The app that rates your dates with red flags and green flags
Is Bench Warmer Black Mirror-essque or genius?
image Renell Medrano / Refinery29 for Getty Images
words Eve Walker
If you’re extremely online (which I can maybe assume, if you’re reading this), maybe you remember the guy who sent out a participatory survey to all the people he had dated, asking them to rate him and give feedback. Or the woman who created an exit survey for people who ghosted her. More and more, there’s been discourse over the ‘ick’, ‘red flags’, ‘green flags’, and even ‘pink flags’. Data-driven dating, categorised courting… how hot is that?
A new app called Bench Warmer is capitalising on this new era of calculating our conquests, for better or worse. The app allows you to track the red and green flags of the people you date. It’s hot girl-slash-feral girl summer I guess, and time is money.
Developed by entrepreneur and founder of startup studio Hackathon Entertainment, Dominco Norton, he created Bench Warmer for users to rate their love interests and check-in with themselves on their priorities, wellbeing and dating patterns regularly. It does sound eerily similar to the first Black Mirror episode Nosedive, in which society is status obsessed and everyone constantly rates each other. The ratings are kept private, however, thankfully!
Bench Warmer is a bit like a personal dating diary, or maybe more like a confidential dating appraisal. Log the times your love interest forgot their wallet on the first date, or the way they screamed bloody murder at someone for cutting in front of them in the queue at Tesco. Equally, perhaps you’re starting to self-sabotage, and are convincing yourself that you have the ick.
On the app, when a person you’re dating does something you like, you add a point, and for something you don’t like, you subtract. At the end, you’re left with a score.
As you can imagine, an app like this could have its uses early on in the dating cycle. Maybe if you’re in the talking stage with a few people, and you need to decide who to actually meet up with IRL.
There have been other similar apps, such as the 2018 hit Do I Date (which has since dropped off the face of the earth), Rate my Date and Plum Dating. On these app,s you can rate your date a number of stars, and leave honest feedback. Akin to a dating version of Glass Door, this information then becomes available on a database for other people to vet their dates. Maybe a great idea in theory, especially for women and non-binary people worried about meeting men they don’t know, but there have been concerns that it’s a breach of privacy. There also isn’t yet a singular popular app that enough people use for it to be effective.
If you’re getting on Bench Warmer, just make sure you delete it after you become serious, or risk a Ross and Rachel style break-up with the infamous Rachel v Julie list.