The Dating industry as booming as it is, is notorious for churning out new ideas and concepts that very quickly fall by the wayside, sometimes at record speed. Even Sir Alan Sugar seconded this notion when Apprentice finalist Vana Koutsomitis tried to secure his investment for a new dating app, speaking at length of the difficulties she would face establishing herself in an already over-crowded market. So what exactly was the problem with Vana’s app? Where do I begin: time consuming, over-complicated, irrelevant, the list goes on (sorry Vana). What the dating industry craves is simplicity, which is precisely why I was overjoyed to stumble upon Singlepin.
I asked myself what is the opposite of being single? The answer of course is being married, and what discreetly symbolises being married? A ring. So why not have something that discreetly symbolises being single? Well now we do. No one wants to wear a sign around their neck that says “I’m single” but why not a small, tasteful, Sterling Silver pin complete with Amethyst or Onyx stone and an admirable purpose to go along with it?
Most importantly, however, Singlepin has provided (at long last) a viable alternative to online dating. As times change, more and more aspects of life have become technology based. Technology by all accounts will always be welcome in my life, but do I want my relationships to revolve around it as well? I’m a bit of an old-romantic at heart and sure certain apps are good for a quick chat etc, but if I were actively seeking ‘the one’, is that something I’d want to find online? I’m not so sure.
I don’t believe in the stigma that was once attached to online dating and by all means it serves a purpose, but I still feel there’s a lot to be said for meeting people the old-fashioned way and frankly I’m not sure I’m ready for a harmless flirt to become a lost art (not that I’m particularly good at it). For example, I love to travel and some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met have been in French cafes, line-dancing in Texas and even when I walked into a Spanish pub and mistakenly ordered “some donkey meat and a big toilet.” These are all moments that I’ll never forget, but can I say the same about my online dating experiences? Unfortunately not. Online dating is overwhelmingly convenient and there are of course some amazing people out there using it, I just think I’d rather meet these amazing people somewhere else.
What Singlepin does is bring dating back into the real world, it represents not only your single status, but your belief in meeting people through more traditional means. To explain better I caught up with the creator herself, Artist Dianne Harris.
Hi Dianne, tell us in your own words how you’d describe Singlepin? I like to think of Singlepin first and foremost as a reaction to the influx of online dating sites. I wanted to create something to represent meeting people like we used to, to create a wearable icon to empower those who wear it and bring back the charm and excitement of meeting people face to face. Singlepin represents being in the moment, being open-minded and embracing the idea that you could meet someone at any time. No individual should have to rely on being ‘logged on’ to find love.
What was your inspiration for introducing such a concept? I suppose from my own personal experiences and surprise of the world going completely online and that it had fast become the only option, also more simply I realised there is absolutely no chemistry to be found from a photo. Plus, I’ve never met anyone who’s raved about their experiences online. I understand why people use such sites, but I’ve always felt there needs to be an alternative, something different to bring people together again. For me, the idea of ‘being in the moment’ and experiencing face to face connection is becoming a thing of the past and that sort of thing should never be left behind. There’s a certain buzz created from spontaneity which so many of us underestimate. I want to bring back that natural excitement of liking someone you meet and being able to identify who you can connect with, it’s a great ice breaker and if you see someone wearing a Singlepin it will instantly make you smile, you will have an instant connection with them – that’s the point. On an even simpler level, it’s exciting and playful and people can have fun with it, you never know who you may meet and where, that’s the beauty of it.
How do you feel about the prospect of taking on some of the giants of the online dating industry? I’m not particularly looking at it as competition, my goal is to create something that allows us to take back control of how we meet people, something that isn’t governed by corporations. Paying a monthly membership to meet someone, It just doesn’t make sense.
What’s next for Singlepin? Well we’ve certainly got people talking about it, the realisation that we shouldn’t be restricted to online dating has at last surfaced and to offer Singlepin as a new alternative was the aim. It’s been very well received and people are saying they’ve been craving for an alternative to online dating. There’s also been some healthy debate and great support from industry experts. People have started to wear the pins and embrace the concept. Upcoming plans are to continue awareness and to extend the growing Singlepin community. We’re also planning Singlepin events and panel discussions about online vs offline options in Bristol and London, with more to follow in the run up to the summer which is really exciting.
So there you have it, a wonderfully creative alternative to online dating that’s simple, stylish, and inexpensive. Singlepin well and truly eliminates the possibility of being ‘catfished’ once and for all and more than anything, puts us right back in the moment.
You can pick up your Singlepin at www.singlepin.co.uk or follow the team on Twitter @getsinglepin.