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April 12, 2017

Zepeel: “Love At First Play”

Couple holding smartphones with their pictures on

IMG_5442Hi everyone, my name is Nicole! I’m just your average 23-year-old living in the ever-evolving city of Toronto. Not too long ago, I ended a rocky long-term relationship and set out on a path of self-discovery, new adventures and
for the first time, online dating. I was 18 years old when I started seeing my ex-boyfriend, so  I was excited and nervous to explore this whole new world (like Jasmine on the back of the magic carpet). I was told that there are plenty of fish in the sea – but Toronto seemed
Zepeel-6 more like an entire ocean of people each looking for different things.

I downloaded a bunch of apps like Bumble and Tinder, and spent hours agonizing about writing the best possible bio, choosing the most flattering photos, and throwing a dash of cute emojis here and there. Just like the opening of hunting season, I swiped right more times than I care to admit.

I’ve met some strange characters online: married men posing as newly single bachelors, the too good to be true “catfish”, and kinksters looking for their perfect fetish match. However, none of these experiences beat being left in a hospital lobby alone for over two hours on Valentine’s Day…

Zepeel-31I had been talking to this devilishly handsome mechanic for weeks. We had exchanged phone numbers and had really interesting and passionate conversations – both in-person and over the phone. However, soon he began cancelling plans and disappearing for days on end. In hindsight, I should’ve caught this red flag right away, but instead I threw caution to the wind and agreed to meet him across town to celebrate Valentine’s day. On my long trek across the city, I received a rushed call from my date saying that he had run into a family emergency at the hospital. Instead of cancelling, he’d asked me to meet him there while he “made sure everything was ok”. I got dropped off at the hospital, and sat down in the lobby beside the Tim Horton’s. If I was going to wait, at least I’d be chipper and well-caffeinated. After exchanging a few messages, the texts and calls stopped. I couldn’t reach him, so I feared the worst had happened. I waited in the lobby — out of place in my leather mini skirt and thigh high boots — for over two hours before my best friend came to rescue me for a much needed night of drinks. That was the last I heard from the hunky mechanic.

Below: A photo of Zepeel’s public relations team, Shine PR

Zepeel-19

Strange encounters aside, my biggest complaint about online dating involves all the meaningless small talk, which consumes a huge amount of time. Despite putting effort into my profile to attract interesting dates, I’m still asked boring questions like “what are you doing right now?” or “what are you wearing?”. A while back I decided to boycott online dating altogether, but then I received an invite  to the Zepeel app launch and was genuinely intrigued…

I created an account, carefully pieced together my profile and was excited to learn that you can use video and voice messages in your profile and to connect with potential dates. Scrolling through different profiles,
Zepeel-61I noticed that video made all the difference and really gave me a chance to get to know a little more about each person. For instance, the way someone nervously smiles or the way they move their hands when they speak helps me to assess chemistry from the get-go.

More importantly, the sound of their voice really helps me to gauge compatibility. For me and many other women, someone’s voice and the way they speak is crucial to attraction. Suddenly, the small talk I hated turned into an opportunity to showcase what I was doing in the moment – like going for a hike on a beautiful day or making lasagna on a lazy Sunday.

The app helped me learn more about how my potential match liked to spend their day-to-day time. Zepeel has figured out a way to make online dating more efficient, interactive and genuine, which in the days of photo editing and fake profiles is no easy feat. Who knows, maybe the cute IT consultant I’ve recently been talking to will be my “love at first play”.

Nicole Kuntz is a freelance writer and student in the city of Toronto, with a passion for dissecting love and relationships with positivity and openness. You can follow her on Instagram here.