Most of us have been there: glassy eyes, robotically sweeping left to right (or in some desperate cases, right, right, to the right!), hoping for a connection that goes beyond a dry pickup line. Wish there was a way to cut to the chase? Enter ilios, a new dating app that promises better matchmaking with new features, such as compatibility scores organized by lifestyle preferences, numerology, and astrology.
To understand how it all works, we spoke to ilios COO Jill Fletcher and board member and investor Marion Mariathasan to get the inside scoop.
Where did the idea for the app come from?
Mariathasan: The founder of Ilios, my brother, divorced a few years ago. He’s in his 40s and trying to get back into the dating scene and I feel like most of the swipers he was on for dating apps – there didn’t seem to be much depth or substance [with them]. Not to mention all the other dating apps, but he just felt like it was more superficial, right? You look at photos and a description and just swipe. With ilios, you get compatibility ratings. An overall score, an astrological compatibility score, a numerology compatibility score, and then a lifestyle score.
How does the matchmaking feature work?
Fletcher: Let’s say you’re at a bar with some girlfriends and you’ve had enough of some of the well-known apps and you’re tired. You give your phone to a friend and now he controls everything. Instead of those cumbersome overhead of physically dropping your phone, you can instead invite them to be your “matchmaker”. Then they could view your profile, see who you could potentially connect with, and then make recommendations. If your best friend lives across the country, they can come in and help spice up your profile writing or put in some more flattering photos, things like that.
Do you believe compatible charts play a key role in relationships?
Mariathasan: There is this compatibility that astrology has already brought to light. We just take those variables and do the matching based on that.
What is your background in astrology and numerology? Do you both use it in your daily life or is it just something fun?
Mariathasan: Coming from Sri Lanka, it was around us all the time. Some people take it to extremes – for example, I literally know people who won’t get married unless the date and numbers all line up. I know people who won’t buy houses, cars or big purchases unless the numbers line up. So taking that as context, the way I live my life is that I don’t look at every person like, “Hey, what sign are you?” But eventually with co-workers and friends or whatever, there’s something that comes to light when you’re like, “Oh my God, that person is an Aries!” No wonder I get along very well with them.
Fletcher: I’m kind of in the same boat as Marion. I’m not in the dating business, but I find an interesting trigger when I find those signs that I work better with or get along with better. I think it’s really funny and it seems a lot of people ask this question early in their love life with their partner in terms of sign and compatibility. I think it’s quite interesting and remarkable how much this has come up.
What do you hope ilios will become?
Fletcher: It almost seems foolish to just browse the other apps. So if you’re connected by something, like an algorithm on the backend that calculates some of the inputs you put in, various questions we’ve asked, and astrology and numerology, then hopefully that’ll be a bit more of a deeper connection point.