Good4Utah - Could new dating website help singles find their 'bae?'

Originally covered by Good4Utah.

In a fast-paced age of dating apps like Tinder, Bumble - and even the Mormon-centric app Mutual, singles in Utah and around the nation share a fear of missing out on "the one."

That F.O.M.O (as the kids are calling it these days) also brings about a fear of committing to one person - even for a short time. 

Six singles in Salt Lake City, all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are looking to turn 21st century dating culture - particularly Mormon dating culture - on its head. They've created an experiment called "Thirty Day Bae," in which applicants vie for a chance to date someone exclusively for a month.

("Bae" is a slang term for boyfriend or girlfriend. It stands for "Before Anything Else.")

Part and parcel of being selected for the experiment: Free relationship coaching by a licensed counselor, even though you've just met. The idea is to help people iron out deep-seated commitment issues that may crop up at the beginning of a relationship. 

Creators, along with a matchmaker, take profiles, stories and pictures of applicants and match them with another applicant. There is an interview process involved. Three couples will be selected for the first thirty-day experiment. 

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe marriage performed in LDS temples lasts not just for this life - but for eternity, adding to the pressure among young Mormons to get it right the first time. 

"I'm single and so, it's very personal to me," said Christine Cooke, co-creator of Thirty Day Bae, a new dating website for Mormon singles. 

Mormon-centric dating websites and apps have been on the scene for years - particularly LDSSingles.com and the swiping app Mutual. 

Singles in the LDS Church differ from others because they typically abstain from sex until marriage. Yet, dating apps like Tinder and Bumble make dating for singles - Mormon and non - quick, yet frustrating. A "hook-up" culture pervades even Latter-day Saint dating relationships, even if they are not "hooking up" by having sex. 

The problem, Cooke says, is there are too many options - and people don't stick around long enough with each other to find out if a relationship is working. 

"The dating culture that we have right now is frustrating for a lot of people," added Cooke. "I do think we are presented with a lot of options on apps. We are highly mobile.  We're just afraid. Part of the project is can we see...can we commit ... can we push ourselves ...can we push past that [fear] and find a great match for ourselves?"

Jordan Johnson, a licensed marriage counselor, also co-created the website. Johnson is in a committed relationship, but is not married. Cooke is currently single. 

Johnson will be the counselor for the three couples selected for a thirty-day "bae-ship." The couples will meet with Johnson once a week for an hour during the course of a month. The first "Thirty Day Bae" experiment will go from Oct. 13 through Nov. 14. The dating service is all free of charge. 

Some might consider therapy for brand new couples strange, but Johnson said in his career, it's not uncommon. 

"We're investing in these people because we really feel passionately about this," Johnson said of providing counseling to the couples. "If you could have a personal trainer or physical coach, why wouldn't you use one when you're trying to become a better athlet? It's the same for relationships."

In the 72 hours since the website was launched Monday, more than 100 people have applied to be selected for a thirty-day match, Cooke said. 

Too often, apps encourage users to focus on the next option that could be just one swipe away. 

For this first experiment, creators are accepting applications from LDS singles ages 21 through 34 who live in the Salt Lake Valley. That criteria could change later, depending on how this pilot program goes, Johnson said. 

To apply, click here. The deadline to apply is Oct. 5. 

30 Day Bae Team