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Wooing the Windows to the Soul

A Dating Site That's All Vibe + Visuals, No Words

Why you should care

Because online dating just got a makeover, and it’s easy on the eyes.

Dating has become infinitely easier in the last ten years — or infinitely sadder, depending on where you stand. Today, sitting unshowered behind our laptops can yield more potential matches than a night at the bar ever would, and data analysis suggests that including the word “yoga” in your bio will reel in more suitors than the word “books.” Love is really just a numbers game, or so most of the Internet would have us believe. But a new dating site just might have found a way to bring the magic back to finding your S.O.

You’ll have to type out a few basics like your name and location, but beyond that, there’s no writing required.

What makes Dreamcliq unique is pretty obvious from the get-go. Everything you’ve read about wordsmithing a compelling “About Me” page won’t do you much good here. Instead, your Dreamcliq profile is a collection of images culled from your favorite sites and grouped to represent your tastes in a variety of activities, such as “Style+Design” or “Travel+Leisure.”

Screengrab of website with man on left and woman on right

A “CLIQ it” bookmarklet makes it a breeze to add images to your profile on the fly as you browse the Web, but the site also offers a “Surf” section full of ever-changing pictures users can grab for their profiles. You’ll have to type out a few basics like your name and location, but beyond that, there’s no writing required. Each picture is, after all, worth a thousand words a pop.

It’s more akin to eyeballing a potential lover’s apartment than reading a personal ad.

Founder Melissa Jones believes the concept adds some much-needed humanity to the online dating arena. “You’re not just a headshot and a bunch of stats,” she says. “People are more three-dimensional, more in-color than that.”

Jones studied graphic design at RISD and also works as creative director and CEO of the art direction agency DTE Studio. Her idea for a dating site stemmed from her agency’s art blog Dream the End. Jones thought an image-based dating site could give others a chance to not only collect their own images but to connect through them, like they might through a shared obsession with an obscure movie or a particular painting.

It’s a qualitative approach in a quantitative world, to be sure, one more akin to eyeballing a potential lover’s apartment than reading a personal ad. The experience is both highly stylized and unexpectedly organic – not to mention a visual treat.

Jones also expects Dreamcliq’s message feature to set it apart. To send a first message – or “cliq” – to a person whose profile you like, you’ll have to shell out $2.50. It lends more significance to a message, says Jones, since “people are more likely to respond when they know you’ve paid to speak specifically with them.” Both sexes, she says, really like the gesture.

Sure, it costs more than free dating sites like OK Cupid or Plenty of Fish, but it’s a small price to pay in exchange for decreased spam and a greater response rate, especially when you compare it to monthly membership fees at sites like eHarmony or Jones and her team hope their approaches to profile-building and messaging will build deeper, more meaningful relationships — not just casual hookups.

It’s too soon to know if their theory is right, but Dreamcliq, currently funded by friends and family, is already planning its next iterations, including a mobile app. “We want everything to look and feel really beautiful, and we want people to feel beautiful when they use the site,” she says.

Well, as beautiful as you can feel parked behind a keyboard in your sweats.

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