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Contact exchange – bull’s eye heart. A future for love!

from Marten Steppat Back in the day. In the search for the love of your life you try out many things. Andrea Holthaus registers for this purpose again on this day at the partner exchange. Again, someone complains on the forum that the other person turned out to be a chat bot; a software-limited selection of sentences that tries to give meaningful answers based on keywords. A phenomenon that can now be found on practically all partner exchanges. Andreas’ heart beats faster: the person you called the day before has left her a message. On the basis of her experience, she notices immediately: His statements contradict each other. Again, she has found someone who makes up stories to seem more important. Finally he sent a picture of himself. She opens it. By chance, it is the same picture that her last conversation partner had sent to her. Only by meeting him did she find out that he was not the person in the picture. He had sent her a false picture to make her look more desirable. Disappointed, she shakes her head and closes the dating site. What if there was a platform where it was not possible to pretend to be someone else?


Quo vadis, love?


More than 8 million people are on the move on partner exchanges in Germany alone. And more and more people are willing to invest money in love this way. More than 2500 Internet platforms offer their services for this purpose. Many are specialized in a particular niche. Some services focus on love for life, others on love for one night. There are platforms that serve exclusively science fiction fans, others specifically target vegans or dog owners and lovers.


The singles exchanges use various strategies that promise a successful matchmaking with the dream partner: Matching of user data for as many matches as possible, locating potential dating partners in the vicinity immediately or offering communication to a desired partner as soon as both participants have indicated to the system that they like the profile picture of the other. Some of these methods use “gamification”: It is made easy for the users to perceive and try out their possibilities as playfully as possible, which quickly makes the use of the system pleasant and easy.

A business plan for love

Can love be planned? The conditions for this can at least be influenced positively. Andrea has always been able to network as well as matchmaking: a couple that once came together with her support can now look back on 25 years of partnership and is still happy today. She practised this for a long time in the form of personality coaching. However, it cannot program. But she has a vision, and for that vision she needs the technology. Andrea is looking for a team to turn her idea into reality. With professional support, she sets herself up.

Although she uses technology for her vision, she doesn’t want to leave her in charge: she relies on fewer algorithms and more human decision-making ability. Storytelling is also used, because stories connect. Technology should serve people, not the other way around. It is a business, but for her it is a child of love. She calls it “Direct hit heart.”


How is love calculated?


Algorithms can compare lists. How does that help us? Today we know that many similarities between two people can be beneficial for a long-term relationship. At the same time, it is the differences that appear particularly interesting and attractive in the short term. Computers can synchronize databases with millions of profile entries with each other worldwide in seconds. But no software can reliably predict whether two specific people will fall in love with each other. Moreover, whether people are objectively similar says little about whether they also feel similar. People who are looking for a partner like to set up criteria that their dream partners* have to fulfil. They usually consider these requirements to be essential for a successful partnership. Often, however, these guidelines proved to be completely unimportant for a harmonious coexistence. Much more serious are variables that only become apparent in the long term: How to deal with each other, communicate and solve conflicts. How to laugh, live and love together. No software can predict this.

Heart in motion

Today. Andrea enters her office, turns on her laptop and sets up her long to-do list. She makes contact with her team: The programmer from Southern Germany, the one from Vietnam, the assistant from Hamburg. It again has a long list of points that need to be worked through to ensure that everything runs smoothly. It opens the platform. The logo with the heart is your logo. She’s not here to find a partner. She already has. She is here to give the customers of her portal the opportunity to meet real people and to get to know various other offers around the topic of love.

Both the protection against fraud and the authenticity of the participants are important to “the matchmaker”. For a long time a concept was worked on, which should exclude that people unknowingly talk to a software (“chatbot”) instead of to another person. A concept that also aims to prevent people from using false images in order to appear in a better light in the short term. Her solution: Customers communicate via video when they want to flirt.

Love in transition

The future. Unwritten. Many people fear that modern technology is moving us further and further apart. Others dream of using technology in a way that brings us closer together again. Both are always possible. Andrea does not only dream, she realizes and develops the possibilities of how we can find each other. She believes that values such as love, peace and freedom should determine the future. And together we can achieve this.

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