Holy crap, there’s a FIRE dating app!

FIRECracker
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Dating inside the FIRE community has long been a problem we didn’t know how to solve. Traditional dating apps like Tinder weren’t a great fit, since they didn’t allow people to filter based on being part of the FIRE community. Plus the definition of who was or wasn’t part of the “FIRE community” was itself debatable. Was the solution to hold mixers as part of existing FIRE meetups? Did we want to piggyback off of existing communities like the Mustachians or the ChooseFI Facebook groups? Or did we want to create a new community entirely?

All this was part of a debate we had with Mr. Money Mustache way back when we met at one of the Chautauquas. All three of us being (former) computer engineers, an App seemed like the most logical solution. We even came up with a name: Mustache Rides. Heh.

But then at that Chautauqua is when we got a mysterious email from an editor at Penguin Random House asking us whether we’d be interested in writing a book, which then of course consumed our lives for the next 2 years. The dating app got shelved along with every other idea that wasn’t related to the book. We never got around to working on it again, so I figured the idea was basically dead.

So imagine my shock when my friend, Clover, told me about this FIRE dating app! It’s called firedating.me, and it’s available to use now!

The creativity and capabilities of the FIRE community never cease to amaze me, and this is just the latest example. It was created by a FIRE enthusiast named Viktor who lives in Munich, and…that’s pretty much all we know about him. I might reach out to him later and interview him, but in the meantime I was just so curious and excited by this I just had to take the app out for a spin!

First of all, I say app, but in reality it’s a mobile-friendly website, so you access it through your browser either on your desktop or your phone. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to use it on my laptop so I can take screenshots easier.

Signing Up

First we start by scrolling down and clicking “Sign up.” It asks us for an email to create an account, so I’m going to use my [email protected] account.

It sends a validation email, which arrives in my inbox a few minutes later. Simple enough.

OK now the fun part: Filling out my profile. Let’s see how they differentiate from more traditional dating apps like Tinder.

It asks me for my gender. Standard enough. Though there are no options for non-binary choices, Viktor says he’s seeking input on how best to add that.

Next, what gender am I looking for? Just for testing purposes, I’m going to pick both. For science. Yeah…

You also then fill in if you’re looking for a romantic or a platonic relationship, and whether to restrict matches to your geographical location.

Next, it takes you to your profile section. This part’s actually pretty extensive, so let’s see how the app classifies FIRE people versus a normal dating app.

The first section is basic bio information. Interestingly, by default your profile picture is blurred when viewed by other people. Only when they request your info and you approve does it show them your picture, so it’s kind of like an anti-superficial model. It also asks for your age, height, and your current relationship status, which I put as “Married,” but could also be other interesting options like Open or Poly.

Around here is where I thought to myself that maybe I should tell Wanderer that I’m doing this, but then decided against it because a) It’ll be funnier later on when he finds out and b) I don’t need another reason.

The next section is “FIRE Number,” which perked me right up. Right off the bat, it asks you your progress towards FIRE as a percentage (I put 100%), your planned post-FIRE withdrawal rate (which I found hilarious), and a strange field called “Frugality score,” in which you put a fractional number between 0 and 1 indicating subjectively how frugal you are, 0 being entirely not frugal, and 1 being, well, me. So I put 1.

Already I’m liking this thing. What dating app asks you for your SWR? I guess that’s how we make sure only FIRE people use this thing. Anyone else tries to sign up for this and it asks them for your SWR, they’re going to run screaming for the hills.

The next few sections are all open-form questions in which you can type whatever you want into the field. First up are the questions “Why do you look for your partner?” and “What is your stance on children?”

Next are questions about religion, and how we discovered FIRE.

Next is “Describe your Ideal Day after FIRE,” as well as our hobbies.

I’m really liking these questions. Next is an interesting one: “What would you pay for despite FIRE?” meaning what luxury would you refuse to cut on your journey towards FIRE. That’s quite a FIRE-specific question, and it tells you a lot about a person’s values, so I’m all for it. Also, it asks you about your asset allocation, which again, is hilarious.

And finally, languages spoken.

And we’re done with this section! The final section asks for your age preferences to filter your matches.

The default values for minimum age is 0, and the maximum is 127. The normal part of my brain looks at that and goes “ew.” But the engineer part of my brain goes “looks like someone used an 8-bit signed integer for that field!”

Finding Matches

And with that, it takes us to the main dashboard.

The leftmost button lets us start looking at profiles, the next two allow us to manage requests, and the last one is for private messages.

I suspected that given the free-form nature of many of the fields we filled out, that this app wasn’t going to do a fancy algorithmic matching system, and it doesn’t. By clicking the “Show profiles” button, it takes us to a list of profiles that meet our very simple criteria, and the rest of their profile is available to us to read (but not their picture).

 

The rest of the interface is fairly standard, but the really interesting bit about this app is the FIRE-specific info it collects. At a glance, you can see how far they are in their FIRE journey, how frugal they are, and a whole lot of other conversation starters that reveal a bit of their personality. You can then request to contact them, which is the Tinder-equivalent of swiping right. Or is it swiping left? I don’t know, I’ve never used Tinder.

The app limits you to seeing at most 10 profiles per day, and sending 2 requests per day. The reasoning behind this is spelled out in the FAQ.

Why do you limit number of requests and profiles per day?
Yes, one can send at most 2 requests and see at most 10 new profiles per day. Unknown is often mistakenly perceived better than something one already has. Thus, I want to incentivize people to develop contacts they already started instead of eternally searching for the magic perfection. I’m open to your suggestions.

It’s an interesting philosophical choice. It seems that the creator is deliberately trying to avoid some of the pitfalls of Tinder, which as you know is often criticized for being too superficial and not encouraging people to form real relationships, so I applaud him for that.

How does it make money?

Which brings me to another interesting decision this app makes: It’s entirely non-profit. There is no cost to sign up, there are no ads, and the creator is not attempting to monetize at all. His only incentive, according to the FAQ, is that hopefully people will invite him to their wedding if they meet on his app.

I have some mixed feelings on this. While on the surface it seems great and selfless that someone would make something like this for free, in practice it does make me wonder about whether this will be around for long. I’ve used free WordPress plug-ins before and invariably what happens is that the developer gets sick of the less-than-fun aspects of maintaining an app and the increasing costs, and eventually abandon it. And once the creator stops developing updates and fixes and you’re just stuck with a buggy app. 

Monetizing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and helps you do things like pay for hosting/server costs and, potentially, hiring people down the line to help you as your user base gets bigger, and these things ultimately help ensure that the project stays around and keeps being maintained.

So while I applaud Viktor for building this entirely for free, as time goes on and if this takes off, I hope he will consider at least some kind of monetization strategy. Worst case scenario, he could always sell vibrators!

Try It Out!

So without further ado, I’d invite everyone reading this to try it out! Here’s the link again: https://firedating.me/

This is not an affiliate link, I make nothing off of you signing up, I’m just genuinely curious if the FIRE community will use this and find this helpful, because FIRE dating is a problem I was never able to solve myself.

Update: Gah! Someone just requested to be matched with me while I was writing this! I should probably tell Wanderer what I just signed us up for soon…

 


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36 thoughts on “Holy crap, there’s a FIRE dating app!”

  1. Haha, love the idea to help find the “right match”! It’ll help build other writing couples like us 🙂

    That said, I might be a *little* worried it’ll bring out a certain …subset of people looking for a very particular type person as a….target. I suppose that’s the case with any dating app, but mixing money in might get dicey.

    Still, neat idea.

    1. Yeah that was my first thought about this too. There was a post back in 2017 on here about dating as someone who is into FIRE and in the comments someone said there should be a dating website and I thought “yeah that would be great until it got ruined by a bunch of gold diggers who just wanted to find people with money so they could try to con them into spending it on them and then leave them once the money was gone or sponge off of them without actually bringing their own savings to the table.” Even if no one actually got suckered into that, if those types of people started showing up it would be annoying to try to figure out if the person you were connecting with was really into FIRE or just pretending to be.

      1. I actually think it would be pretty safe. We’re all pretty savvy about building up our wealth. I can’t see why or how we could be so naive as to just let someone sponge off of us. Frankly, it would be nice to meet someone like-minded with a FIRE mindset and it should be pretty easy to weed out the gold-diggers. We scrutinize how we spend our money. Anyone wanting to spend big bucks on a first date/encounter or even after the first meetup right there is a red flag.

        Just make sure if you do this that you meet in an open public place with lots of people and exit points. Safety first.

        1. Yes I totally agree with you. I definitely think there could be people on their for the wrong reasons but it isn’t hard for a FIRE individual to spot them. We are a clever bunch

        2. Yeah, I agree. I think it shouldn’t be too hard to suss out the teases (lol). If you date long enough you’ll have plenty of opportunities to observe habits, and talk about priorities. FIRE benefits those who save a large percentage of income, no matter the salary level (obviously higher salary speeds things up, though). So income disparity matters less, and habits/priorities matter more.

    2. Yeah, we thought about that too back when we were contemplating creating an dating app, but I agree with Liz, Dave, and Nicole that FIRE people are pretty smart and we probably won’t fall for it. They would need to be as open about their finances as we are. If they’re not or are in lots of debt, that’s a big red flag. But whenever I’m concerned about this, I always go back to the legal scholar Kanye West:

      “If you ain’t no punk,
      Holla, “We want prenup! We want prenup!” Yeah!
      It’s somethin’ that you need to have
      Cause when she leave yo’ ass, she goin’ leave with half.”

  2. This is so cool! I’ve always wondered how I can meet other FIRE people instead of most of the spendy people in the world who don’t get FIRE. I always thought up until now the best way to meet other FIREers was in the comment section of your articles! But this is way better I’m signing up now 🙂 thanks for featuring this

    1. Nicole, right on! I always wanted to meet someone with similar financial goals among other qualities. Awesome dating app, thanks to Firecracker for sharing this one out!!!

  3. All you have to do to weed out the “non-FIRE” folks is do lots of no-cost activities, get to know their lifestyle a bit. What do they suggest as an activity/date? If it’s “you should take me out to lunch!”, you know they’re less likely to be FIRE folks. If they suggest a hike and a picnic, it might work. Those who really aren’t frugal won’t hang around someone who is for very long. Hahaha!

  4. Just signed up and already talking to someone cool. As to people worrying about “gold diggers,” that’s true in any and all potential dating situations. Gotta use good judgement!

    Firecracker, I saw you on there, but didn’t contact you cuz you are already taken!

  5. It’s worth a try. I signed up. We’ll see if anything comes of it. Could be better than walking through downtown Toronto carrying a billboard that says “Hey! Are you into FIRE? Turned on by compounding and a 3-4% SWR? I’m looking to hook up with you.” Lol

    Uhmmmm…why are Firecracker and Clover running in the opposite direction? 🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️ Whaaaaat? Even Wanderer? 😭

  6. Haha this is awesome! Can you tell Viktor that I workd as Sr. Product Designer ( UX designer) I can help with the design and user experience part of the app.

  7. Yeah, so… I signed up. I figured “why the eff not?” I can’t be the only gay dude in Toronto that can balance a cheque book as has a >25% savings rate. If OKCupid had questions around this, I might have already found a few half decent dates.

    Incidentally, there is something supremely hot when some has a name that is spelled “Viktor” with a “k”. It’s like: “I am such a hardkore bad-ass that the letter “c” is insufficient”.

    1. Oh, and for the record, I don’t actually keep a cheque book. This isn’t 1990. I’m all digital!

  8. I just signed up, it looks like there’s quite a few great people there. But because the FIRE community is small and scattered all over the world, I don’t think there’s much chance of finding a long term partner there. It could be great for people living nomadic lives though, to make friends (possibly with benefits) all over the world

    1. I agree that the community is very dispersed.
      So far 2 users deleted their profiles with a comment that they found someone on the site. So it seems like it happens 🙂

      1. Hey Viktor! Are you able to tell if there are people from the Europe/UK? It’s very tempting haha! Great work, thank you!

        1. Yes, really cool see the stats here: https://firedating.me/open/

          Geography:
          Top 10 countries:
          United States – 517
          United Kingdom – 79
          Germany – 54
          Canada – 49
          Spain – 46
          Australia – 32
          Netherlands – 26
          Switzerland – 15
          Belgium – 9
          Italy – 9
          Top 10 cities:
          New York, NY, United States – 33
          London, United Kingdom – 28
          Los Angeles, CA, United States – 20
          Chicago, IL, United States – 19
          Washington D.C., United States – 18
          Seattle, WA, United States – 17
          Madrid, Spain – 15
          Houston, TX, United States – 15
          Toronto, Canada – 14
          Dallas, TX, United States – 14

      2. Wow that’s awesome, Viktor! Next stop, FIRE weddings? Would be cool to post success stories on there!

  9. That is a cool app! I echo other posters’ concerns about golddiggers, but agree that we are a smart bunch so that’s unlikely. Plus, well before I married my partner, we did a honest show-and-tell of our assets and liabilities, and over the years, our spending habits became quite clear to each other, such that we knew we were compatible with each other financially. I assume all this would not change with the FIRE dating app, and probably would be standard for the FIRE community 🙂

  10. After a careful review of this dating website, I have concluded that it’s a dud. Actually, it’s not the site that is the problem but the participants. It doesn’t solve the problems from other dating sites. Based on the stats, too many men, not enough women which is the perpetual problem with these type of sites and their locations are dispersed everywhere. The goal appears to be about getting dopamine hits from getting an invite versus actually eventually ever meeting someone. Too many people on there can’t hold a conversation nor show any interest in the person they’re talking to. Not sure if it’s a lack of social skills or just plan courtesy. Too many on there don’t actually appear to be FIRE folks but dreamers. Dreaming is fine but without executing on a plan, they are not going anywhere. That’s a major turnoff. You need to be results oriented. I’m sure in their head they believe they are working towards FIRE but they’re actually wannabes. I will say though that I didn’t see anything here that would indicate gold-diggers anywhere although I’m sure those predators will eventually find their way there.

    I know all this sounds very harsh but I’m used to doing deep dives on things to see whether something warrants my precious time or not. Ultimately, this fails the smell test. I’ve used other dating sites in the past with some degree of success so this is not about someone talking who hasn’t been successful with this previously.

    On the other hand, Viktor is on to something. Viktor, I recommend you monetize this sucker – you can make a ton of dough with this meeting the needs of those looking for dopamine hits. Those suckers are addicted to dopamine. Capitalize on that.

    And yes, I’ll repeat, I know what I’ve written above is harsh but I prefer to live in reality. Face to face Chautauqua it is then.

    Party on!

  11. Hey FIRE friends! Just a note that I’m on the app and it’s great! Please be sure to tell your friends and when you sign up actually add a photo and answer the questions and keep your search criteria as wide as possible so you get more matches. I live in the APAC region, for example, and there are not a lot of users here yet, but also a lot of FIRE people are interested in travel and are particularly interested in coming to the country where I live. As with any dating site, it gets better the more users there are, and the more active those users are, so helping to spread the word (by sharing this article, for example), really helps! I have already had several great conversations with incredibly smart people from around the world, and everyone seems genuine (and besides I’m not the type of person who would wire someone from the internet money, I barely want to spend $20 on a date).

  12. Wow, a FIRE dating app! Glad there’s finally an app for FIRE enthusiasts. I hope it goes well for Viktor and he can monetize it in some way to keep it going. Hope Wanderer was cool with Firecracker signing them up! Too bad it’s 7 years too late for us! 🙂

  13. I strongly advice that if you have a FIRE mentality, DO NOT look for a FIRE partner!

    Too much of FIRE in a relationship will burn it in a long term.

    Achieving FI early in life is critical for a life portal with full options. This spectrum of options can only be seen in a balance relationship.

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