There’s an endless list of things to hate about dating. Add in the component of dating online, and that list gets even longer and probably more frustrating—that is, if you’re even willing to consider it. But the thing is, pretty much everyone is online for a large part of their days, so online dating kind of makes sense…but there’s a stigma (for some). You see the commercials with the normal and more-than-normal looking people and find a glimmer of hope, but some sites don’t match up. I won’t even go into what’s out there in the real world. So where does a person go who resents the idea of online dating with algorithms and superficiality but who doesn’t have much luck/time/patience in the physical world? This is precisely the question that Melissa Jones, founder of Dreamcliq, had in mind when she created her experimental and experiential new dating site. Dreamcliq is set up like a Pinterest board, but allows you to browse other user’s profiles and then if you find you have similar interests or if something intrigues you, there is the option to message, or “cliq,” with them. So imagine a world where the get-to-know-you first date conversation is unnecessary. Now imagine not needing to imagine this world. Now introduce yourself to Dreamcliq.
BONUS: Dreamcliq is offering free cliqs for Valentines Day weekend, 2/14-2/16. And, as always, it’s free to join and use the site.
When was the company started? Why?
I designed and conceptualized Dreamcliq in 2013. It was an idea I had been dreaming about for almost a year. We have an experimental online art space called Dream The End and I was trying to think of ways for users to better engage with our content. Dream The End showcases exceptional talents in art, music, poetry, and motion and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we could let people collect those things they love and then everyone could see what people were into and meet on the site? I ended up deciding to preserve Dream The End’s lo-fi awesomeness and to build Dreamcliq.
Where did the name “Dreamcliq” come from?
We wanted to keep a connection to Dream The End so that people who knew us would know it was not just another dating site. And then adding “cliq” felt just right…like, do we cliq? and the connection to “clicking” using your mouse, was cute. Our tagline is “see who you cliq with” which I really love.
How do you want to change your industry?
We are introducing a new model. I want to make the way people connect and meet online more meaningful; not just the dating part, but how exchanges are made, how people behave with each other. Did you know that statistically men send up to 300 unanswered messages to women on dating sites? And women get crazy inboxes full of silly first liners…it’s such a bummer for both parties. On Dreamcliq, it’s free to join and use the site, you only pay when you want to send a request to cliq with someone – it’s a nice gesture and people are more encouraged to respond when they know you’ve paid to speak specifically with them. After sending a cliq request, the receiver has 7 days to reply before it expires (only decent right?) and once you hear back, the rest of your communication with that users is free forever. In case you don’t here back, that’s ok too, we credit you half a cliq to use towards cliq’ing with someone else. Our pricing is $2.50 for the first message and you get a discount the more cliqs you buy.
Is there anything that’s toxic about your industry?
The dating industry is fascinating to me. I never thought I would be a part of it. Creating profiles on some of the dating platforms that are out there horrified me. But then again, Facebook kind of horrified me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m on Facebook, like the rest of the world, but I think if we are going to simplify people to stats and online habits we risk losing that very important spark that happens in friendship and most importantly in love.
How will your site convince the non-believers in online dating to migrate over to the movement?
That’s the funny part, we built this site for people who don’t date online! When we first started working on this, none of us had personal experience with online dating. We were all like, online dating? Ew. How can we make something cool that we would want to be on? Let’s make profiles a collage of images that you can design, rearrange and have fun with. Showing yourself in images is much closer to real life, you have to get a vibe from someone right? Life is not about multiple choice questions! On Dreamcliq, you can join, and just chill, or you can join and have a great time playing. It’s the one thing we get told over and over – how fun it is to build your profile and look at others. That, and how good it looks. Dreamcliq is pretty sexy as far as dating sites go.
What were the major “Do”s and “Don’t”s when laying the groundwork for the site?
DO watch and learn from all the other social platforms out there already – there’s a lot of great ground that’s been broken and amazing people making amazing things. DON’T make something we wouldn’t be psyched to see ourselves on.
What do you hope to provide your users with that they probably aren’t finding anywhere else?
I hope to provide our users with a way to meet people they are inspired by and feel connected to. I never understood how plugging in your stats and requirements before you’ve even met someone could ever be a good first step of a relationship. You first like people, yes, because you find them attractive, but people in the best relationships are attracted to each other for many more reasons than just their physical appearance, age, weight, and hobbies. It’s what is in people’s heads, hearts and souls that really makes relationships work, I’m not talking about a fun one night stand but really falling for someone. So we built something that we think helps you get to that yummy, juicy part faster.
Why create something new?
Because I was bursting from the seams dreaming about it, and everyone I spoke to about the idea loved it, from people who love online dating, to others who would never have imagined having an interest. We hope not just to be new, but to be better.
What is the worst online date you or someone you know has been on (if that’s not way too personal)?
My favorite story is a date a friend of mine went on with a guy who couldn’t stop talking about the metal plate he had in his head!
How do you think Dreamcliq would have helped/prevented that situation?
Well I think part of the problem is having things to talk about when you first meet a person. With the visual profiles on our site, you know right away if there is going to be stuff you connect on, it’s almost like the sneak-peek that let’s you skip the “getting-to-know-you” awkward first date, and allows you to cut to the I-know-I-already-kinda-like-you part.
What do you think the taboo is about online dating? Do you think it will ever completely disappear?
I think the taboo with online dating is that it’s for losers or sex – that’s why we are making it cool.
What elements would the ultimate Dreamcliq profile include?
There is no ultimate Dreamcliq profile. I love seeing how people shine in their own way on the site. People like to add things from their own image collections, from other websites, their social media, photos of themselves, things they do for a living, the movie they just saw, a pair of shoes they want…it’s just awesome! I mean I could sit here all day and list my favorite users on Dreamcliq because I just feel like I know them and they are so cool.
To sign up for Dreamcliq, head over to the website.