About a year and a half ago I came back to NYC for six months determined to find love. But I had been living in Israel for 5+ years and really didn’t know where to start. Was it possible to order a good-looking Jewish guy who will know how to make me laugh and will agree to live in Israel by the time I planned to return during Passover?
I shared my concerns with friends who recommended a plethora of different dating apps that I ended up compiling a list. I was definitely intrigued and quite excited to enter this unknown world. But as fate would have it, the moment I was compelled to sign up on Tinder and the like, I met a guy.
Fast forward a year later and we are engaged and… I am living in New York. Funny how life has a way of surprising you.
My fiancé can write a book about his experiences with dating apps but what about me? Will I ever get to giggle over a dating-like app?
Luckily, those of us in a relationship now have Happy Couple. A “newlyweds game” that officially launches Valentine’s Day.
I spoke with Dr. Lonnie Barbach, head of content for the app, to get more insight into Happy Couple. Dr. Barbach is a renowned couple’s therapist and author of countless best-sellers on sex and relationships. She pioneered focus groups over forty years ago for non-orgasmic women, which successfully helped them explore issues with sexuality and relationships in order to achieve orgasms.
Happy Couple fell into her lap years later when she was looking to publish a “relationship field guide” filled with the tips she compiled over her many years of research and experience. When Happy Couple’s CEO, Julien Robert, shared his idea, Dr. Barbach was excited to get involved and use the app format instead.
Julien met his girlfriend on Tinder, and the two wanted an app to help with life after dating. They understood that all couples can benefit from an “anti app app” that promotes a deeper level of communication and connection in a fun, safe way.
My fiancé and I have been playing it for a few weeks now and it has already encouraged us to discuss new topics such as where we hope to live in ten years and if we want to share our bank accounts. But more importantly, we realized I feel I don’t get told that he “has the hots for me” enough while he thought he made it clear on a daily basis. The app encouraged a real conversation that wouldn’t have gone over so smoothly otherwise.
Dr. Barbach describes our experiences as created by “technology that is anti technology”, and she’s absolutely right. App use is increasingly linked to lower levels of empathy because it distracts us from engaging in interpersonal interactions, while Happy Couple encourages us to put the phone down and have a real conversation!
Before I let the sex and relationship expert go, I had to get some advice regarding what makes a happy couple, besides playing the app of course 😉
Dr. Lonnie Barbach’s wisdom for couples:
- Conflict comes from how you view your differences. For example, your partner can be seen as fun-loving or irresponsible. If you view the upside of those differences, appreciate them, and bring what is missing into the relationship rather than trying to change your partner, you will be happier together. You do change each other as you grow together, but it has to be through collaboration and celebration of the upsides of your differences.
- Listen more than you talk. Focus on understanding what your partner is saying rather than on making your own point.
- Assume nothing. Be curious rather than furious. You have to ask for what you need and ask for clarifications.
- Presume innocence. If you are hurt by your partner, presume it is not from malice and you can then resolve anything.
Join the 15,000 daily users on Happy Couple this Valentine’s Day! Relationships will never be the same, that’s for sure 🙂