This New App Makes It Easier for Introverts to Date and Make Friends

It’s called Birdy, and it matches you based on your Myers-Briggs personality type.

Dating new people when you’re an introvert is interesting, to say the least. Actually, “terrifying” is a more accurate word when I think back on my dating days. Clubs, bars, and the like have never been my scene, and it’s hard to meet someone when your favorite weekend routine involves a homemade latte, a good book, and snuggles with your dogs. Add in the coronavirus and its scary headlines, and dating became even more complicated.

For a long time, I turned to dating websites and online friend requests to try to find others I could relate to. I actually got lucky and met my husband — a homebody like me — online, but many, many people have told me it’s a struggle to make real connections that way.

If you’re looking for deep conversations and lowkey hangouts over hookups, it can be tough out there. That’s why I was really excited to learn about Birdy — an app that matches you based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. It allows introverts to get to know potential friends and dates from the comfort of home, when many of us are still leary about venturing into crowded, potentially virus-ridden public spaces.

Oh, and did I mention there are no photos at first?

Birdy: The Personality Matching App

In contrast with other apps where it starts with looks (such as swiping left or right on a random picture), Birdy places your personality type at the forefront. We all know that personality is one of the things that matters most in a lasting relationship, but it’s hard to prioritize it when glimpsing only a photo on your phone. That’s what Birdy’s founder, Juliette Swann, is hoping to change with her app.

Juliette, a 25-year-old living in San Francisco, describes emotions as always having been her “thing.” Even as a child, Juliette says she had a strong connection with and understanding of hers and other’s feelings. She became passionately interested in relationships early on and began to notice just how differently people communicate in their relationships. 

After spending five years in a relationship with someone who was, unlike her, completely disconnected from his emotions, Juliette discovered the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) — and for her, it changed everything. After taking the test and discovering she was an ESFJ personality type, she says, “I identified with it so much. It showed me parts of myself I never allowed myself to acknowledge before. It was who I used to be as a child, who I was before my relationship, the real me. For the first time in my life, I felt validated, recognized, and like it was actually okay to be me.”

She goes on to say, “It explained how each personality type has its own struggles to face. How my strengths were someone else’s weaknesses, and my weaknesses someone else’s strengths. And that’s okay.”

After a riding accident that left her with a broken spine (and the risk of losing mobility in her legs), things were put into perspective for Juliette — and Birdy was born. Now, it’s her motivation to help others embrace themselves and connect with people in the “right, healthy way.” 

By understanding ourselves and others better, we can more easily find people who speak our own language. That’s the main purpose behind Birdy’s mission.

screenshots from the new Birdy dating app
Screenshots from the new personality-first Birdy app

How Birdy Works

Although I am happily committed, I was excited to download the app to get a sense of how it works. Birdy begins with an assessment that determines which of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types you most closely resemble. Each personality type is paired with a different cute animal and image, such as an owl, crow, eagle, or cockatoo. Based on your personality type, the app matches you to people with types that complement yours.

I didn’t remember my results, so I downloaded the app and got asked questions like:

  • When you were a teenager, were you usually talking quietly or loudly?
  • As a child, did alone time bore you or allow for self-reflection?
  • In a discussion group, do you tend to take the time to think before answering, or do you respond quickly to others, thinking while speaking?

I was given the description of INFP: The Dove. INFP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. According to Birdy, the recommended matches for INFPs are the ENFJ: The Peacock, ESFJ: The Swan, and INFJ: The Hummingbird.

When you download the app to your phone, each match is displayed with the person’s first name, age, personality type, and a picture of their corresponding animal. You can either comment or tap a heart icon to show your interest. If nothing about the story grabs your attention, you can just let it go — kind of like Instagram stories.

And here’s another thing that sets Birdy apart from other apps: Pictures are hidden at first. Instead, potential matches will get a sense of your personality as their first impression instead of a profile picture. A selfie will only be revealed after each user has liked each other’s personality stories (explained below). Plus, the selfie has to be recent and can’t be taken from a camera roll. The idea is to allow users to show themselves as they are — no photoshop or filters.

I Loved the Personality Stories

The thing I absolutely adored about the Birdy app is the personality stories. These work similar to Instagram Stories, except they can’t have your face in them. Instead, you can upload or take pictures showing things you’re passionate about, hobbies you’re doing, or anything else about you. There’s also a note icon on the screen you can tap that brings up a series of meaningful questions you can answer like:

  • What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  • Which song lyrics have had the biggest impact on you?
  • What do you do when you’re feeling lonely?
  • What do you think your purpose in life is?

As someone who loves deep conversations about topics like these, I was so impressed by this feature. It took me back to my teenage and college years when I had relationships that were nothing more than surface level. I would have loved to discuss meaningful questions like these with other people who truly wanted to know my answers. What better way to learn about who someone truly is?

Why Introverts Need a Personality-First App

I can see an app like Birdy changing the dating game for introverts and anyone who craves a closer connection with potential partners. Those who are really looking for a personality match will take the time to answer the deep questions and show what they’re passionate about. Since it takes extra effort to do this, rather than simply uploading a picture, users can avoid much of the shallowness found on other apps.

When it comes to online dating, it’s easy for things to move quickly. The pressure of going out, meeting someone new, and forcing conversation with a stranger is exhausting for introverts. We crave a real connection and an interesting conversation, and we’d rather skip through the awkward first-date phase and jump into the meaningful parts of getting to know someone.

We also need time to truly open up to others. With Birdy, users are encouraged to slow things down and actually get to know each other first without any particular goal in mind. This is just what introverts need when looking for their person.

Birdy is available now worldwide in the Apple and Google app stores. All countries will have access to the app, with a special focus on California. You can check it out here. Special launch offer: Download Birdy before Aug. 31, 2020, and receive exclusive premium benefits for FREE, for 90 days!

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This post was sponsored by Birdy.

Lauren Valko is an author and highly sensitive person certified as a Health Coach and Intuitive Eating Coach. Passionate about self-care, mindfulness, and mental health, she draws on her own experience living with anxiety and, during her teen years, an eating disorder. She believes that no one should have to suffer through mental, emotional, or physical obstacles silently or alone — and she uses her blog, Modern Day Om, to help herself and her readers work through those obstacles. Educated at Texas Tech, she has worked with Eco-Vegan Gal and a variety of major heath and wellbeing sites, and is the co-host of the Voices of Mental Health Podcast.