Move over, Grindr, Tinder, Lex, Scruff, Hinge, and Scissr! There’s a new app for singles looking to date within a strengths-based framework grounded in an understanding of the impact of trauma called Tender. The app was developed by a group of exhausted therapists who were tired of having the same three conversations about relationships with their LGBTQIA+ clients over and over again.
By narrowing down the dating pool to only soft bois, sensitive sapphics, and gentle thems, potential matches won’t have to explain their trauma to every new partner. “Now, they can dive right into the foundational work of every queer relationship: explaining their trauma to a new partner,” said Danielle Miller, one of Tender’s developers.
Like most dating apps, Tender requires users to complete a profile with basic demographic information, a short bio, and a photograph. On many platforms, users indicate their interest—or disinterest–in someone by “swiping” their profile left or right, or up or down.
But there’s no swiping on Tender. App developers noted that most tenderqueers found swiping “too hostile” and “kind of aggressive.” Instead, users can opt to “hold space” for those they are interested in or “recognize the unique struggle” of folx they don’t feel a connection with.
The new app also asks users to identify their traumas, sources of oppression, and favorite coping skills from a series of dropdown menus. Then, a sophisticated algorithm matches them with other queers they’re most likely to be trauma bonded with, all while painstakingly excluding their exes and exes’s exes.
Unlike other popular dating apps, Tender does not allow users to specify a search area—all potential partners will be found within a half mile radius of their location, noting that no one who has signed up for the app so far has ever been able to obtain a driver’s license.
Tender is available for download in the iTunes store. The app is free, but premium features, such as access to a potential date’s poetry gallery and full natal chart, can be unlocked for a monthly fee on an income based sliding scale.
Premium users also have the option to apologize in advance before chatting with a match. Privileged subscribers are encouraged to sponsor someone with a more marginalized identity.
Unfortunately, Tender is unable to provide any information on its success rate. To date there have been no connections from the app because everyone who has signed up has already dated each other previously.