Remember back in the late ’90’s where meeting people online seemed scary and dangerous? Now online dating is the new norm and it’s meeting people in real life that seems intimidating. How do you approach that cute stranger on the subway, in a coffee shop, the book store…? And what do you say? “Missed Connection” ads are a fine idea, but only if your mystery person actually happens to read it. Cheek’d is a dating site determined to bring dating back to the real world and get people to approach one another by making flirting playful and fun again.
The way it works is simple – set up a super short free profile on cheekd.com. Purchase a set of cards (only $5 to start) that have cute, flirtatious phrases and an personal access code. When you meet someone intriguing just hand them a card that directs them to your profile where they can contact you if interested. You needn’t say a word (but, you can, of course). The premise is kept as basic as possible to bypass the often annoying task of writing online profiles that feel like college admission essays or scrolling through thousands of profiles to find someone you like. Cheek’d is to the point and essentially acts like a personalized site, designed to showcase you and you alone. Most online dating sites also ignore a primary and essential part of attraction – chemistry. As good as someone might seem typed out, you may meet them in real life and find you’re not as attracted to them as you thought. Cheek’d reverses this process and adds a layer of fun to it that makes it much easier to engage with the site as well as other potential love interests off-site.
As founder Lori Cheek puts it:
“It’s almost like a childish thing of passing a folded up note…Almost like ‘tag, you’re it’ for urban singles!”
Cheek’d has thousands of users in 39 states and 12 countries. Users can buy customized cards with whatever phrases they like, including choosing from pre-written one-liners and the cards can be printed in any language and are gender neutral, making them accessible to any user. Cheek’d is also developing more specialized pre-designed decks including a New York City deck, a fitness deck for gym goers, and a business deck (“My Amex is also this color”). Other future plans include launching a Facebook where virtual cards can be sent to friends and an iPhone app that lets you connect to nearby Cheek’d users.
Cheek’d is also on Foursquare and plans to integrate location-based apps more in the future, such as partnering with bars to offer free cards to the mayor and free exclusive giveaways. They already host monthly mixer parties where cards can be purchased and activated on the spot. New York singles are invited to attend one of these parties on the Lower East Side tonight. Swing by and be reminded of when dating used to be fun!