You’ve heard of Slow Food, but how about “Slow Dating”? This form of online matchmaking is all about finding real connections with a select group of matches rather than aimlessly swiping through hundreds of profiles. This quality-over-quantity vibe is built into Wayvs, the Berlin-based app that offers a more authentic, deep form of dating. Its secret weapon: voice messaging. Instead of spending hours on text chats that never seem to go anywhere, you can simply use your most unique feature – your own voice – to make a connection. When you first use the app, you are conscious that you are required to do more than just swipe and tap to start a conversation. But any anxiety over speaking is eased by the photo and text prompts, which help you break the ice and let you happily avoid awkward small talk. Your bravery will be rewarded: if your match responds to you, you will both start a “wayve” and can continue talking via voice chat, feeling like you already know each other.

Founder Franziska Focken launched the app in June 2021 after her own experiences with online dating during the pandemic led her to question why nothing has changed in the last 10 years of dating. She resolved to change everything that was getting in the way of communication – thus why this app is about talking rather than texting. While a picture can never tell you if someone is intelligent and funny, a person’s voice lets you know within three seconds whether you are on the same wavelength. And if you decide to turn your digital encounter into a real-life rendezvous, it will feel like you’re meeting an old friend. Pre-date nerves, adieu!

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Julia Zierer for Wayvs & Anna Shvets

You can download Wayvs free for your iPhone or Android device.