It’s hard enough surviving the world of online dating with just two-people, and now we’re adding four people into the mix? Oy vey. But what’s not so “oy vey” is the day when two healthcare professionals want to do more than attend to people’s medical needs…now they want to attend their dating habits. That’s where Julie Griggs and Danielle Dietzek come into the picture with their new online dating app, Fourplay.
Dietzek, who lived in Manhattan, and Griggs, who was in her final year as a PA student, was about to start a six-week clinical rotation in New York. But, excitingly enough for Griggs, New York offered something more than what New Jersey previously did for her: a new dating scene.
Yet Griggs wasn’t the only one “drained” by the Tinder-esq and “swipe right” robotic nature of the dating world. So, to spice things up a bit, the idea of a dating app that allowed for the creation of a “joint dating profile” and a “double date” with other singles was born.
In other words, people could still hang out together, but also be social with other people, so it’s less awkward and confusing.
Obviously, we couldn’t get enough, so we reached out to both co-founders and had a chance to speak with them about their genius idea to change the dating world.
Grit Daily: You two had your own adventures before Fourplay. Share those.
Julie Griggs: My adventures before Fourplay were very unfourplaylike. They consisted mostly of studying around-the-clock as an undergraduate at Penn State University (riveting, I know). They then progressed to “real world” adventures when I started responding to 911 calls as an EMT and working for a bone marrow donor center in Manhattan, which was awesome!
My dreams came true the day I received a call from Rutgers University in October of 2015 accepting me into the Physician Assistant (PA) Program, and I felt that everything I had been working towards was finally coming to fruition. Little did I know that becoming a PA student would be the catalyst for a double dating app called Fourplay…
Danielle Dietzek: Believe it or not, before Fourplay, business, tech, and app development were foreign languages to me. Not dating, I knew that one fluently. I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) and my experience was contained to being a primary care provider and a floor nurse (RN) on a maternity unit at a large hospital in Manhattan. I spent my days off getting Qi Gong massages, dog walking (for extra cash, but mainly for cuddles), and traveling the world from Bali to Belize to Portugal to Prague. It’s been six years in NYC and counting, after graduating from Penn State in 2013.
GD: For the uninitiated, compare Fourplay to the current dating apps that seem to be flooding app stores
JG: Truth be told, Fourplay is similar to what’s already out there while simultaneously being absolutely revolutionary.
The Tech Behind Its Algorithm
What we mean is that the technology of online dating, swiping/scrolling, and matching is not unique to our app, but double dating with your other single friend(s) most certainly is, and it opens the door into a type of socializing that singles are craving. Trust us, we know, we are those singles.
You Can Bet Your $0 All Day
DD: Oh, not to mention, it’s totally free.
Time to Double-Team
Different than the other apps which typically facilitate a match between two singles, Fourplay allows singles to team up with a friend, create a team profile, and match with other pairs. Users swipe through other teams on their individual devices, giving the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”
If all four singles give the “thumbs up” to one another, it’s a match. A match opens up a group chat where all four users can enjoy the banter that ensues. It really takes the pressure off when planning a date for four rather than two, and the lack of small talk both on the app and on the date is totally refreshing. What’s more, users get to be on an unlimited number of teams.
Supporting Diversity and Equality
Also, Fourplay allows for same-sex and coed teams. Any and every type of person is welcome!
Fourplay is safer, less awkward, and more FUN than what’s out there, and it is a totally unique way of dating. The current dating scene requires singles to meet total strangers, often in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Not to mention, it can be really awkward!
Stop Being a Creeper on Dates..It’s Safer for Women
Fourplay allows singles to spend time with their friends while simultaneously dating another party of two. That alone makes the date more comfortable than it ever typically would be.
Fourplay is also different in that its cofounders are two female healthcare providers with a core mission of enabling users to make healthy, informed, and safe relationship choices. That being said, we are in the process of finalizing a partnership with a revolutionary health organization that will allow us to be at the forefront of socially responsible online dating.
We know that digital dating isn’t a novel concept, but we are confident that Fourplay shakes things up in a world where being single can be daunting and quite the bore.
GD: Why wade into what looks like such a crowded market?
JG: We are totally aware that the online dating market is bustling with tons of other apps and websites. The reason why we decided to join the industry is because we tried our idea firsthand— a process we called “babe-a-testing.” As you’d imagine, we had an absolute blast double dating, and it was then that we knew our app would be a valuable addition to the dating world.
We don’t consider ourselves another “swipe-right” dating app, we look at Fourplay as a safer, less awkward, and more fun way of getting to meet people. By giving our users the chance to match as teams, Fourplay provides people with the opportunity to go out in a group setting and see who vibes with whom and what happens naturally when four people meet.
We’ll be honest; we know that singles aren’t just using one app at a time. They bounce around, uploading new photos to this one and giving their profiles a makeover on that one (again, take our word for it because we are those singles). Fourplay is an alternative, not a replacement, and we know from the feedback we have gotten that singles are excited to have a fresh option in a stale dating scene.
Fourplay also offers a solution for people who are just out of long-term relationships or those who are divorced or widowed, who may be naive to and turned off by the world of online dating. We give those people the chance to ease back into being single again. It’s way less intimidating and dreadful when you don’t have to navigate uncharted waters alone
GD: What’s one conventional wisdom about using dating apps that’s just plain wrong?
DD: You hear people constantly saying: “In this day and age, dating has never been easier.” Now that is just plain wrong.
Back in the olden days, dating was a much better experience. For one, you knew that you would have something in common with the person, because your friends already did the vetting and set you up. Alternatively, you may have met at a local spot or perhaps met at work, so you knew you lived in the same neighborhood, liked the same cafes, shared similar interests, possibly had the same profession. There was common ground. Grasping for talking points wouldn’t be such a risk.
These days the awkwardness is almost inevitable, save that one date out of 15 where you find a good rhythm. The person is a total stranger, vetted only by their chosen profile pictures and what can be found about them on the internet (which can be impossible sometimes by the way).
In today’s dating scene, meeting up for a date can also be scary! Sharing your location with a friend or faking a call so you don’t get walked home by a creep is unfortunately the norm.
Lastly, there is such a large number of users on the dating apps. Many singles report feeling like just a number. If the date wasn’t particularly fun, it’s easy to just move on and keep swipin’. It was totally easier to be single way back when!
That’s why we feel really good about Fourplay— because even if you don’t meet your soulmate that night, you’ll never feel like you wasted your time when you are with a friend!
GD: What’s your ideal double date?
JG: A bar with activities – beer pong, ping pong, shooting pool, etc. Gives everyone a chance to loosen up and provides a natural environment for some playful flirting where you can see if someone can laugh at themselves/is a good sport.
DD: Comedy show!! Get a booth, order a bunch of shareable plates, and laugh the night away.