“Thursday” dating app launches in April. Will it change the “game”?

Almost every day of the week has some kind of dating gimmick attached to it. Friday and Saturday are the ‘nights out’ where people get go to bars and clubs to meet other singles (or their happily shacked-up friends, there for tequila and wing-person duties); Sundays are for hangovers and relaxed days where you get to enjoy the morning after or lunch dates with friends where you realise that maybe they’re the truest loves of your life. Monday sucks, nobody likes Monday. Tuesday…. Well, Tuesday was student night when I went to university, so it’s great if you want to go to a cheap bar, avoid your English essay and meet someone avoiding their Chemistry coursework – but if you’re lucky, and if you are lucky enough – you can avoid all of it together. Wednesday is hump day, and I will let your own imaginations connect the dots. And then there’s Thursday.

As well as being a day of the week, Thursday is a new dating app that’s only operational on, you guessed it, Thursdays. Here’s the thing: dating apps are pretty addictive, and it’s easy to spend ages on them talking to people even if you know, deep down, that things won’t go any further. Thursday cuts all of this out by only operating on one day, and at midnight all of your matches are cleared. It speeds up the process, because you match, you meet (or don’t) and then on Friday you’re either looking forward to meeting your date one more time or free to do whatever you want over the weekend.

Because you only get to match and chat for one day, the urgency is really on. To be honest, though, that’s what a lot of people want. Some dating apps – intentionally or not – allow their users to have conversations that can often get repetitive and boring. Women typically have far more matches than men, and smiling weakly at the same jokes about The Office can really take the thrill out of flirtation. Side note – stop talking about The Office on your dating profiles. Seriously. Enough. Thursday appeals to younger people a lot more, because it makes things faster-paced and punchier. Hello. You’re hot. Would you like to meet up at the members-only event, or the local dive bar? Great, see you in half an hour. It really can be that simple, and Thursday is doing everything it can to cut through the tedium and get to the exciting bits. In an interview, the creators of Thursday explained that one of the many benefits of using a one-day only app is that it’s impossible to ghost anyone/get ghosted. If Thursday evening comes around and you don’t meet up with anyone you’ve been talking to, it doesn’t matter, you can’t contact each other again and next Thursday you’ll be able to connect with someone else.

One of the many weird things about most dating apps is that they actually benefit from keeping you single – it’s in their DNA. If you meet someone, you delete their app, and then they can’t profit any more. So they might claim to have facilitated thousands of relationships or mariages, but there’s always that underlying contradiction. Thursday doesn’t have that issue: they’re upfront about the fact that some people are single, like being single and would actually like to have fun with other singles who feel exactly the same way. Find a partner for however long you wish, and then worst case scenario – see if you can find another next week.

Of course, some people use dating apps to exchange contact information so you can talk on Whatsapp, Snapchat or Messenger, which kind of defeats the point of Thursday. Undoubtedly when it does release some users will try to use it to get other people’s phone numbers so you can have a longer ‘talking stage’ but that seems, more than anything, to be against what the app stands for: if you want to spend ages chatting and get to know your matches, that’s fine! But that’s not the point of Thursday, so do it elsewhere.

The app is due to launch in New York in April and should be coming to London, Paris and Amsterdam later in 2021, when lockdown eases and we’re all out for some well-earned fun. At the moment the company behind Thursday is trying to sign up more users: they’ve got nearly 100,000 people registered and they want another 50,000 before they make the app available. This does make sense – nobody wants to be the first person on an app, it’s like being the first person at a club when it opens. But here’s the thing: the more people do use the app, the better it’ll be. So if you’re looking for something that’s actually about getting you in front of another person, quickly, for a good time, download the app and just wait for Thursday!

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