Five New Tech Tools to Complicate Your Love Life

Online dating is practically quaint at this point, so comfortable have we become with trusting our love lives to the interwebs. With that in mind, developers have come up with a whole new crop of apps and sites to make love, sex, and dating better — or at least more complicated. Let's take a look at a few of the new arrivals.

WotWentWrong

Aussie developer Audrey Melnik apparently got the idea for this site when she went on a great date with a guy who never called again. WotWentWrong provides a template for you to politely (or "flippantly," if you prefer) ask your disappeared date what his or her deal was, then offers them a list of choices to easily express why they weren't into you (example: "You are selfish"). They can also add their own reasons. Then the app sends you their "feedback" with advice on doing better next time (a screenshot on the site, for instance, warns against TMI). According to a press release, "the site reminds users of the power of feedback to help former dates change behaviors that may have been dealbreakers, and the feedback response form also includes a section to voice a partner's attractive qualities. People receive invaluable pointers that come not from a self-help book or advice column, but their own dating history. " You can also send unsolicited feedback — "In the spirit of helping an Ex put their best foot forward, users thinking ‘For their own sake, I really wish someone would tell them that' can do exactly that –- without having to receive a request first."

The Good:

Provides a nice systematic method of stalking people. Also, because a private company actually had this idea, you seem less insane. And for the dumper, there's something appealing about scrolling down a list of canned responses rather than having to express why you weren't into it in your own words.

The Bad:

How often do you really want to know WotWentWrong? I'd bet that for every one piece of constructive feedback you get ("stop bringing your marionette along on dates"), you'll receive ten responses that have nothing to do with you ("I got back together with my ex"), plus a couple you can't do anything about ("you are ugly"). And while using WotWentWrong in a spirit of upbeat romantic house-cleaning might yield some useful insights, let's be honest — most people are going to wait for a nadir of drunken self-loathing before messaging everyone who ever failed to call them back, and this can only lead to pain.

Nerve Dating

Back in the day (like 2009), the conventional wisdom on Nerve's dating site was that it was mostly for finding sex, not love. Then it shut down, and reopened in December with a new mission: starting conversations, rather than gauging compatibility. Nerve CEO Sean Mills writes, "On Nerve Dating, you actively share your thoughts and opinions about restaurants, bars, movies, music, and books, and anything else you've seen or done; then, you're instantly introduced to other people who did the same." This happens through questions like "What did you do last night?" which you answer at regular intervals, rather than just filling out a one-time profile.

The Good:

Mills is right that compatibility numbers are shitty conversation starters, while the last movie you saw or restaurant you ate at are pretty good ones. And it makes sense to keep a dynamic, feed-like profile that you update frequently, rather than one you hurriedly bang out one night after three confidence-building whiskies.

The Bad:

It's hard to tell much about a person by what movie they saw last night. Nerve does ask users a few basic questions to get started (like whether they smoke or drink). But unless you're one of those assholes who thinks the most important thing about someone is whether they like the same bands as you, a system based on tastes and activities alone might not give you much to go on.

The Mural

On the more platonic side, The Mural is a Facebook app that "is a wonderful virtual expression of peace, love and happiness." The app lets you "place virtual plaques on a wall to honor loved ones with expressions of love, peace and admiration." Or you can "explore the Mural to see what others have created in order to feel connected to this larger community of love."

The Good:

A visual expression of all the testimonials people have left for their friends and loved ones sounds cool, and potentially revealing.

The Bad:

You have to give The Mural access to your Facebook account in order to explore, which I won't do, because I am a paranoid Old. Also, fuck peace and love.

Tingle

Tingle is a mobile-only dating app that lets users voice chat with each other (without revealing their names or phone numbers) as well as messaging. It also has a location feature, so you can do like Grindr and find people to date and/or hook up with near you. And the app was apparently designed with women in mind, including a feature that keeps them from getting overwhelmed with messages from weirdos. Basically, you have to accept someone's "wink" before they can message you, meaning you only get messages from people you already like the looks of.

The Good:

If Tingle can screen out all the form messages reading "Hi [username], you are pretty and your interests are interesting, please go out with me now," then it would be doing everyone a true service. And the potential for talking on the phone without giving out your number also sounds appealing.

The Bad:

Tingle is a really gross name.

Moonit

No need to carry your bulky star charts to the bar anymore — this iPhone app "helps you determine your compatibility with new friends and dating prospects via the most advanced astrology algorithm ever developed." After analyzing your birthdate and that of your romantic quarry, Moonit will send you a message like "You're 98% Compatible, We Hear Wedding Bells! You may have just been out to play, but it looks like you've stumbled upon your soul mate..." The developer also promises that later on, it will let users look for star-approved matches near them as well.

The Good:

""You never have to ask someone ‘what's your sign' again." If you were the kind of person who asked that question in the first place, I guess you don't have to do it anymore.

The Bad:

"We Hear Wedding Bells" seems like a lot of pressure. Oh, and astrology is bullshit.