Conventional dating wisdom dictates that a successful match usually results between two people with shared interests and beliefs. But what if those interests are actually hatreds?
Hater, the latest dating app to attempt to bring singles together, has turned the going attitude that like attracts like on its head. In this case, it’s hate that does the attracting.
Just like any other dating app or website, users set up a profile (for this, you need to have a Facebook account to sign up), and arrange photos and personal information as they choose. They they’re presented with a series of topics they can choose to respond to. Swipe up to “love,” down to “hate,” left to “dislike” and right to “like.”
There are 3,000 subjects to choose from, and they range from trending topics like Harambe to inane irritations like selfies and slow walkers. Perhaps even more poignant are the questions that pertain to passionate topics like sports and Donald Trump. After 10 minutes of proffering opinions, the app compiles top matches based on shared hatreds, which users can either swipe right or left on, per Tinder’s revolutionary system.
The app was created by Brendan Alper, a former Goldman Sachs employee, who initially pitched the idea as a comedy sketch, but was then encouraged to act on it by friends, he told The Washington Post.
Alper was further inspired to turn his art into reality when he came across a 2006 study out of the University of Oklahoma that determined in cases of friendship, mutual dislike of a third party was more potent than mutual appreciation.
“[People] consistently underestimated the intimacy-promoting properties of shared negative attitudes about others,” the study authors noted. “Although shared positive attitudes are indeed important in promoting friendship, there seems to be something especially delicious about the process of sharing our grievances about other people.”
Hilarious and counterintuitive though this may sound, dating experts disagree with Hater’s message.
“Getting two negative people together is not a good thing,” says Laura Bilotta, founder of matchmaking service Single in the City. “I think some people will be attracted to this app because it’s different, but all they’d be doing is inviting negative people into their lives.”
From Bilotta’s perspective, the hate that’s built right into the name of the app casts a dark cloud on any possible love connection.
“Hate is such a negative word,” she says. “The only people who will use this app are those who aren’t ready to date.”
Others can see the appeal, however, especially in a time when political issues and beliefs are dividing loved ones more than ever.
“I think right now in the Trump world, I see hate bringing people together,” says Rebecca Cooper Traynor, founder and head matchmaker of Match Me Canada. “The protests and resistance movement that his election has inspired is causing people to unite against hate.”
She is quick to add that she doesn’t think hatred is a strong foundation for a relationship, though.
“Hatred won’t keep a relationship strong,” she says. “This concept makes for an interesting and comical first date, but it’s important to focus on the positive.”
Of course, you could argue that finding a mate who shares your hatred of a political party or a particular holiday is a positive. Or at least an impetus to give Hater a try.
“We know a lot of single people probably don’t like Valentine’s Day,” Alper said. “If you want to hate on the lovey-dovey stuff, feel free. It’s the day for single people to hate on stuff.”
Log on and soak up the haterade.