These 5 Boston Startups Make Dating Feel Less Like Torture

You know what time of year it is by the flood of red rose floral arrangements streaming through your office. I won't rub it in. Instead, I'm here to help with a list of Boston startups that promise to pull you out of your romantic rut.

This Valentine's Day, you may not have a significant other with whom you can sip champagne and down heart-shaped bonbons. But that's OK. Put down the bottle of wine you picked up for your personal pity party and check out these local startups that could make finding a mate a lot less miserable.


Aste wants to prevent you from dating sketchy and potentially dangerous people. The startup offers a full-service team of investigators who will search the depths of the internet for you to verify who you're dating isn't secretly someone else, in addition to digging up dirt on them.

Give the team the name, phone number, location and any other information you know about the person in question. Within 24 hours, they’ll come back to you with a full report on the individual that includes: a full name, age, sex offender status, major arrests, social media profiles, work history, interests and whatever else they can find in the public domain. For each report, Aste charges $39.95, but the venture also offers package deals if you're looking for intel on multiple people.


Cheers seems like the lovechild of Grouper and Tinder Social. Users who are going out for the night can see all the other groups of friends heading out in their city through the app. They can connect with each other, meet up at a mutual location and share a free first round of drinks. If all goes to plan, friendships will be made and maybe some sparks will fly.


Dating doesn’t stop once you both swiped right. It’s a continuous process of evaluating potential suitors and how they make you feel. So that’s where Evolve, which provides machine learning-powered dating advice, comes in.

The app helps you reflect on your dates (did you feel he was trustworthy when he kept checking his phone?), pinpoint your dating patterns (do you keep dating the same kind of schmuck?) and ultimately learn to make smarter decisions when it comes to your love life (no, you don’t want to date the guy who takes three days to text you back). The startup was recently named as part of Techstars Boston’s 2017 cohort, and its app is up on the App Store for free.

Jess Meet Ken

Based on how the founders met (a friend introduced them), Jess Meet Ken lets women endorse men as dating-material, creating a strong pool of prospects for female users. The startup was a 2014 MassChallenge finalist and it pivoted slightly back in 2015, when it ditched its web-based services to develop an app with a user experience similar to other popular dating apps, like Tinder.

It did, however, maintain its original premise of curating a safe dating environment full of men for whom other women can vouch. It’s free to download on the App Store.

Meet Me Outside

Opposites attract… but not always. Meet Me Outside is an app that connects active, adventure-loving individuals with potential mates who are living a similar lifestyle. The thinking behind it is that having a mutual interest in health and wellness could be the bond that brings singles together.

As a user, you get seven matches with other active singles each day. And if you’re someone who gets stumped at planning excursions, the app also gives you date suggestions based on your personal preferences. It’s currently available for free on iOS, but it’s coming to Google Play soon.

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