“I’ve been waiting like three months to get approved for this. Now I can finally date dudes on my level.”
When Molly, the relationship-obsessed best friend on “Insecure,” was finally accepted into The League during the HBO show’s first season, she saw it as an opportunity to find her perfect match.
But, what viewers of the show might not have known is The League is a real dating app aimed at helping real-life Mollys, or high-achieving women with equally high dating standards, find their perfect match.
The dating app had already launched in a few markets, including New York, when “Insecure” premiered, but today it officially launches in Atlanta. The app is scheduled to launch in 10 new cities by August, including today’s launches in Atlanta and Philly, and scheduled launches in Houston and Seattle.
As seen on “Insecure,” The League hinges on exclusivity. Whereas anyone can sign up to use dating apps such as Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel, The League’s users are all selected from a waiting list based on a set of criteria determined by the company.
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Currently a group of 10 people sift through eligible profiles in 10 cities to decide who should be let into the app, taking factors such as the user’s occupation and education into account, as well as the dating preferences of people who have already been approved.
Upon signing up for The League, information is sent to the user’s profile using LinkedIn. The app’s founder, Amanda Bradford, said this is done because the company believes people are less likely to lie about themselves on the professional social network than on other social sites such as Facebook.
After information such as occupation and education are automatically filled in, users are prompted to add photos, and clever “About Me” and “Interests” sections. In a different tab, users are asked their preferences regarding education, ethnicity, religion, height and more.
The criteria for admitted users remains vague, drawing criticism from people who say the app is “elitist.”
In 2016 a Stanford student’s Facebook post gained attention after the student said they were “totally and utterly ashamed that this dating service came out of Stanford,” prompting a lengthy response from Bradford.
The student’s critique continued, “does it even cross your mind that you are endorsing the idea that wealth, class and privilege determine a person’s character?”
But, Bradford, who described the app as the “no scrubs app,” says the company’s goal is simply to connect users who want to meet their intellectual equal.
“This is not about income, this is about do you have your [expletive] together,” she said, adding that you don’t have to go to an Ivy League school or even attend college to be admitted.
Bradford said the company wasn’t considering Atlanta as a potential market until the app was featured on “Insecure,” sparking interest locally.
Ahead of the app’s official launch in Atlanta, The League hosted an invite-only party at Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall. Guests included waitlisted users who will be among the 2,000 users let into the app today. As of it’s launch The League has about 8,000 users left on the wait list.
Users played networking games and mingled, but for anyone who didn’t find a potential match at the event, they’ll receive about three profiles at happy hour every day, along with invites to local League events. Typically held once a quarter, events are targeted by age and careers. League meet ups in New York have included a party in the Hamptons and a “booze cruise.”
Accessing the events and a potential soulmate hinges upon getting off the waiting list, of course. It took Molly three months to be selected but, if you’re anything like the high-strung character, you’re probably impatient.
We asked Bradford to share some tips for making your profile League-ready.
Her biggest tips for anyone hoping to gain access to the app is to have a complete profile. This means filling out your interests, since the section is typically a conversation starter, and making sure all six of your photos are “high quality.” Bradford insisted the quality of the photos, not attractiveness is judged. She suggests ditching the car selfie and using a photo that shows off your interests and personality.
You can pay to be moved up on the wait list and have a concierge provide feedback on your profile, among other paid features within The League app, although this only allows you to be reviewed quicker. It does not guarantee approval, Bradford said.