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It’s puppy love at first swipe.

A new relationship Web site has hit the dating market, but there’s a catch: All users must have four legs.

The site, called Pinder, is a play on the widely popular dating app Tinder, but instead of swiping right or left on a potential human hookup, all of the eligible singles are pets, The Post has learned.

“We’re just taking the effective format of Tinder and applying it to the pet community,” said Pinder founder Kevin Botero. The site is new, but a quick scan of users shows a pooch named Max from Seattle dressed as a postman, a Brooklyn-based terrier named Charlie rocking a “Where’s Waldo” suit, a pig named Lucy who’s based in Austin and loves to snack on cabbage and more.

While Pinder was created primarily for pet parents to hook up pals for their pooches, finding a human mate is also part of the fun.

PinderPinder

“I personally know relationships that have come about through people walking their pets in the park, so it’s definitely possible,” said Botero, 26. “On Pinder, you’re getting that level of pet-obsessed parent you’re looking for, which in reality is somebody just like you.”

Pet parents aren’t the only ones getting frisky: “Finding a dog to breed with is [also] possible.”

Users start by creating profiles for their furry friends — including a photo, location and favorite snack — and can get to swiping “yes” or “no” (signified with a heart or X icon) on the cutest pups and kitties.

Once a match is made, the pet parents have the option to start privately communicating with one another via social media including Facebook, Instagram or TikTok.

Botero and his team first came up with the idea after realizing how tight-knit the niche community of pet influencers is — specifically those who talk and act as if they are their pet. Many well-known pet accounts have adopted this style, such as Doug the Pug, whose owner recently posted a photo of him on Instagram in sunglasses next to a Starbucks cup with the caption: “Me after getting my third coffee of the day.”

View this post on Instagram

“Me after getting my third coffee of the day” -Doug

A post shared by Doug The Pug (@itsdougthepug) on Sep 14, 2020 at 2:22pm PDT

Pets might as well have their own social-media arsenal — if their owners have already created an Instagram influencer persona, why not get on the dating app scene too?

“These pet communities are often communicating on behalf of their pets,” said Botero. “So we thought there really should be a more fun and direct way to connect pet parents.”

The site, which is available worldwide, is very much targeted toward millennials and Gen Z pet lovers since, according to his research, “about 55 percent of millennials with social media follow one pet persona on social media,” said Botero, who also founded the pet costume company Kostumed.

They plan to get feedback from Insta-famous pet owners on the process, and so far have locked in the rescue mutt Mushu, or @Smooshy_Mooshy, who has 45,000 followers, to be on their “advisory board.”

Pinder was soft launched earlier this month and is currently in an open beta phase, meaning users are free to try out the site, but updates are still being implemented.

To kick off the swiping, Botero is holding a Pinder Halloween costume contest where all right swipes also translate to a vote for their costume.

Just try not to get ghosted!

Filed under cats ,  dating ,  dating apps ,  dogs ,  Pets ,  9/16/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: pets cats dating dating apps dogs pets social media pet parents

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What it's like to date when you use a wheelchair

Madeline Delp

  • Madeline Delp won Miss Wheelchair USA and competed in Miss North Carolina 2019 while in her wheelchair.
  • She became paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident when she was 10.
  • Delp, who is now in a relationship, told Insider that dating while using a wheelchair was an obstacle, and dates would ask inappropriate questions or choose inaccessible locations.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

After winning Miss Wheelchair USA, Madeline Delp was excited to go on a two-month-long speaking tour and bring her new boyfriend of five months along for the ride.

But two weeks into the cross-country trip, Delp, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since she experienced a car crash at age 10, became concerned about the fact that she hadn't pooped for 14 days.

Past dating experiences made Delp anxious about disclosing her health troubles to her boyfriend, but she couldn't wait any longer.

"I broke down and told him, I was like, 'Hey babe, this is really awkward, but I haven't pooped in two weeks, and I'm afraid it's not natural or normal.' So he immediately went to the store and he got every laxative he could find," Delp told Insider.

At first, the laxatives didn't seem to work. But then, when Delp and her boyfriend were traveling through Yellowstone, with no bathroom in sight, she really had to go.

"We're in the middle of the woods with buffalo around us, with no options other than he carry me out in the middle of a field for me to do my business," Delp said. And that's exactly what he did.

According to Delp, that experienced solidified her relationship with her boyfriend, a friend from childhood who saw her for more than her disability, but was also compassionate when she needed help.

They've been together for three years now, Delp told Insider, but before then igniting romance was a difficult experienced riddled with awkward disclosures, rude comments, and bewildered dates.

'Automatically, it's awkward'

Delp used dating apps for about a year before getting together with her boyfriend.

At first, she only put pictures of her face on her profile and didn't mention her wheelchair. But after one date looked like a "deer in headlights" when seeing Delp in her wheelchair for the first time, she decided to take a different approach.

"I'll never forget that feeling of being like, 'Oh my gosh, this is something that is actually a big deal to some people.' I know I took him off guard a little bit, but it was kind of demoralizing, and dehumanizing in a way just because I felt so different," Delp said. "After that I was like, 'OK, we're going to be completely upfront.'"

Delp added a picture of herself in her wheelchair, plus a short story about why she used it, in her dating-app profile, but that didn't put an end to the awkward encounters.

On first dates, "automatically it's awkward because usually they're picking me up [at my house] and have to break apart my wheelchair," Delp said. "So I'd be having to instruct them how to take off the wheels and how to put the wheelchair in their car. And then I get in their car, unless they had a truck, in which case they had to pick me up."

Bathroom access is always a concern

Once in the car, Delp's dates would typically take her to a restaurant, which posed another obstacle: bathroom access.

If a date chose a restaurant that didn't have big enough bathrooms to accommodate Delp's wheelchair, she had to ask her date to help her get to the facilities, or skip them altogether.

Since Delp also has incontinence due to her condition, and has peed herself while out on a date because she couldn't get to a bathroom in time.

For that reason, she now comes prepared with an extra change of clothes.

Answering rude questions about sex and being compared to other women 

In many cases, Delp would be other singles' first date with someone who used a wheelchair to get around. That meant Delp would often have to field inappropriate questions and comments.

According to Delp, first dates and dating app matches have asked her if she's able to have sex (she can, for the record). Other times, men told her, "Wow, you're pretty for a girl who's in a wheelchair."

"Honestly, I've had a lot of insecurity that crept in over the years, knowing that something completely out of my control affects the way that people see me, the way guys see me. Now I almost see it as a little blessing in disguise because it weeds out the bad ones in a way," Delp said.

'I'd rather people just be upfront'

But for Delp, the worst dates occurred when they saw her wheelchair, and went silent out of fear.

"You know when it's an issue because they clam up and they don't know what to say and they get awkward and they get silent. And then I'm the one trying to carry the conversation, knowing that the wheelchair is a problem the whole time," she said.

In reflecting on her year of awkward and sometimes demeaning dates, Delp said wished more singles took a kind and curious approach to her condition.

"I think the hardest thing for me is when people just tiptoe around it and they act awkward. I'd rather people just be upfront and ask me, 'What can I do to make this easiest for you? Should I call first to ask if a restaurant is accessible? Would you rather take my car?' because all disabilities are different," Delp said.

"When you open that door, you open intimacy and you open a sense of trust to be able to share that experience with somebody."

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