Tim Jones

In the late 90s, online dating was expected to become a cyber dystopia for weirdos and burnouts who couldn’t get a date in the ‘real world’. And while it still has its issues, hooking up over the web has become something not many of us expected it to be –normal. But rather than getting down and digital with ‘coolguy2000’ who you met in a Green Day chat room, today’s virtual date is conducted through matchmaker websites like OKCupid and mobile apps such as Tinder. With their explosion in popularity the market of dating websites and mobile apps has become saturated, which makes finding the right one almost as difficult as finding the one.

Here at oncirculation we care as much about your hearts as we do about your samples. To find out how one navigates through the world of swiping, poking, liking, matching all at light-speed rates of rejection, we contacted Charlotte Lyell, creator of a ‘geologists only’ dating app, and asked about her experience with online dating:

“I’d been online dating for years, drifting from one app to the next… I told myself that if I just kept looking, I’d eventually find the right dating service for me. There were a couple that I really liked, including one I was using for about a year but it didn’t work out. Anyway, it all culminated on a business trip when I got blind drunk and downloaded a bunch of apps all in one night. I’ve been between apps ever since.”

Feeling dismayed with her online encounters, Charlotte decided to make up an app for those with a very specific interest, Geology. When asked why geologists require a separate corner of cyber space to themselves, Charlotte replied:

“Dating can consume a lot of time and most people expect a quick response. But geologists are different; abstract concepts like ‘tomorrow’ and ‘next week’ are meaningless to us. A week, a year, a million years –they’re all relatively short periods of time. Also, most of my clothes were bought at a Kathmandu sale and while most people think wearing cargo pants and hiking boots everywhere is tacky, geologists appreciate the practical aspects.”

The app itself, called Gneiss2MeetU, has several unique features you won’t find in typical online mediums, including the ability to reject anyone who doesn’t wear polo fleece and an instant match up if you have the same favourite dinosaur.

In science we are all faced with things we don’t understand and often, after much struggling, we will fail. Over time, it becomes easy to lose hope in our scientific endeavours and the same is true for love. But Gneiss2MeetU offers a new method, an avenue of inquiry that might just work for you, so what do you have to lose? As George Harrison wrote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.”