Here’s What Happened When We Went To An “Elite” Dating App’s Party
The League, a dating app dubbed “Tinder for elites,” threw an exclusive party in the Hamptons, because of course it did.
“Date intelligently!” proclaims The League, a new and highly selective dating app targeted at “elite singles” in San Francisco and New York. The League relies on LinkedIn data and “an advanced screening algorithm” to help determine who is accepted into the app and who stays on its extensive waitlist: Potential users are judged by their education and employment history in order to ensure they are “high-quality” enough to join the community of singles. (Once in the app, you can even further specify if you want the education level of your matches to be “highly selective” or merely “selective.”) The ideal user is sbitious, and successful, according to the app’s website.
On July 31, The League held an exclusive party at the Surf Lodge hotel in Montauk, New York, promising great cocktails and an even better sunset. (For the uninitiated, Montauk is a newly hip vacation destination town at the eastern tip of Long Island, and the Surf Lodge is at the center of its young, trendy scene.) We were invited to attend and cover the event as press and arrived via party bus, though the vast majority of people on the bus were not press, just eligible members of The League. Brett had been on the app for a few weeks, whereas Jarry had it for only a couple of days, and neither of us was sure exactly what to expect. Here’s what happened:
Boarding the party bus:
Brett: I went into this singles mixer open and optimistic, perhaps naive, about how the night would unfold – but I did vaguely know what to expect. An app marketing itself to
is going to attract a certain type of person, and I did not feel like that type of person whatsoever. I looked around the aisles and saw a sea of collar-popped finance/startup bros filling up the the seats and immediately picked up on the fact that I was in a different
than them. Although I’m usually quick to be social at events like these, I felt immediately more reserved and uncomfortable initiating conversations with the passengers around me. I didn’t feel like I belonged there. One of the first lines I casually eavesdropped in on from a user was:
“Wow, that girl is like a model, bro. Well, like, a pretend model.” He nudged a fellow League user and they chuckled together, flashing their Whitestrip-enhanced smiles. This was a bit of a foreshadowing of the rest of the evening for me, and only a taste of what was to come as we settled into our seats.
Jarry: When they told us the “party bus” was BYOB, some people decided to bring six-packs of beer, but I decided to bring low expectations. Unfortunately, my expectations were not low enough. Nothing I imagined could have prepared me for the actual hellhole that was this bus trip. First off, if I wanted to be surrounded by a sea of un-self-aware finance bros who live in Murray Hill for FIVE HOURS IN TRAFFIC, I would just move to Murray Hill. (I don’t live in Murray Hill because I’m not a masochist.) If I ever hear someone say “DUUUDE!” or “BROOO!” again, it Kalgoorlie hookup ads will be too soon.
Second, I have serious qualms about the lack of diversity on the bus (and at the party in general). There appeared to be only one other nonwhite person, but she was also press, so that doesn’t count. Yes, you are more than welcome to create a dating app for “the elite,” but not if it seems like “the elite” you are looking for consists almost exclusively of white people. This may come as a shock, but it is entirely possible to be a person of color and also highly educated and successful! This party tried as hard at being diverse as the finance bros on the bus did at talking about anything other than themselves. I’m sure you can guess how much that was.