You’re 21Pictures Away From A Valentine With New Site

Make this Valentine’s Day magical – you’re 21Pictures away from a Valentine with new site 

At last, a dating site you’ll love has come along. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we would like to introduce our single ladies to the newly UK-launched 21Pictures, which is based on several decades of behavioural research on how people make dating decisions.

Cupid’s night-out is one month away, which gives you ample time to sign up free and kick-start your love life in 2015.

So what makes this dating site different from others out there? For starters, it takes a completely different approach to psychology compared to Tinder, HAPPN and other GPS-tech enabled apps. We’ll take you through the gist.

How it works.

In the words of its founder and team – science writer Michael Bond, Arianna Reiche, Sam Griggs and Shed Collective21Pictures is built to be as simple as pie.

Instead of words, 21Pictures prompts you to describe yourself entirely in pictures. We’re not talking corporate headshots, shirtless selfies or the trite I-once-petted-a-Tiger-in-Thailand portrait – but pictures that give people a sense of what you’re like. Imagine a collage or mood board of your life, and you’ve got the right idea.

The sign-up process is quick (check out my sample profile purely for research purposes – yeah, right – for your viewing pleasure and amusement) with a short questionnaire and uploading area to top off your profile with pictures much like you do throughout the day on Instagram (you know who you are).

You can arrange, re-size and filter your photos the way you want. If you find someone who strikes your fancy, you can start a conversation through one of their picture’s threads. This saves you from the oh-so-awkward introductions on other apps since you’ll already have something in the photos to talk about.

Why it works.

“Our premise, derived from basic psychology,” Bond says, “is that the key to finding a good date is to use your intuition – after all, this is how we do it in the real world. Pictures force you to use your intuition online the way you would offline, since they carry information about people that is hard to capture in words or algorithms.”

New London based dating site - 21 Pictures

New dating site in London

For example, the site only lets users see a limited number of matches at any one time (yes, you guessed it, 21 to be exact). The aim is to reduce the disruptive effect on our decision-making of having too many choices. This is based on solid psychology.

Bond sums it up well on the blog. Dating is all about decision-making, and it’s one area where going with your gut makes more sense than analyzing countless options and complexities with your brain.

Think about it. A friend invites you to a party. You walk into the room and you see, say, twenty guys or girls who you assume are available.

Bond asks, “how long will it take you to size them up and decide which of them you’d like to get to know better, based on how they look, what they are wearing, the way they’re carrying themselves or using their hands, and so on? Ten seconds? Twenty?”

“As a general rule, psychologists agree that it’s best to use your emotion-driven, intuitive mind in complex situations when you’re trying to make sense of a lot of information, or when you’re on familiar ground and can draw on your experience,” explains Bond.

Get to work.

What have you got to lose? Go ahead, sign up. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a Valentine’s Day card or even a slightly deflated crinkly heart-shaped balloon this year? Hell, in this day and age, a text with more than a few abbreviations is enough to keep your heart fluttering with enough encouragement to wait for The One, which, chances are, is probably in one of those 21 pictures.



Megan Broussard

Megan Broussard is a storyteller from New York City. She credits her talent for balancing big hand gestures and a glass of red on her Cajun roots. When she isn’t covering women in career/business, fashion, lifestyle and culture, she’s playing with her pup – the inspiration for her doggy daycare business.