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A new dating website ... for couples

September 16, 2013|By Courtney Griffin | RedEye

Looking to spice up your current relationship? Have you tried finding a date online?

Don't worry-- it's not what it sounds like.

HowAboutWe.com, which has been pairing up singles based on date suggestions (including on RedEye’s website), will launch a HowAboutWe for Couples site in Chicago on Monday. The Couples site, which has already launched in New York and San Francisco, suggests and provides date packages for couples in Chicago.

"We want people to go online, in order to go offline" said Brian Schechter, co-founder and co-CEO of HowAboutWe. According to Schechter, who lives in Manhattan, many modern couples have the “Netflix and Chinese Food Syndrome,” resulting in fewer pairs who are willing to make something of their date night.

“It’s harder today for couples to get that shared experience,” Schechter said. “But there’s an actual dating need.”

It was only a matter of time before the Couples site, which is most popular in metropolitan areas with young and adventurous couples, made its way to Chicago.

This is how it works: Couples looking to liven up date night can sign up for the service. Then, users will be led to a gallery of possible dates, a collection that includes photography retreats, apple-picking and food tours.

Manny Hernandez, owner of the popular Tamale Spaceship food truck, is one of the Chicago-area business owners opening his doors to HowAboutWe for Couples.

“The couples will be making their own meals,” said Hernandez, an Uptown resident, of the Tamale Spaceship date package. “It’s BYOB, and we will be making guacamole, jicama chips, sauces and, of course, the highlight-- tamales.”

Other date options are more season-oriented, such as a package at All Seasons Orchard, in Woodstock. About an hour drive from the city, the orchard’s manager, Eddie Hong, said the sprawling acres are perfect for a daytime date.

“Couples have said that we’re a good location to go out and have a romantic time,” said Hong, 27, of the apple orchard and pumpkin patch. The All Seasons package includes a wagon ride, apple-picking and full access to the orchard’s various barnyard activities.

The new site will also provide perks to its users, including one free date every month to loyal customers, as well as something that Schechter is calling a “Concierge” service, a feature that lets users suggest dates with the aid of HowAboutWe to make the dream dates happen.

“In using the Concierge service, couples will be able to say ‘this is the date I want to go on’,” he said of the new feature. “People have even used it to organize proposals.”

The idea for HowAboutWe for Couples came from real-life couples that had met through the dating service.

“When we started, we were seeing people get into these relationships, and it was exciting and gratifying,” Schechter said. “But all they kept saying is we want more.”

The dating site, which launched in April 2010, refocuses the target of online dating from searching for the perfect partner to searching for the perfect date.

“The original inspiration was to organize the whole user experience around the dates people want to go on,” said Schechter, whose website pairs up singles based on their date suggestions. Ranging from traditional, to quirky, to borderline bizarre, singles find their matches based on their responses to a variety of proposals, all beginning with “How about we …”

For Schechter, everything seems to be about making perfect matches. The 34-year-old Boston native met his business partner, HowAboutWe Co-Founder and Co-CEO Aaron Schildkrout, when he was only 5 years old.

“We met in kindergarten class,” Schechter said. Together, the pair serves more than 1.5 million users on the HowAboutWe Dating site and more than 130,000 users on the Couples site.

RedEye is in partnership with HowAboutWe for Dating and HowAboutWe for Couples.

Need to give your dating life a boost? Sign up for RedEye Dating.

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