'Wingman Barney' Virtual Wingman From Cupid.com Will Help You Boost Your Online Dating Game

If you've ever felt like your friends aren't doing their job as message-writing wingman for your online dating exploits, Cupid.com has a solution for you: Wingman Barney, the virtual wingman. Barney is a complicated fellow, with two features coming together to help him work his magic: One, there's a real relationship expert who answers questions in the form of blog posts on the Cupid.com site; and two, there's also a little robot man that helps you with your dating. As Wingman Barney explains on the site, "I can also help you start a conversation with a person you like, but want to do it in an interesting way, or you are shy and would like someone else to introduce you. Find your special one and give your relationship a shot by pushing the Wingman Barney."

OK, firstly: Wingman Barney has to be named after Barney Stinson, right, all you How I Met Your Mother fans? I mean, it just has to be. Secondly, I think it's a great idea. Although I definitely think it's way more fun to sit with your friends and brainstorm a message, Wingman Barney will at least get you to send a message at all. As much as I'm not crazy about the idea of being messaged by a robot — ideally you would always include a much more personal message — a lot of the problem with online dating and app-based dating is that people spend too much time browsing and not enough doing. So if it's something that helps connect people, I'm on board.

For the curious, Wingman Barney looks like this:

Dating apps and online dating have been doing a whole lot more to get people talking in recent years, too. Here are some other new features that help get communication going, in case you missed them:

1. Bumble's 24 Hour Rule

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You know how on Bumble, the woman the woman has to message first — and only has 24 hours to do so? Well, this year, Bumble upped their game by giving men only 24 hours to reply, as well. No more sitting around wondering what happened to your message; it gets things moving fast.

2. Tinder's New GIFs

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Because writing is HARD and reading is the worst, Tinder teamed up with Giphy this year to allow you to send GIFs to your matches. OK, I do love reading, but I have to admit this is a great idea. There are so many great GIFs to send, and you can use them to see if your senses of humor match up — a definite win-win.

3. OKCupid's Deep End

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To be fair, the Deep End isn't new; it's a great blog that analyzes stats from OKCupid and shows you what's going on— and how to date better and smarter. But this year, they came out with some pretty amazing stats (and super cool charts) showing how much of an advantage you have if you're, say, a hetero woman and send the first message. Hint: You get more dates and hotter dudes. Seriously. Get messaging.

Images: Pexels; Giphy (3)