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Sweet Pea is a new dating app that hopes to make online dating more empathetic

Why it matters to you

Online dating isn't exactly the most humanizing experience, but Sweet Pea wants to help change that.

Let’s be honest. Dating apps these days are a dime a dozen, all promising to cater to different needs. Dog lover? Political junkie? Disney enthusiast? There is an app that wants to help you find love. But somewhere along the way, it seems as though dating apps began to look at users as statistics and individual interests, rather than individuals. Now, there is yet another new dating app that hopes to change that, promising to “empower people to express themselves through meaningful conversations, making online dating a more empathetic and humanized experience.” It’s called Sweet Pea, and it launches on Tuesday.

It’s a lofty goal and one that CEO and founder Michael Bruch is ready to tackle. Promising to focus on “healthy, lasting relationships” instead of just getting people into the same bar or restaurant for a couple hours, Sweet Pea hopes that people will find a way to date based on chemistry, personality, and connection … you know, the way it ought to be.

So how does it do it? Rather than relying on a binary swiping system, Sweet Pea instead has a few features that hope to make digital dating a little more old fashioned. There are icebreaker questions that claim to help people “substantively engage with one another when sending the first message.” There are video stories that hope to give users a more authentic sense of one another, because how much can you really learn from five pictures. And there are also advanced filters that allow users to set their intentions, helping them see and match with folks who are on Sweet Pea for the same reasons (there are more than 50 to choose from). You can also turn on the “Hush” function, which claims to automatically flag offensive messages (though it’s unclear how “offensive” is defined). And with the “Driver’s Seat” feature, you can select whether you want to be messaged first, or if you want to be the one to begin the conversation.

“Sweet Pea is a reflection of the world I want to help build: A world where people feel free, safe, and connected to one another through open conversation and shared empathy,” Bruch said. “As mobile platforms continue to pave the way for social discovery, we’re hoping our app will make finding that person who just ‘gets you’ easier than ever.”

To further Sweet Pea’s mission of creating a better world through meaningful relationships, the company plans to donate 10 percent of all profits to charities that help people escape and recover from toxic relationships and living situations, and partners with organizations like The National Domestic Violence Hotline, Loveisrespect, and RAINN, to raise awareness for and address what the app calls a public health crisis. You can sign up for Sweet Pea here.

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