I tried a new Melbourne-centric dating app and here’s how it went


The app that’s about actually going on dates.

When you’re single, something you’re often implored to do (usually by happily coupled up people or elderly relatives) is to “Put yourself out there more!!”.

And while I appreciate that it’s factually correct that the more dates you go on, the more likely you are to meet someone you genuinely click with, what these well-wishers fail to recognise is how hard it can be to actually tee up dates these days.

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Anyone even vaguely familiar with dating apps knows that many people use them because they’re bored – it’s an easy way to pass the time while waiting for a tram or lying in bed nursing a debilitating hangover.

But because so many of us use them in a non-committal way (myself included), moving a tepid online conversation into the real world can seem difficult, and often pointless. Countless matches are languishing in this limbo, with neither party ready to make the move and tee up a real-life date.

But a new Melbourne-centric dating app is looking to change this. Boop is an app focused on arguably the most crucial (and generally the most enjoyable) component of dating: actually going on dates. The premise is simple yet effective. Melburnians use the app to create dates at some of Melbourne’s most loved venues, and the partner venues give you 15 per cent off your bill.

The impact of this is twofold – it gets us back out and dating after years of lockdowns, and it breathes life back into our hospitality industry. And it’s not just for single people either; you can also use it as a couple or to plan dates with friends. To learn more about how it works, I downloaded Boop and went on a date with my good friend, Sav, because friendship should be valued as highly as romantic love, right?

How it works

After downloading the app and creating your profile, it’s up to you to decide how you want to use it. If you’re looking to meet new people, you can start browsing and, hopefully, matching people. Once you’ve matched with someone, you move over to the inbox where you start chatting. The best part is that when you’re chatting with your match, there’s a blue button at the bottom of the chat that says ‘plan a date’.

It’s a smart idea, and it encourages users to take things offline quicker than they would on other apps. I decided to use the app to organise friend dates because it can be hard to make one-on-time for the most important people in your life when you’re balancing a busy job and all the other demands of modern life. The ability to lock in a date through the app and prioritise it the same way you would a romantic date appeals to me.

If you’re using it in this way, when you’re prompted to fill in the ‘who are you interested in meeting page’, you can select ‘existing friends and family’. By default, this will turn off discoverability so you won’t be seen by other users on the app unless you choose to share your profile directly (but you can turn it back on at any time). Once Sav had made her Boop profile, all she had to do was share it with me so we could match and create our date.

There’s a wide array of partner venues you can book dates at – pubs, bars, burger joints, fine dining – and once you’ve booked your date in, you can review the details in the ‘my dates’ section. If you were using the app as a single person, this function would be particularly useful.

You could even plan out your dates with a selection of matches over a few weeks – once you’re both booked in and can see the reservation on the app, it’s much less likely for someone to flake last minute.

How it went

We chose to have dinner at State of Grace, a venue in the CBD with an impressive rooftop (the ideal environment for gazing at the city skyline while sipping cocktails, a real Sex and the City moment). When you turn up, it’s treated the same as a regular reservation – the only difference is the lovely 15 per cent discount on your bill.

We settled in for a night of drinking and eating, ordering more than we could probably stomach and speaking at a million miles an hour. Spending quality time with Sav reminded me how important it is to nurture our friendships in the same way we nurture our romantic relationships. Often we meet up with friends in a group, and while that’s fun, it can be hard to have a proper catch up with each person.

Excellent company aside, it was great to be in a bustling restaurant and see Melbourne’s CBD slowly coming back to life. Post-pandemic, Melbourne’s hospitality industry still needs our support – after all, they’ve had a particularly rough few years. Making dates through Boop can help you do this, and get you used to socialising and dating again (I know I can’t be the only one feeling a little rusty on this front).

Overall, the whole process – from downloading Boop to organising the date with Sav via the app to having a very fun cocktail-fuelled evening together – was incredibly easy, and the app’s interface was a breeze to navigate. The added bonus? Seeing that 15 per cent discount when it came time to settle the bill.

You can find out more about Boop here, and you can download it on the Play Store or on the App Store.

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