Leading French dating app Once continues with its campaign for a ‘post-swiping’ era of dating by creating a new matching algorithm, designed by an all-female team.  For the last twenty years, men have been responsible for the matching algorithms on online dating sites and apps.  The results are photo based ‘hot or not’ games, and questionnaires which resemble social security forms – focusing on education, income, age, height and basic questions which can be answered in one or two words.  Some of these apps ask singles to reveal their weight or declare their “body size.”


Once CEO Clementine Lalande called upon the help of French psychoanalyst Fabienne Kramer, British psychologist Dannielle Haig, and British dating expert and app founder Charly Lester. They were tasked to deconstruct the formula of love, and break through the patriarchal traditions of dating apps, The female team created THE LOVE EXPERIMENT – a series of 28 contemporary questions, which are designed to match based on a person’s emotional profile. Questions range from whether you’d rather dine with Dalai Lama or Obama to what your chosen super power would be.


“Dating is a market designed by men for men and is governed in a non-transparent way,” explains Clémentine. “I’m tired of working in a market that reproduces & amplifies patriarchal stereotypes. So I am trying to reinvent the rules of online dating.  It’s time to change the status quo, and so I enlisted a team of female relationship experts to help me change the dating space once and for all, with our Love Experiment.”


The Love Experiment


This experiment is inspired by transactional analysis, analytical psychology and behavioural analysis. It has been designed specifically to assess how independent an individual is in a relationship,whether they are introverted or extroverted, the importance of physical and cerebral connection to them, and how intuitive they might be. These 28 questions have been designed to be revealing, but also modern and fun. Once someone has completed the ‘experiment’ they are given their personal Emotional Profile, which is defined by one of 16 different archetypes. These archetypes range from a detective, to a pilot, to a rock star.


Psychologist Dannielle Haig explains

“It is well known from scientific research that humans are not very capable of judging ourselves accurately, for example we often think we are portraying ourselves one way when in fact others would say we come across completely differently. We also aren’t hugely adept at separating what we want from life and love, from what society and our family and friends think we should want. Psychological profiling gives you an objective view of yourself without all the noise of preconceptions.”


In order to conclusively find out which profiles are most compatible , the four women then surveyed over 1000 established couples, with over 9000 years of success between them. Each half of the couple took the test, and then Once collated their results. So far,The oldest couple to take the test has been married for 49 years.


By looking at the results of the married couples’ responses, the Once team was able to deconstruct compatible Emotional Profiles and conclusively determine that compatibility comes from a very subtle set of differences. Of the four axes used in the test (extroversion, physicality, independence and intuition), couples need to have three in common for the best emotional match. if you have four in common, and you might be too similar. What if you have nothing in common? You’ve just met your arch nemesis!


Psychoanalyst Fabienne Kraemer explains

“On dating apps it’s hard to tell who the other person is. But from these four lines of questioning, we are already learning a lot. Our four axes test your relationship with yourself, other people, in a couple, and with your body. We then define your Emotional Profile, and we know which profiles are normally compatible. This way, we hope to improve the quality of dates, and to allow singles to understand their compatibility with someone before they even meet: will it be harmonious, complicated or explosive?  In order for a relationship to work in the long-term, it’s about creating a subtle mix – finding someone with whom you share values, ideas, perceptions, and styles of expression without choosing your double.”


Once is now allowing singles to benefit from the outcome of the research, by taking the same test themselves, inside the app – in a feature called ‘The Love Experiment’.

Once a single has been told their personal archetype, they are then given the opportunity to select from other singles, based on their emotional compatibility.  Singles can select a ‘chemical bond’ – just enough difference to ensure a long-lasting relationship which maintains individuality – ‘magnetic attraction’ – with a single who has the exact same test results, and an ‘explosive reaction’ with someone who is their exact opposite, in order to put Once’s conclusion to the test themselves.


“It’s 2021. We know that not everyone is looking for a 49 year marriage, and some people want something explosive and fun, with someone completely different, and so we believed it was important to leave singles in the driving seat when it came to their destiny, and give them a guide, rather than restricting them to only one certain type of match.” explains dating expert Charly Lester. ‘If you take the test, you get three very different outcomes, and then you can decide what the ‘love experiment’ looks like for you.’


Once is available for free on Google Play and App Store HERE