Technology has become a huge way for people to meet each other, and the majority of singles say they've joined a dating app at some point. But what about apps for couples? Where does technology fit in for those of us already in relationships? As it turns out, there are plenty of options for us too.
My S.O. and I took a few of these coupled-up apps—most of which say they'll help strengthen your existing relationship—for a test drive to find out whether they're worth the time (and data usage). Here were our impressions:
This one's almost like a social media platform, but dedicated to the two of you instead of your entire social network. You can upload photos, create shared lists, and add dates relevant to your relationship to a calendar. You can also "thumb kiss" by holding your thumb to the screen: The print will show up on your partner's screen, and they can put their own thumb over it. There's also a drawing function that lets you send scribbles or even create pictures together. Otherwise, though, it's pretty much a messaging app, allowing you to share your location, text, and send "thinking of you" notes—nice when you want to let your S.O. know they're on your mind but don't have anything in particular to say. This app is cute and especially useful for long-distance couples, but probably not practical enough for us to keep using regularly when we can do most of it on WhatsApp.
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This app brings you and your S.O. closer by quizzing each of you on your partner's personality and habits, after which it compares your answers and tells you how well you know each other. Just getting set up on this one took several tries, since you can't both sign up independently—one person has to invite the other—and then it takes a while to register that you've both joined. But once we finally got it working, it provided a fun way to pass the time on a train ride, and it did teach us a bit about each other. Some of the questions were funny ("What is your blood type?" Both of us: "Red?") and others were a little too real ("How is Suzannah with apologies?" Me: "It's hard sometimes." Him: "She never thinks she's wrong"). Those ones were interesting ("What kind of chocolate do they like?", "How do they feel about Christmas?", etc.) but lots of them didn't provide information that felt super relevant to our relationship. As a result, we'll probably abandon this app—at least until we're stuck on a long train ride again.
This one is more R-rated, with "dares" you can give your S.O. that range from the sweet to the downright saucy. The more dares you both complete (or at least say you complete), the more dares you unlock. For my first, I asked my S.O. to re-create our first kiss, which led to a heartwarming conversation about the way we met. Then, he dared me to give him a cuddle. But when he marked it complete, Desire accused him of lying. (It didn't think we had enough time.)
Bottom line: This is a deeply suspicious app. A lot of the other dares were things we did anyway ("sleep naked") or didn't really have any desire to do ("play doctor"). As a result, the novelty wore off fairly quickly.
Road Trip Ice Breaker Questions for Couples
I actually found this one by accident while searching for The Ice Break, which it turns out isn't an app yet. All it contains is a series of questions, and it'll show you a new one each time you click. Finally, we didn't have any issues during sign-up or while using the app. Plus, it actually provided a lot of thought-provoking questions—the kind you might be afraid to ask if you didn't have anything prompting you, like "How did you learn what it meant to be a woman/man?" and "When I first asked you out, did you ever consider saying 'no'?" (It also had ones like "What are your feelings about abortion?" and "Have you ever been cruel to an animal?" that made us wonder how many relationships this app has ended.) We played this once over lunch and once on the train, and it actually made me feel like I'd gotten to know my partner better. Some of these questions, while important, just don't really come up in the normal course of a relationship, and it was nice to find out the answers to them.
All in all, I learned that a simpler app is better—though that probably applies offline, too. Maybe the best way to get closer to your S.O. is not to create personalized pictures, take quizzes, or perform elaborate dares but just to ask each other good questions. Huh.