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The dating app challenge: Wyldfire

By Dana Varinsky
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In our current issue, we’ve rounded up new, alternative ways to date in the city, from literary speed dating to conversing with paper bags over our heads. It's tough to date in this city, and it would be cruel to send you out to flirt without first making ourselves the guinea pigs, so six single Time Out New York staffers signed up for new apps and tried to make love (or at least like) happen. Each day this week, we’re bringing you our experiences. So far, we've tried JSwipeDistinc.ttGlimpse and Hinge. Next up: Photo Editor Melissa Sinclair tries Wyldfire.

There is nothing 'wyld' about Wyldfire. The app mostly functions like Tinder (with swiping), except that men have to be invited by female friends to participate. And for some reason everyone's main photos are black and white. Ooh, artsy.

Sure, the idea is great—weeding out the creeps and putting the swiping (and the power) into the woman's hands—but it turns out that means the app just showed me the same 30 guys (who all look like they're in the same frat) over and over. The fact that all the men are prescreened by their female friends makes Wyldfire very exclusive, which I guess is supposed to be comforting. But the swiping became totally repetitive, and not in an "I'm in a Tinder swiping trance and just accidentally swiped left on the cutest guy I've seen, my love life is over!" kind of way. It was more like, "Oh hey Brad*, I haven't seen you in 12 hours. Let me decide whether or not I like your face AGAIN".

I attempted to invite some of my male friends, a few of which begged to be added, but the app wouldn’t let me input names from my contacts, which made the whole inviting component difficult. It’s possible I'm like a grandma using her Jitterbug for the first time and just couldn't figure it out, but the app cut me off from browsing until I invited more friends (which I haven't). Plus, even if you do find someone cute, you can’t see who likes you back unless they send you a message. What a fun game, right? And to top it off, each profile has a "like ratio," which showed me how many guys I like and how many liked me back. Currently my like ratio is 140%, which I believe is mathematically impossible. But again, Jitterbug. For my swiping needs, I think I'll stick to Tinder—to find love, obviously.

*No names have been changed for the purpose of this post. 

—Written by Melissa Sinclair

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