It happens every day.
You see a cutie while running errands, while you’re shopping at the grocery store or grabbing some coffee and a bagel. The two of you make eye contact and you get the feeling that this person thinks you’re cute too.
But, neither of you has the courage to talk to the other. Or, maybe they’re talking to someone else and you don’t want to interrupt, and vice versa. Either way, you leave and you never see that person again. It’s another opportunity for a potential relationship wasted.
Well, thanks to Marcelle and Alayna Dixon, there is now an app for that.
The mother-daughter pair has created the Redu app, or as they call it, “a dating app for missed chances.”
The Redu app only needs a location, time frame and for both users to have seen each other before and have app profiles. If both you and the person you’re searching for are on the app and looking specifically for each other, the app allows you to make a connection.
It’s a second chance to introduce yourself, and the app makes reaching out way less intimidating than it would be in real life, said Marcelle Dixon, who came up with the idea for the app.
About two years ago, the Louisiana native and her daughter Alayna, 22, were in Barnes & Noble, and after Alayna’s own experience with feeling a connection but not saying anything, a lightbulb went off for Marcelle.
She and Alayna had decided to grab coffee and check out their local Barnes & Noble when a handsome, unsubtle young stranger took a liking to Alayna.
“This guy who worked there was following us around basically,” Marcelle said with a laugh. “But she was with me and I guess he was shy. When we left, I said ‘oh my God he was so checking you out, it was so cute how he was following you around.’”
Then, Marcelle thought, wouldn’t it be cool if you could find him even though you don’t know his name? After Alayna told her mother that this was a good idea, she began searching for all the information she could find on making dating apps.
Despite having zero app-creating experience, Marcelle got to work.
“I was a stay-at-home mom for 29 years, so I was inexperienced with stuff like this, but I did my research,” Marcelle said. “We did a focus group with some of Alayna’s college friends and they loved it and thought it was a great idea. So it just kind of went from there.”
An advertising major at LSU, Alayna helped her mother out tremendously with the app. She was able to provide valuable information about what people her age liked and didn’t like, and they worked for two years as a team to create a quality final product.
The mother-daughter co-founders pride the app on its ability to be personal, which sets it apart from other dating apps.
Redu app users are not attempting to make a totally blind connection, Alayna said. Instead, they are trying to further a spark they feel was a missed opportunity, which she said is an important distinction from other apps like Tinder in which users simply swipe right and left on total strangers.
Users will first create a profile that includes his or her name, age and photos. Then, if the user wishes, the bio space can feature circumstantial information to help them find who they’re looking for, such as “searching for the brunette girl with a blue raincoat studying at the campus Starbucks last Monday.”
After creating a profile, all the user has to do is enter in the time frame and location where the missed connection took place, such as October 30, LSU Starbucks. Users who entered in similar data will then appear, and, if two people recognize each other’s photos, friend requests will be confirmed and in-app messaging can be enabled–giving each user that second chance at a connection.
While the pair was already close, the experience has allowed Alayna to further her own connection with her mother, she said.
“I’m just so proud of my mom,” Alayna said. “The app was her idea, and she really understands how things are now. It makes her cooler than the other moms, I guess.”
Initially, Marcelle had people her daughter’s age in mind while working on the app, but it’s turned out to be useful for everyone regardless of age.
“A lot of older people have said the app works because you actually saw this person, you’re not just randomly swiping left or right,” Marcelle said. “You actually saw the person and saw the connection but for whatever reason you didn’t talk to them. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback.”
Another aspect of the app that the pair is exceptionally proud of is that it appears to be catfish-proof.
“You know you’re not being catfished because you actually saw that person,” Marcelle said. “You know what they look like, and you can decide whether you want to talk to them or not.”
So now, Marcelle said, when you inevitably see someone attractive at Starbucks and start to daydream about planning your entire life together but are too shy to talk to them, you can find them later.
The Redu dating app is available now in the Apple App Store.