As the dating world becomes more and more digital, tech innovators are looking for ways to connect singles and build successful relationships.
John McEntee, the former director of presidential personnel under President Trump, recalled having a difficult time trying to connect with fellow conservatives in a big blue state and wanting to create a solution to his problem.
“So I’m from Southern California. Everyone says, ‘How could you live there?’” McEntee said in an appearance on “Mornings with Maria” Thursday. “Some of the most conservative people I know live there, we’re just having trouble finding each other because of the cultural pressure. So if you’re in New York, L.A., D.C., pretty much any major city in this country, you just kind of have to hide your beliefs. We want somewhere where you can be yourself openly, where everyone is kind of like you.”
Enter, The Right Stuff: a dating app for conservatives. Six weeks since its launch, the platform has seen 40,000 downloads and 5,000 active users, according to co-founder McEntee.
NON-WOKE DATING SITE, BACKED BY PETER THIEL, LAUNCHING SOON
McEntee, along with his former Trump administration colleagues Daniel Huff and Isaac Stalzer, received financial backing for the idea from tech billionaire Peter Thiel. He told host Maria Bartiromo that the platform helps singles avoid what can be “the biggest deal-breaker” in a relationship.
“The biggest deal-breaker right now when it comes to dating is political affiliation. That’s just because of how the country is. In the past, it used to be something like religion, and there’s a dating app for almost every group,” McEntee explained. “Until now, there wasn’t one for conservatives, so we’re just serving that market. Everybody’s really excited and all types of dating are allowed… Some casual, some more formal. Obviously, people are dating with intention.”
The Right Stuff arted off operating on an invite-only structure, reaching out to “a few thousand” conservative influencers to join. Today, current users can invite their friends to join and anyone can visit their website to sign up, but only after a vetting process.
“We’re leaving it up to them to find their friends and their colleagues that would be good matches, and it’s growing from there,” McEntee said. “Someone more moderate could be allowed on, someone more conservative. I think now, because of the way the country is, you’re not going to be romantically involved with someone that sees the world totally different than you.”
“Not to mention, conservatives can’t be themselves openly because of the hostility we face,” the co-founder continued, “so we’re putting everyone in one place.”
The verification process could be completed within a day “if your intentions are good,” McEntee claimed.
“Sometimes we’ll have you reach out on social media if we think something looks off, but people get in pretty quickly,” he said. “The app is free to use and you can download it on the App Store.”
After receiving some media backlash that there weren’t enough women on the platform, McEntee said on “Mornings with Maria” that their gender and age ratios are “close” to half.
“The average age right now is between 23 and 35. So it’s a younger demographic we started with, and it’s growing from there,” McEntee said. “Obviously, conservatives are a little older, a little more male-dominated, but we have this as close to [a] 50:50 ratio as possible.”
The co-founder encouraged conservative romantics who want “a normal dating experience” to give The Right Stuff a try.
“We really emphasize just getting out on real dates. We’re trying to get you off of the app,” McEntee said. “We have a feature where you can post a date, see who’s interested. We’re just trying to get people out, get them dating, sort of like the traditional experience.”
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