The dating scene has changed completely and we all know or have heard, how online opportunities have impacted how everyone meets potential suitors. We hear about our friends swiping right…or is it left? And what’s the etiquette? When do you message to follow up? UGH! It’s all mind-boggling and can be overwhelming. And what dating site/app should you use? paird ( a new app that has recently come into the market that offers a little more insight to help navigate through these murky waters and transforming online dating.

paird was inspired by the frustration people have experienced from using dating apps. The core of this app is being committed to being genuine and to keep things real. Essentially filtering out all the filtered lives so you can get to know someone a little better before the first date. What caught our attention to this app is the ability to draw insights from behavioral science. The look is similar to an Instagram feed, but curated to only show relevant dating content the user wants to display to those who are “paird” together and have mutual interests. Bonus! There’s an anti-ghosting feature! Sounds interesting?

We had a chance to chat with Ben Leonard, co-founder of the Toronto-based app to find out more.

Your app applies behaviour insights on each user – can you tell us more about how this works and how it benefits users without being creepy?

BL: We have actually started with how more broad adjustments to the way the software works for everyone will have impact.  We feel these shifts will begin that path of getting people back to treating one another better. We have taken away P2P photo sharing to take away what we feel is a big part of the indecency. An unsolicited, inappropriate image or video, in our belief, is a part of where things might have gotten off track and decreased accountability. Instead, all of our content sharing is semi-social so that if someone chooses to be indecent, they must do it in front of all the people they have paird with. All conversations and likes are kept between the users so that it doesn’t become a popularity contest. Interestingly enough, Instagram is testing the idea of only showing one name and the word “others” next to a post so that no one knows how many likes a post has. The user will still know how many likes they got but the number will not be public. I believe they are connecting with how addicted to a “like” society has become and how it can make people not getting the same recognition feel less of themselves.  Love that!

We have built in the concept of learning through consequence, or lost opportunity, with our anti-ghosting feature that allows our users to take a stand on people ghosting on them.  They can select the amount of time they are comfortable with and would expect a response from someone they are chatting with before the system would remove the pairing.  They would have the chance one more time to pair, looking to leverage the feeling of having lost the opportunity previously that they would put more focus or effort in communication.

We have layered a simple, yet effective tool, in our voice note feature to help better understand who someone is through hearing their voice.  It is a major part of human attraction and we feel that conversation through text alone doesn’t deliver sincerity or personality the way a voice might.

The eventual full version of the platform will have key pieces that might not be immediately understood as they are pioneering to some degree. They also require a larger user base to have them working effectively so will be released when the time is right.

Does the dating app encourage #nofilter on photos that are uploaded? How do you control that? We all want to put ourselves in the best light possible.

BL: We originally had 9 filters that were written for the software but we chose to remove them as we felt that it did get away from our core values of being authentic.  We completely understand if someone wants to show themselves in their best light, we just do not want to encourage being anything other that who you are. As a dating app, that hopefully gets people onto dates, why have surprises that are eventual certainty when two people are face-to-face? We feel it is better to be straightforward and comfortable with that so that if someone shows interest, it is genuinely an interest in your real self.

SO, what has been the feedback so far?

BL: Feedback has been excellent. Since our beginning, we have spoken to countless people from all walks of life that are tired with the way they feel using apps. They are tired of the objectification and indecency and are getting behind the stand we are taking.  I think the idea of actually bringing back the human element to dating is simple but few feel that it is being delivered in the current marketplace.  We are not interested in being the biggest app with the most volume.  We are focused on delivering more of what someone might experience during the real-life courtship process but in an app environment that doesn’t agree with the way things are.  We have checks-and-balances to keep things more in line with that idea.

Is there a membership fee to join? Any further in-app purchases required?

BL: paird will eventually shift to a subscription only model.  The reason for this is that when someone has skin in the game, they tend to take it more seriously. That said, when two people have met on an app they have both been willing to part ways with a small subscription, we believe they can have more trust that the other person is genuinely looking for love.  Where some of our competitors charge as much as $30 monthly, we are looking to end up in the $6-$9 range for the full version of the app where all users are committed and have shown their commitment with a small, monthly subscription. Having millions of users that aren’t using the app for the right reasons doesn’t interest us. Being more of a boutique app, delivering value to people who are seriously wanting to find their life partner, is who we are.

How much monitoring happens behind the app to encourage proper etiquette?

BL: Zero tolerance… We are done with all of this insanity! No more treating each other poorly.  We monitor as much as is required to keep that standard.

Who’s your demographic?

BL: Sounds cliche but our demographic is everyone that is tired of how things are and that is looking for love.  We are designed to deliver to anyone that feels that way.

OKAY, Got any online dating tips for us?

BL: Yes!  Get back to being comfortable with yourself.  Someone that is meant for you will love you for exactly that … being you. Do not put up with people that are rude, aggressive and inappropriate and, in return, don’t be like that to someone else.  If a behaviour is something that you wouldn’t accept, or act out, in the real world, don’t think it is okay online. Hiding behind a platform isn’t cool and humans deserve better so take a stand against it. Let’s get back to where you can actually court someone online and get to know them a bit so that your first date feels more like the fifth.