At the House of Aisle, our dating apps were built to help users break the casual dating pattern, and allow for something more meaningful to take its place. That’s not to say that serious relationships are the only way to go, but when a deeply indecisive casual dating culture begins to take over a quest for love, it might be time to establish intent.

The concept of high-intent dating comes from the idea that everyone deserves valuable time and space in a potential partner’s life. In our search for individuals who chose Aisle’s high-intent dating over casual dating apps, we came across a few couples who found their forever romances on Aisle and tied the knot. We quizzed them: Why did you choose Aisle over the other apps out there? Some said that discussing intentions with a partner was one way to be honest with themselves. It was a chance to demand a deeper connection, rather than just a few meaningless dates.

Popular media may have made many of us believe that setting intentions early on limits our options at finding a match; the truth is far from it. “The intention behind meeting someone new must mean something more than just a surface-level meet-up,” one couple said, speaking about high-intent dating. ‘We found that having clarity about what we want helped us avoid the sort of partner we would not be comfortable with”, said another.

Establishing intent early on allowed them the freedom to get to know one another without wasting energy on second-guessing each other’s true motivations. However, being intentional is not synonymous with forcing a perfect love story on your partner. It’s about creating an awareness of one’s core values and beliefs. “I didn’t want a hookup, and neither did he. Turns out we both wanted someone to build a life with. It’s incredibly difficult to make that clear in a new relationship, but with intentionality, it’s possible and it only brought us closer together”, said another happy couple, who had initially given up on finding a partner after previously unhappy marriages.

All of which is great, but what exactly does high-intent dating involve? Put simply, there are some things you would want in a partner that are just non-negotiable. We found that for some couples these non-negotiable aspects may involve finding someone to match their values, personalities, quirks, field of work, or even aspects concerning social behaviour and vices. High-intent dating revolves around being intentional in what you seek in your special someone, including the non-negotiables. It helps bring clarity to what matters the most. “I think I’m pretty weird… I wanted to be with someone who can match that energy one way or the other!” said another couple. Incidentally, Aisle’s user interface is designed to help individuals looking for their special someone get specific about who they’re looking for and what matters the most to them. Like the philosophies feature, that dives deeper into choices through a series of Either/Or questions around travel, lifestyle, and having children.

During our conversations with the couples, we also learned that the fear of rejection traps singles into a never-ending cycle of accepting less than what they deserve. High-intent dating combats this by helping individuals fearlessly establish ground rules with a potential partner, by building the confidence to take a risk and put oneself out there.

Does this mean that high-intent dating works like a pack of ready-mix batters and happens instantly? No, say the couples. It takes time, but the difference is in starting off on more solid ground that tip-toeing around each other. “Our advice? Be patient and brave when meeting someone new. Talking about your plan early on is tough, but may just help you find your perfect partner”, aptly said another now-happily-married couple that met on Aisle.

Written by Ruchita Sud

Why Aisle couples chose high-intent was originally published in Aisle on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.