All too often, dating is the awkward practice of searching desperately for shared interests while tiptoeing around polarizing subjects like politics, religion, and gluten-free diets.
Instead of avoiding these contentious topics, why don’t we start off by revealing how we feel about them? A brand new dating app, Hater, promises to do just that. Hater allows you to express your contempt for things you absolutely despise, then matches you with partners who share your mutual hatred.
The app offers you 3,000 disputed topics to weigh in on, including issues like butt selfies, building the wall, and tipping less than 15 percent. Eventually, the app’s plan is to have users add their own topics so that the small minority of people who actually hate Harry Potter can finally find one another and have a shot at love.
To express your feelings on a subject, simply swipe down to hate, up to love, left to dislike or right to like. The app then selects your most compatible matches based on your shared loathing of certain subjects. From here, you can swipe left or right on fellow haters to your heart’s content.
The whole idea behind Hater was actually a joke, according to CEO Brendan Alper. After Alper quit his job at Goldman Sachs to become a comedy writer, he developed the idea for the Hater app as part of a sketch. “But the more I thought about it, the more I thought ‘Hey even though this was a funny idea, it actually makes a lot of sense,’” Alper says.
The app makes scientific sense, too. In 2006, Jennifer Bosson, a social psychologist at the University of South Florida, found that people form friendships more easily with people who hate the same things they do and published a series of studies about it.
“What we hate is an important part of who we are, but it’s often swept under the rug in our public persona,” says CEO Alper. “We want people to express themselves more honestly. Plus, it’s easy to start a conversation with someone if you know you both hate pickles.”
The app is currently available as a beta, and will be released worldwide on February 8th, just in time to find yourself a cynical jerk for Valentine’s Day. But hey, who knows? Maybe once you drop that idealized, perky personality you’ve been putting in all your profiles and let your inner asshole shine, hate can transform into love.