Hearts for smarts: A new dating app that puts brains before beauty

The Sapio app claims to make connections that are more than just skin deep.
(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

If you're turned on by intelligence, you're a sapiosexual.  

It's a term that's been making the rounds for a while but has gained currency along with the rise of the dating app. To many, it's a mite pretentious.

Still, there is new dating app that promises to help you make deeper connections based on intelligence. And the founders, who would assuage our pessimism, say it's much more than that as well.

Twins Kristin and Dan Tynski founded Sapio with their respective partners, Kelsey Libert and Nick Santillo. Their goal was to create an inclusive app that was less heteronormative and "focused more on the mind and the heart than simply on looks." Something that was important for them as members of the LGBTQ community.

They wanted too, it seems, to redefine the nettlesome term, sapiosexual, and help people connect on a deeper level. Tynski told HuffPo that "Sapiosexuals can't be simply defined as people who are only attracted to the highly intelligent. They're attracted to someone based on a matching level of intelligence, interests, conversation, drive, sense of humor." We all are, right? But Sapio claims to be "the only app that gets to the core of people through their lived experiences, heartfelt opinions or bold passions". Ultimately, Sapio promises to be as much about EQ (Emotional Quotient) as it is about IQ (Intelligence Quotient). A noble endeavour and maybe a welcome option for those looking for more than a warm body. Pessimism assuaging. But there are still photos, so appearance is not moot. Pessimism neutral.

The app itself is kind of like Tinder and OkCupid had a baby. You have to answer plenty of questions before you start swiping (there are 300 to choose from in over 20 categories). No one said forming real connections was easy. Frankly, the Q&A aspect of the app is a bit clunky and may frustrate users who just want to jump on some big old sexy brains, or hearts, as it were. But, if you want an "app with depth", this may be your techie matchmaker. The more you answer, the better your chances of finding like-minded folk.

(Source: Sapio)

It sounds like Sapio is really just using the buzzword sapiosexual as a springboard to attract those who identify as deeper creatures or smarty pantses. Their logo is a heart as the nucleus of the recognizable atomic symbol. "For many, defining oneself as sapiosexual has become statement against the current status quo of hookup culture and superficiality, where looks are prized above all else." To be fair, people are tired of just swiping and who doesn't want a real connection or witty banter?

Still, sapiosexual is like the term foodie. "Wait, you like delicious food!?" Oh my god, I like delicious food!"  Yes, there is a hierarchy of food worship, care with which food is prepared and how much space it takes in your life, but at the end of the day - everybody enjoys food. With the exception of like maybe three or four miserable people on the planet, everybody is a foodie. Dogs are foodies. And they eat their own poop. If you have a mouth, you like to eat. Also, yes, there is a foodie dating app. It's called Tender. Spoiler alert: it matches you with food.

At worst, there's a kind of perceived moral superiority that comes with claiming you're sapiosexual. You're above earthly forms. You could just date a brain. An actual pulsating brain. Or a sentient dump truck. That's how evolved you are. K, wiping spittle of chin. End of rant.

But as much as the term may rub people the wrong way, it rubs many the right way too. And now, they have an app to find each other. Love wins. Just in time for Valentine's Day. *he admitted through gritted teeth*