publicity and success, and with that, a large amount of criticism due to its perceived exclusivity.
To join, applicants must first be vetted by an anonymous panel of The Inner Circle employees who screen various social media platforms such as your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages. The point of this, however, is not to cultivate and promote elitism, but to eliminate from the get-go the inevitable sea of “weirdos” that come with dating apps. There’s only so many joke pizza accounts you can swipe past with a chuckle before it just gets old. Essentially, The Inner Circle wants to ensure that everyone who is using the app is a real person actually looking for meaningful connections.
The user interface does not employ Tinder’s traditional “swipe-left swipe-right” method and is closer to a dating app-social networking hybrid. You don’t have to “match” with someone in order to strike up a conversation. It also brings user accountability up an extra notch by hosting monthly events in cities all over the world in an effort to “bring online dating offline.”
The app attempts to connect users to their best potential matches by linking people up based on hobbies and interests, favorite or frequented cities, and career and life goals. So, as long as you’re honest about what you’re looking for, joining is actually fairly simple. Welcome to a new, more grown-up era of online dating. Those looking to start conversations with creepy and absurd pick-up lines need not apply.
Sign up for The Inner Circle here! It’s free.