The only dating app designed for dating

Carissa Lintao & Brian Atwood
5 min readOct 29, 2020


Here’s how we built the only dating app designed to get you on dates

This article is a follow up to “How Dating Apps Destroyed Dating.” Give it a read before this piece for more context.

In Part I, we discussed how legacy dating app design leads to wasted time, disappointment, and depression. In this article, we describe how we’ve systematically addressed each of those design flaws with our new app: The Round.

Intentional dating

The Round is built for intentional dating, and intentional dating only. No endless chatting, collecting matches for validation, drug dealers, or attention-seeking. From our brand messaging to our core app design, we support daters who are serious about meeting others to have meaningful dating experiences.

It all starts with the core Round concept. When you join a Round, you are explicitly signing up to meet your match for a date.

You can’t see other profiles unless you join a Round, and in order to join a Round you must specify your time and location availability. This mechanism filters out nearly all users who are not serious about meeting their match for a date.

To ensure that Rounds aren’t full of flaky time-wasters, we’ve built feedback mechanisms to discover users who flake on their dates too often. Everyone has to reschedule now and again, but chronic time-wasters are booted from joining Rounds until they demonstrate a renewed commitment to showing up for their dates.


When you view another person’s profile during The Round, you can be sure that person is also viewing your profile at the same time. No more wondering when — or if — that hottie is ever going to see your profile.

On other dating apps, there’s no telling when the people you’re seeing are going to see your profile. Maybe they just left the country on a two-week vacation. Maybe they were only in town for a day. Maybe they deleted the app entirely.

While the ability to swipe and match at any time feels like freedom, it paves the way for copious missed connections and fake opportunities. The freedom to browse profiles whenever you want ruins your ability to date whenever you want. At The Round, we believe that dating on your terms is way more important than browsing profiles on your terms.

So when you’re ready to date with The Round, you’ll opt in to an actual Round, and you’ll only see others who have opted in, too.

One match at a time

The small handful of most attractive profiles on dating apps get more matches than they know what to do with. The most attractive women’s profiles on Tinder match with nearly every man they swipe right on, and the most attractive men’s profiles match with about one in three women.

This is bad for everyone. With the ability to match with unlimited profiles, the most attractive people are quickly overwhelmed with options, while the rest of us are left with unrealistic expectations and too few matches.

But what if everyone could only get one match per day, after choosing from a list of curated profiles?

If everyone can only get one match at a time, they are forced into more mindfully choosing their date partners and thereby will not waste anyone else’s time. The emphasis changes from broad, superficial connections to specific, deeper connections. That’s why on The Round, you can only get one match (and date) at a time.

A real date as the end-state

The Round’s matchmaking process ends with a planned date, at a specific place and time (including virtual dates).

No more dead-end chats, no more endless small talk. Chemistry happens in person, not over text.

Of course, you can still chat with your match by text or video before your date. But that’s entirely up to you — your date is set to happen either way.

Feedback loops

Successful dating requires learning. With each date, you learn more about your preferences and patterns, with the goal of finding progressively better matches. You tell your friends and family about what you liked and didn’t like about your date — but what about the matchmaker?

The Round asks for your feedback on every date. We want to know what you liked and didn’t like, so we can continue to improve on our recommendations. The more dates you go on with The Round, the better your matches and date recommendations will get thanks to this AI-driven feedback loop.

Interested in redefining dating?

It’s time to dump traditional dating apps. We’re looking for like-minded people to help us on this mission of making tech work for us ー not the other way around. If you have an interest in the future of dating, drop us a line at or We’d love to chat.

Carissa Lintao is a consumer mobile app industry expert with a background in marketing. Brian Atwood is a product developer with a background in psychology. They are two creators of The Round.



Carissa Lintao & Brian Atwood