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  • James Valladares

Why We Built DateUp

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

As we launch and start to spread the word about DateUp, I think it’s important to reflect on why we decided to build the app in the first place.


I’m from a very, very tall family, so I’ve been aware that height is an important consideration when dating. Believe it or not, my grandparents (6’8” and 6’1”) even met in an exclusive tall club several decades ago. I’m also a software designer, so a few years back, the intersection of height and dating apps started to intrigue me.


There are niches focused on just about everything but height, so why not make one an app for tall people? It’s a simple and somewhat obvious idea (for tall folks at least) but there’s nuance to it as well. What exactly is important about height and dating? Where is there the most room for improvement? I was determined to find out.


Being a tall man myself, I first related to my own personal experience. I think there’s clear benefit of being a tall man on the dating scene. So, it would be fun to have a niche dating app focused on height, but I didn’t necessarily think that there was a fundamental problem to solve.


I continued on with surveys and have in-depth conversations with other tall people from both inside and outside of my family. What I found was fascinating. I heard from women about how it’s difficult to find tall men. I heard from someone else about how men would tell women to leave the heels at home next time because she was too tall with them on. Someone told me how she would be fine dating someone shorter as long, as they were confident dating someone taller. Someone told me about how men would lie about their height, then meetup and accuse her of lying about her own height.

A theme started to develop that could be distilled down to this; tall women want to date other tall men, or shorter men that are comfortable and confident while dating tall women. Modern dating apps aren’t tailored to help tall women find what they’re looking for. In fact, tall women have told us multiple times, to stop wasting time, and start building, because they need, not want, but NEED a dating app that creates a better experience. So we decided to make that our mission; to create the best dating experience for tall women.


In DateUp, everything from the concept of “Members” and “Guests”, to height-verification, to the way that new people are onboarded, to the copy written has been designed by looking through the lens of what would benefit tall women the most.


Could we have reached for the simple ideas, like “build an app exclusive only for tall people?” Sure we could have, but then tall women would have missed out on all of shorter guys that are totally fine with dating someone that is taller than them while out in heels. That’s just one example of course.


Another principal we wanted to follow is to only build something if we feel like we can do it in a way without body-shaming anyone else in the process. That’s why we use the analogy, that if DateUp was a party, nobody would be left outside. Everyone is welcome, but tall women are V.I.P.


As we launch, I look forward to hearing about how we can improve the experience even more going forward, and hopefully, we can create a better and more positive dating experience for tall women across the whole world.

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