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She was the perfect prospect: Degree from a top university? “It was important to me that someone I was going on a date with was well-educated and driven, and had a lot of the same goals I did,” says Wood, who now runs a lifestyle blog and coaching service called Brains Over Blonde.“I have big career ambitions, and that had, in the past, intimidated—scared away—people I’d dated.”The League is among a new crop of elite dating apps whose business models are predicated on the age-old reality that courtship is partly an economic exercise.C., rather than someone you work with or someone your brother-in-law matched you up with.” (Cowen is also a columnist for Bloomberg.) The app initially targeted Bay Area singles.“There’s pure, unbridled ambition here, and that was something that I wanted to rein in and help people who are busy and doing amazing things find other people who are busy and doing amazing things,” says founder Amanda Bradford, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science graduate who peppers her conversation with phrases like “love, love, love.” Bradford was working toward her MBA at Stanford when she hit on the idea of an exclusive dating app.That’s partly because of their higher wages and partly because they’re far more likely to marry than their noncollege peers.Less-educated households, by contrast, make less than prior generations.Education-based marriage-matching moves in lockstep with inequality, according to research by University of California at Los Angeles sociologist Robert Mare.What Mare calls educational homogamy was high in the Gilded Age, fell off in the 1950s—when incomes were more even—and has marched higher in recent decades.
She launched the League in 2015; its tag line is “Meet.
Just two years later that figure had almost tripled, to 27 percent. have long gravitated to cities, a preference that’s grown more pronounced in recent years.
“I would prefer to meet someone organically, but if I’m in an airport, and just walking to and from the office, that’s obviously not going to happen,” says consultant Joslyn Williams, who moved to the Chicago area from Nashville in November and immediately signed up for the League. Across America’s 50 largest metros, more than half of adults living in city centers in 2015 had degrees, up from 29 percent in 1990.
Jay Feldman was named among the 20 “most eligible” medical professionals in New York by Hinge, a five-year-old service that connects friends of friends and recently rebranded itself “the relationship app.” But the med student says he prefers Tinder, a site with a reputation for facilitating hookups, and the League.
Feldman says “the girls are much better” on the League than on Tinder.
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The League has expanded into Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Orlando; Bradford has considered moving into suburbs but is sticking with cities for now, because that’s where the action is, she says. Raya calls itself a “private, membership based community for people all over the world to connect and collaborate.” Sparkology describes itself as a “curated dating experience for young professionals” and accepts members only by invitation or referral.