How Dating App Happn Wants To Help You Meet People In Real Life

One of the biggest online dating struggles is taking an online relationship offline. It sounds simple enough — you both swipe right, chat for a bit, set up a time to get together, and then meet up — right? Sometimes it is easy, but more often then not, something happens between the small talk and setting up the date, or what's been happening a lot with my friends recently, you may actually plan a date but neither person follows through on it as it gets closer. Whether it's because people get too lazy, are on there just to chat (what up pen pals!) or get an ego boost, or just chicken out at the last minute, if you're someone who's on dating apps to meet people IRL sooner than later, you may be super frustrated with the lack of people you're actually meeting. But that's where Happn's "See You There” feature comes to rescue.

On Tuesday, May 17, Happn, the dating app that shows you people you've crossed paths with IRL, is making it so much easier to meet up with someone. And it's not suggesting you do so on a high-pressure, formal date either — the "See You There" feature offers opportunities to meet up with people are all based on your daily routine and the shared interests you have with other users. The new feature lets you share what you feel like doing for the next four hours so those people on your timeline (aka the people you've crossed paths with) can accept the invite and make plans to meet up, whether it's grabbing a drink or going for a run. All you have to do is tap the (+) availability button on the bottom of your home screen, select an activity, and it will be visible to other users in your timeline through an icon on your profile.

"Happn was created to bring the real world back into the dating space, Happn CEO Didier Rappaport tells Bustle. "We want to reflect how people meet in real life. We were thinking about how people meet, and always, they meet through events — even when the event is work. They meet doing sports, at parties, at the bar, so we wanted to introduce that into our app. It's a way to make people feel like they're in their own life."

I've always loved how natural and low-pressure Happn feels. Without a matching algorithm, your timeline is based off the people you're walking by in chronological order — so essentially the people in your environment, from your neighbors to people who work in the same area as you. There aren't endless options to check off filters about what you're looking for or a million personality questions to answer, and it's not about swiping right or left (in fact, the app recently moved the option to "X" someone out on timelines so it's smaller and not side by side the option to heart them). This new feature makes perfect sense for an app that wants you to approach meeting people in a way that feels natural.

Didier acknowledges that many people use app with the goal of finding love, but he makes the (sometimes forgotten) point that they need to meet each other first and determine if there's chemistry. There's no doubting people can get a little ahead of themselves on dating apps and sites — we all have the friend who basically fell in love with an online match before meeting them — and then despising them. "Our mission is to facilitate real life meetings," he says. "We have never promised people will find in love on Happn because we believe people are free to do what they want. The most important thing is for people to meet, and then if they want to find love, have sex, have friends, it's up to them."

The list of activities to choose from include: going for a walk, getting a drink, catching a movie, going for a run, going out, and getting food.

This new feature is an easy way to get the ball rolling and meet up that hottie you've crossed paths with 103 times by doing a fun activity you would've done anyway. The app lets you do your thing — whatever that may be.

Images: Fotolia; Happn (2)