Watch one episode of The One and you’ll suddenly start to reimagine a whole new kind of dating — one that doesn’t require endless scrolling, swiping and messaging that often leads to disappointment or worse, heartbreak. The show takes us minutes into the future where a DNA company takes control of the dating scene, matching singles through genetic markers of love like the DNA found in their hair strands. This isn’t something that lives only in movies and TV — DNA Romance, a dating app with a very similar mission, has been matching singles this way since it launched in 2017.
Here’s how it works: DNA Romance sends users a DNA Collection Kit similar to 23andMe and Ancestry DNA. Once received, singles swab their cheek, send the sample back to DNA Romance and wait to see their matches roll in after about three weeks time. If someone has already sent DNA to another third-party testing company (say, for 23andMe or AncestryDNA), they can simply connect their DNA Romance account to another account to get DNA matches in two minutes or less.
Through DNA samples, they are able to match people based on appearance, personality and chemistry. But since DNA may not always tell the full story, they use the results from a user’s Meyers Briggs personality test to determine if personalities match, along with photos to determine a level of attraction between users.
“Our DNA Romance score reflects your potential for chemical attraction with another person,” the app says. “Like any online dating site, DNA Romance provides a short-list of matches whom you can communicate with and see if there is a meaningful connection.”
Putting yourself out there on a dating app may already feel intrusive, but sending your DNA off to a lab to be analyzed by strangers? Well, it’s understandable that some may be apprehensive to do so. DNA Romance reassures potential users that they have complete control over their data and they don’t sell anyone’s information to other companies. If at any point, you want your data to be out of their hands, they’ll respect your wishes: “We respect your right to be forgotten. You can delete your profile and raw DNA file in the settings section of your DNA Romance account dashboard,” they write.
Currently, the app is available in 94 countries around the world, including the United States, Canada and the U.K. And while they swear by their approach to matching based on genetics than profile pictures and pick-up-lines, they stand by the fact that nothing — even scientifically-backed matching — can replace the chemistry that happens on a great first date. “No dating site replaces the need for a first date, to look each other in the eyes, talk, smell each other and mutually see if there is a meaningful connection,” they write.