MINNEAPOLIS — Online dating has become an increasingly popular way to find relationships, whether they be serious or casual.
But of course, meeting a stranger on the internet isn't always safe. Online dating can be sketchy, but one Minnesota woman says it doesn't have to be.
"You have 126 million singles just in the U.S. alone," said Kailen Rosenberg. "Over half of them are online dating."
Rosenberg is the creator of The Lodge Social Club, an app that first launched last year but will re-launch on Valentine's Day. It's an app that's designed to keep users safe through an in-depth vetting process.
"It's about cleaning up what I think is a very broken dating industry both on and offline," Rosenberg explained.
It includes an identity check called the "Real Reveal" test, which involves 86 questions. The answers help match you with people you may be compatible with.
"They dive into the soul, the ego, the mind, the body," she said. "We worked for nine months really passionately and diligently on creating a test and an algorithm that would take the truth of who people are in love and when it comes to relationships and the readiness for love."
But here's the most unique part - you have to pass a criminal background check.
"We've had two men show up beautifully, answer all the questions beautifully, send beautiful photos of them with their children and they had some pretty scary backgrounds and one had a triple felony," said Rosenberg.
The result of this process, she hopes, will be a more honest dating climate.
"You're not going to have fake profiles," she said. "You're not going to have married people kind of creeping around, posing as single because perhaps they're not happy in their marriages."
Those two men were banned from the Lodge, but not everyone will be. Even our cupid has a past.
"I've had misdemeanors," Rosenberg explained. "My Lord, you go back to when I was in my twenties and didn't want to pay my parking tickets. We understand that people are human and they deserve second chances, so we really do dive into the stories behind what is sent to us and what is flagged by the company that we are working with."
Right now, the app is offering the first 30 days for free. After that, a basic membership costs $45 a month. It includes the background check and "Real Reveal" test.
At the Platinum level, which is $60 a month, you get invitations to in-person social meet-ups where you walk in knowing everyone is vetted.
To learn more about the app, click here.
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