Are You Cool Enough is Criteria for New Dating App – The League

gorgeous man and woman wearing sunglasses

Congratulations, Ivy League snobs! This is your lucky day!

To avoid the proletariat, the hoi-polloi, and the riff-raff that you find on Tinder, Amanda Bradford just raised $2.1 million for “The League,” which is like Tinder for elites.

“Those accepted into The League get one “ticket” they can give to another single friend, and about 50% of The League’s users were referred by another member. All other singles have to wait in a virtual line and hope they’re top-notch enough to join The League’s elite pool of prospects. Lawyers, doctors, and tech executives frequent the app.”

To be fair, if I were single, I’d probably be on there. I have more trouble with looks-based dating apps and texting as a primary form of communication than I do with intelligent, accomplished people looking to date amongst themselves.

The holy grail everyone is trying to crack is how to have a “curated” dating site or matchmaking site with only the “good” people on it. Nobody’s come close.

Of course, one of my big messages is that you’re limiting your dating pool when you elevate education, background and work experience, which say very little about who makes for the best partners.

“Unlike Hinge and Tinder, The League relies more on LinkedIn than Facebook to determine who is up to snuff. Bradford says she and her friends frequently LinkedIn-stalk dates before meeting them for coffee to make sure they aren’t scary and that their goals align. The acceptance algorithm that The League uses scans the social networks to ensure applicants are in the right age group and that they are career-oriented. That doesn’t mean they have to be Ivy graduates or work for a big-name firm. But they should have accomplished something in their 20s.”

Yeah, by that standard, I probably wouldn’t have even qualified. My bachelors from Duke would be invalidated by the fact that I was a penniless screenwriter, selling hair restoration products over the phone in my late 20’s. Sucks for me.

Listen, I’ve been in the dating business since my early 30’s. And the holy grail everyone is trying to crack is how to have a “curated” dating site or matchmaking site with only the “good” people on it. Nobody’s come close. Big dating sites are filled with losers. Niche sites are so small that they barely warrant a membership. And, of course, two people from Yale aren’t actually more compatible than if she went to Yale and he went to the University of Maryland. They just think they are. They, too, will learn the hard way.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

Join our conversation (37 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Well, I am an Ivy League grad but I have never seen it as something special.

    In any event, I would certainly not be on there because I don’t appreciate the snobbiness of it all.   I think it reeks of elitism and I don’t see how the type of school you graduated from or the type of job you have has anything to do with  how compatible you are to another.  And, while there is nothing necessarily wrong with it, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.    

    1. 1.1

      You’re really telling us that you treat Ivy Leaguers exactly the same as people who dropped out of community college?

      I almost don’t believe it.

      I have worked for and with too many Ivy Leaguers, and have always found them to be very insular and cliquish; you’re either one of them or you’re not.  

      1. 1.1.1

        BOB, kudos for your ability to diplomatically ‘out’ yet another internet poser. Too many out there. Now, moving on ..  

      2. 1.1.2


        Yes. I do not treat people any differently based on their education and even when dating, I don’t even consider it (as long as he has graduated high school –  my ex husband was a high school graduate but was a graduate of at trade school).

        To make this huge assumption about me just based on the school I attended says more about you and AAork than it does me.   It reeks of your personal issues that you are projecting onto me especially  since you know nothing else about me or my life.        

        1. AllHeart81

          It’s a bit like reverse snobery, attacking Stacy and suggesting that she couldn’t possibly be telling the truth about herself.

          I don’t have an Ivy league education, or even a completed college education. But I have dated a few Ivy league men – (And not because I was seeking out to date men with ivy league educations – it just worked out that way.) Ivy League men are regular men. They might be more successful in term of career. But they have the same weaknesses,strengths and quirks like any other man of any other educational background. They very well may be brilliant in their field, but that’s about it. Otherwise, they are just regular guys.

        2. Adreana

          People like Bob and AAORK are what I call “pseudo humble”. They have a cliques of their own bonding over how fake and “snobby” everyone else is.

    2. 1.2
      Pol E Anna

      The reality is the elites of the world have always used their social networks to pair their offspring up with potential spouses from families of equal or greater wealth, so as to make their wealth grow. This is nothing new. It’s just a modern version of the same idea.

  2. 2

    Elitism aside, in the Great Venn Diagram of Life, I would tend to think that the overlap between “cares enough about education to limit oneself to Ivy League grads only” and “cares little enough about below-surface-level qualities to use a Tinder-alike service” would represent a pretty small market.

    You want to limit yourself to people of a  certain degree of intelligence and  education?   Spend two seconds and scan  each profile for  spelling and grammar errors.   It’s not like illiterate people are going out of their way to hide it.   Ignorant folks tend to wear their ignorance on their sleeves.

    1. 2.1

      But is someone ignorant because they can’t spell or have poor grammar? Not everyone is intelligent in the same ways. While I agree that you should put your best foot forward when you’re creating your dating profile and should eliminate mistakes as much as possible, how can you conclude someone is dumb because they can’t spell? I guess I take this a little personally because I have always had a hard time with spelling and grammar. However, despite these fall backs, I’ve had numerous people in my personal and professional life tell me how well I write. I am not illiterate. I read all the time. I’m a good writer. But my spelling and grammar are pretty atrocious. Now that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get outside help to clean up those mistakes on a dating profile. But in all honesty, how well someone spells or doesn’t spell doesn’t tell you anything. All it is is an internet nuances from people who can spell. But it does not tell you how intelligent that person is.

  3. 3

    I am guessing this will end up like ASmallWorld, which was cool for five minutes and then went down the drain.  

    The people they are targeting won’t bother and the people most desperate to get in are those who don’t belong. And sooner or later it will fill up with the latter group.  

    Like you say, it’s hard to get only the ‘good’ people in.  People usually date within their own social standing, because that’s where they meet each other. No app needed.   

  4. 4

    Interesting idea.   Whether we like it or not, most of us are elitist to varying degrees.   We just don’t like it when someone “valued” higher than us in any given demographic rejects us and that’s typically when we apply labels like “elitist” and “snobby”.   At the end of the day, neither chemistry nor compatibility are dictated by equality in looks or income or upbringing or cultural background but the chances are just higher.   Example: it is much more likely that two good looking people will be mutually attracted than if one was significantly better looking than the other.

    I see some benefit to this sort of site: one part of your multi-faceted equation has already been solved for you.   If a person uses this app, there is a reasonable guarantee that he/she is as professional and that is not something you have to screen for.   Of course, this says nothing about actual physical attraction or compatibility but it can be argued that it gives you a slightly higher platform to jump from…some of the screening has been done for you, so to speak.   At the very least, it can’t hurt to use this in addition to other online dating options.

  5. 5

    Because segregation makes the world go around.      

  6. 6

    I’m on it, and it’s not quite like what you are describing or the advertising (although I’m sure it makes it seem more exciting to describe it that way). I see plenty of writers (one guy who was unemployed at the moment) and people who went to normal colleges.   When you invite a friend I really don’t think they filter it.   So far it’s been better than Tinder where you have no idea if you are from a similar social circle.   It’s certainly not that elite, if it was they wouldn’t have much of a base.   Tinder originally had better quality but when something goes mainstream it tends to lose its base, e.g. facebook.

  7. 7

    I’ve had s difficult time with Dozens of dates never is   a right fit. I would consider it for my type of personality .   I m not from an Ivy League school but in the top 15-20% economically and very involved in top organizations. 75% of my friends are top professionals. I am stronger personality and have my life organized and conservative . The average joe is intimadated by me and we don’t have enough in common. i have tried duming myself down and it does not work . I’m not trying to be snobby. I want to be happy. I’ve gone out with the 50k n under guy.. hasnt worked. I need to respect a guy and him me. I’m not a bad person for knowing my needs and desires . I have other cons I won’t put on here. It’s just difficult . No slams please, we are all different ,

    1. 7.1

      Why do women like to brag that they intimidate men? Men don’t brag that they “intimidate” women, and  if a man does intimidate a woman, it only increases her attraction to him as his superiority to her is perceived by her as an opportunity for hypergamy.

      I think the misperception of women who brag “I intimidate men” is caused by those very women’s inflated egos, which causes those women to not understand that  men know women are hypergamous and that if he’s not better than her, she won’t want him, so it’s pointless for him to pursue her.

      Similarly- you won’t see me applying to jobs for which I’m not qualified, and it’s not because I’m “intimidated” by those jobs as “intimidation” is an emotional state and I don’t experience it when I evaluate a job for which I’m not qualified. Instead, I see that I’m not qualified so I don’t waste my resources by applying for a job that I won’t get.

      But, if it feeds your ego, you can say I’m “intimidated” by that job…

      1. 7.1.1

        I don’t know Valerie, so I can’t say how this applies to her, but I have met lots of guys who want a woman who is less smart, less successful, less funny, etc, than they are. I had a friend, a female comedian, and whenever she would tell dates she was a comedian it became this one-up thing where the guy had to prove she wasn’t funny. I’m a sharp, quick witted person and I have had male friends who felt the need to constantly prove they were funnier than I was.

        There are guys who feel insecure if their wife makes more money. You must know guys who won’t date a woman who is taller than they are. It’s the same kind of thing.

  8. 8

    pahahahaha!! this is comical to me. Even the photo used is corny (not sure if this photo is from the actual site). I agree with Evan on this, there is just no way to securely weed out the “crazies” or “losers” on a dating website….people can easily make up any information about themselves, even in linkedin. The bottom line is that people are just people. No exclusive dating site will change that but I wish them the best with their business idea.  

  9. 9
    same game

    i really don’t see the point.   I would not limit myself to this site, and then if you are on this site plus Match, why bother?    I noticed in my experience with Eharmony, Match and (embarrassingly) POF , many of the same men are on all the sites. I am on Eharmony and Match.   Adding another niche site is overdoing it.   I have tried an STD niche site , after first being diagnosed with HSV2 courtesy of my ex, but had little luck with it (with this issue, I’ve had good responses by just being honest with men I met through the main stream sites).   I’m a highly educated and high income professional , so I just simply delete the messages from men who don’t have at least a BA or some indication of other accomplishments, plus some semblance of literacy and intelligence in their posts.  

    1. 9.1

      I’m in the same boat as you, having gotten HSV2 from my ex. The niche sites probably work if you’re in a high population area. A lot of people don’t seem to check it very often though so it makes things harder.
      I prefer the idea of not having to have “The Talk” with a new guy but, so far, I’ve been surprised by how many men simply don’t care about the STD.
      One interesting fact though. I have only had about 9 actual dates in the last 8 months that I’ve been on Match (yes, my time is limited) and 4 of the men admitted AFTER I told them about my STD that they also had it. This falls into the CDC estimations that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5-6 men have HSV2. What worries me is that they ALL pushed for a more sexual relationship prior to me telling them about it. So, when were they planning to tell me?

      1. 9.1.1

        Oh, and one guy even told me he’d “cured” himself with herbal remedies. Not possible folks. There is no cure for Herpes. I would suggest that people be VERY cautious online. It seems to me that far too many people are just fine not telling someone they are infected.

  10. 10
    Same game

    I have had similar experiences , most recently I met a guy while on vacation,   disclosed and he revealed he had HPV.   I   also had the sense that he would not have told me had I not told him about my HSV.   My general experience with the men on the HSV site was that many of the men gave off a sense of negativity or desperation in their profile – not exactly attractive.   It was like their self esteem was crummy so they felt constrained to the site, or perhaps had a bad disclosure experience in the past?   Others were clearly just in it for the hookup option.   I did meet and hook up with one guy , who was from out of town, I guess I was in need of a fling at that point.😊  

  11. 11

    I am a Duke grad as well and work in big law so I would qualify but I am not sure that being an ivy league grad is all that important.   Oh don’t get me wrong… If things don’t work with my boyfriend, I will try to sign up but there are so many criteria I am looking for in a man that go beyond academic achievement.   My guy has a bachelors only, he went to a state school not an ivy.   He is smart, successful, outgoing, attractive and Jewish, all traits I care more about than academic pedigree.      I also have never been on Tinder.   I haven’t yet seen the appeal.   I am more than a picture, more than a resume.

  12. 12

    It’s easy enough to predict that many of these “League” women will someday become Evan’s clients, sooner or later, and that many of Evan’s clients were or still are of the mentality that only the smallest minority of men is “suitable” or a “match” for herself.

    This hyper-picky elitism is why Evan’s   client base exists, after all.  

  13. 13

    I have a Yale degree and I am a woman and when I heard about this site I thought THIS MUST HAVE BEEN DESIGNED BY A WOMAN!!!!
    I KNEW it…it’s a very obvious way to keep the low-end men out. It’s no secret that the more educated a woman is, the more likely she is to be focused on what kind of a job/background the man has…and the more she is like that the more turned-off the man is going to be…and the worst issue of online dating for the “Ivy” woman IS that there aren’t enough very educated men to go around…
    Problem is, the women in the Ivies aren’t that hot. AND The “career-driven’/aggressive gal isn’t on most men’s list of sexy attributes. So the men aren’t likely to stick to this dating site.

  14. 14

    In this world who doesn’t want to be cool, be with the in-crowd? It seems this app connects you with people who have a similar lifestyle / social standing as you.

    1. 14.1

      @Andrea: “In this world who doesn’t want to be cool, be with the in-crowd?”
      Lol I couldn’t care less, and probably at least 30% of this blog’s readers would agree. It’s truly surprising to me that many pple care at all about this once they’re adults.
      And that’s one reason why apps like this can be a turnoff. If it was really for the purpose of connecting with pple whose accomplishments u admire and who u related to and want to learn from, it would seem ok, but too many pple use it to say “I’m cool! Please like me??” >.<
      I also agree with the posters who say this will be more popular with women than with men. Although there are many men who do value intelligence in women.

      1. 14.1.1

        I couldn’t agree more. Post high school, giving any credence to “coolness” seems rather pathetic and reeks of insecurity.  
        That being said, women are desperate for a site that weeds out the willfully unemployed, sexual deviants and rageoholics. With the ratio of men to women being so skewed on most dating sites, it can be problematic for a women to sort the wheat from the chaff. I’m sure men would have equally scathing complaints about women online as well though.

  15. 15
    Miss Z

    Makes no sense. Most Ivy League men don’t care about a woman’s education status, as least not more than youth and beauty. Truly a site that seeks to benefit women more than men. I predict it will be a FAIL.

  16. 16
    Same Game

    My understanding about the site is that it is not a pre requisite that someone be “Ivy League” to join, but that the person has to be “approved” through the League’s review of the applicant’s LinkedIn, etc.   By that criteria I probably qualify
    I don’t live in NY or LA, or the other metropolitan areas where the League is now active.     

    There is a very antiquated, clunky dating site called “the Right Stuff”, which catered exclusively to alumna of Ivys and other top tier schools.

  17. 17
    Dina Strange

    Evan, I love you, and know that you are using stock photography, but could you please not use models that wear fur. Fur is horrendous industry where animals are tortured and murdered for vanity…

    thank you.  

  18. 18

    The one thing that appeals to me is that it calls for career driven people. It’s important to have the same life goals as your partner.

    1. 18.1

      If you’re that career-driven you really don’t have life goals, you have work goals.

      1. 18.1.1

        Fair enough, but it is still important to be on the same page. If I want someone career driven, I can use this site. If I want someone with different priorities, I can ignore the site.  

  19. 19

    I enjoyed my undergraduate work, but detested the men who went to my college. Mindless frat boys. I wouldn’t give them the time of day now.

    Where I work, almost all of my co-workers are masters-degreed women, and the men in the area are homeless (or very, very poor) clients from a low income neighborhood nearby. It’s unlikely to the point of ludicrous that I will ever meet anyone through my work.

    There are so many interesting people on Twitter, it’s a shame no one has figured out how to get people together on the social media site without turning the site into a meat-market full of creepy guys with no social skills (which is what most online dating sites evolve into, sooner or later).

    I have an ebook by another dating coach, called “Twiduction for Women” (he first published a “Twiduction” report for men, and then just made a version of the same book for women to use to meet men on Twitter), but a lot of the apps and links are outdated. I think it’s from several years ago, when Twitter was kind of at its peak. But, there are still so many cool and interesting people on Twitter, it’s a shame not to be able to find a way to capitalize on that for relationship formation purposes.

    Evan, would you consider creating a “finding the one online” for social media, as opposed to traditional dating sites?

  20. 20

    I’m actually not sure this dating app is quite as snobby as it first appears to be.   I have some single friends who got accepted into it, and even they were very surprised that they got in.   They didn’t go to “prestigious” universities.   They have good jobs, but like most of us, aren’t exactly millionnaires.   They’re in their late 20s to early 30s and are otherwise like the people who you’d find on other mainstream dating websites (in fact, they really have tried match, OkCupid, etc. before and are now trying this, after striking out with those).   So far, they haven’t actually found boyfriends yet.   I think the fact is, it’s just difficult almost anywhere to find someone you’re compatible with and connect with (which is what makes love special, not being able to find it on any street corner).   I don’t think there’s a magic place or magic formula for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *