Dating App Once Uses Your Heart Rate To Help You Find Love

We’ve all felt it — the little adrenaline rush and increased heart rate that comes when we meet someone we’re attracted to — but now we can track it.

Once, a dating app with more than 600,000 users in just four months, has today announced an integration with Fitbit and Android Wear.

Once works by offering a single potential suitor every day (which Once calls a “Match,” which is confusing). These ‘matches’ are curated by human match makers who check out your profile and those of other people you’ve liked in the past to determine who you might like next from the Once database.

Setting aside the fact that one of Once’s 120 matchmakers might be your friend who now knows your digital dating history, this is a huge differentiator for the European dating app, which is available across the UK, France, and in Spain.

With the Fitbit integration, users will be able to sync their fitness tracker with the app to see their heart rate in real-time when they first get a glimpse of that day’s match. Because the app shows both parties in a match their counterpart at the same exact time, this could allow for some fun push notifications in the future.

For now, Once just lets you see your heart rate when you look at your match’s profile. In the next version of the app, however, the user will be able to opt-in to a feature that will send their heart rate to their match once it’s recorded.

Research shows that the initial signs of attraction happen in the brain, chemically, as your body produces adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine upon sight of someone attractive to you.

When you catch sight of your beloved and your heart starts racing, that’s because of an adrenaline rush, said Dr. Reginald Ho, a cardiac electrophysiologist and associate professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Here’s how it works: The brain sends signals to the adrenal gland, which secretes hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. They flow through the blood and cause the heart to beat faster and stronger, Ho said.

Founder and CEO Jean Meyer says he built Once to offer a ‘slow dating’ option in the European online dating market.

“Either the dating platforms are too complex, aimed toward an older demographic,” said Meyer, “or they are focused on casual dating and hook ups.”

Once is meant to fill that void with a single match per day. With the addition of the heart rate, Meyer says it will be easier to ensure that when someone ‘likes’ another user, it’s meaningful and not wishy-washy.

To be clear, users who don’t have an activity tracker will still be able to use the app, just as the first 600K active users have been doing for the past four months.

There’s no timeline yet for availability in the U.S., but my European friends can check out Once right here.