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The Cove is One of The Best New Dating Apps of the Year and Here’s How it Works

how dating app cove works

How many times have you arrived to a first date only to be horribly underwhelmed by a woman who looks nothing like her photo? WORST. FEELING. EVER. But it doesn’t have to happen anymore.

A new dating app called Cove verifies the authenticity of every match by adding voice and video messaging to the mix. Bye bye bots and scammers. This concept is disrupting the dating industry by creating a safer experience for both men and women. Historically, the only way to assess for chemistry was to commit yourself to meeting up in person, which can be awkward when there’s zero chemistry.

Cove’s app saves you time, money, and the emotional disappointment of a lackluster encounter by providing information about a person’s vocal inflections, tone of voice, pitch, pacing and body-language, all subliminal cues of chemistry. So let’s dive into why The Cove is one of the best new dating apps of the year and show you how it works. 


What To Expect When You Sign Up for Cove

Sign-up is quick and easy. Enter a phone number and verify it to get started. Then, add your date of birth and relationship status. A screen will pop up explaining the purpose of the app, the rules of engagement, the three levels of communication: text, voice, and video, and the seven day time limit.

the cove dating appNext, choose two icebreakers to help people get to know you better. Enter your height, education level, ethnicity, plans for children, and whether you drink or smoke. Lastly, sign the user agreement and you’re off to the races.

You’ll want to allow Cove to access your location while using the app, so be sure to hit allow when prompted. If you’d like to be notified when you receive a message, enable notifications. 

Next, Setup Your Preferences

cove preferencesAge

Add your age first. You can choose not to show this but you may have to pay to hide it. I found it interesting that I was able to hide my age (woman’s Cove account) without having to subscribe or pay an additional fee. 

Distance Preferences

Next, select your distance preferences (you can set your distance as far as 500+ miles). You can also choose not to show this but you may have to pay to hide it. Right now Cove may not have launched in your particular city, so be aware that there may not be ample women for you to match with right down the street. 

Expanding your distances preferences to 500+ miles works well if you travel a lot for work because it enlarges your dating pool and provides insights into unexplored territories that you might actually prefer to live in. 

Verified Photos

If you like, you can choose to see only profiles with verified photos. In your settings, you have the ability to select only profiles that have been verified for authenticity.

To use this feature, you need to also verify your profile. The process is super simple. All you do is take a selfie and copy the pose in the example they provide. Then, within 48 hours you’ll be notified of your approval status.


What About Your Height? 

Here’s where things get juicy. My boyfriend and I both tested this app and in my settings, I was able to filter for the preferred height of the men I matched with. However, in his settings, there was no filter for height. This is a big problem (in my opinion) that favors women.

Most men would never know that women are filtering for height and it’s one of the first filters women use. For some reason, every woman thinks she wants a man who is 6 feet tall and above.

Why it happens: A beautiful woman has access to thousands of men on dating apps and she gets so many daily messages that it can quickly become overwhelming. Filtering by height eliminates roughly 90% of the population and makes it easier for a woman to focus on a smaller amount of men. There are numerous studies that explain why women prefer taller men or think they do, but the truth is, it’s not that big of a deal. 

Pro Tip: I always encourage my clients to set their height to the max allowable setting so they don’t get filtered out from the majority of women’s searches. If you make a note in your self-summary that says something like “I’m not really 7 ft tall,” then it’s strategic as opposed to dishonest. A smart man always finds a workaround. 

Invisible Mode

You can set yourself to invisible mode, which allows you to not be shown to anyone other than people you’ve already matched with.

Next, Here’s Some Cove Profile Tips for You Guys

Cove allows you to insert six photos into your profile, so select them wisely. One issue with Cove’s current platform is they do not allow you to drag around your photos after uploading. Therefore, make sure you choose your top performing photo first so it lands as your primary photo. 

Pro Tip: Use Photofeeler to test your photos for competitiveness. Only use photos that score above an 8 out of 10. Make sure to have a photo that shows off your physique, one that includes other happy and good-looking people, one of you in a suit, and one with an adorable animal. If you’ve got kids, a photo of you and your kids is ultra powerful. Women love men who can take care of living things. 

Onto Swiping: But Here’s the Difference with Cove’s Process

Once you have your photos and profile loaded up, then you start matching. Much like Tinder, you swipe right for yes and left for no. When you get a match, you’ll need to follow Cove’s process before you can land yourself an IRL date. This helps weed out people looking for a hookup. You have 7 days to complete all steps – so if you snooze you lose.

Step #1: Compatibility Games

cove compatibility gamesThe first interaction is a fun ice breaker with multiple choice questions that are easy to answer. It’s great because you don’t have to rack your brain, searching for things to say to a stranger. #Winning. How hard is it to come up with a clever opener when a woman has nothing written on her profile? Not fun. The gamification helps to inspire ideas for what to say when you get to the texting segment, by playfully revealing more information about one another.


Step #2: Text Messages

cove text

The text message component is similar to texting on other dating apps except that you can use the compatibility games to craft more meaningful messages because you have more information about the other person. You have to exchange 3 messages before moving on to the voice message step.

Step #3: Voice Message

Next step is to send a quick voice message to your match. Honestly, I found this monologue-component to be a bit awkward. The natural give-and-take of normal dialogue makes communication a lot less intimidating. I felt like I was leaving an outgoing message on my voicemail. “Hi, you’ve reached Emyli, I’m not available right now but please leave a message.” As awkward as this was for me, it’s important to realize that growth comes from stepping outside your comfort zone – especially in dating. 

My boyfriend, who was also testing the app said that this part was the hardest for him. Thank goodness you can preview the message before you hit send. He mentioned it’s easier to send the voice message if you first drink yourself an iced coffee. Or, simply write down what you’re going to say ahead of time so you don’t stutter or sound awkward.

I’d add that it could be helpful to ask a question that elicits a meaningful response. It’s nice for a woman if you can make it easy for her to send a message in response to yours.

Step #4: Video Message

Once you’ve made it past the voice message, the next step is to send a short video. This made me nervous because I didn’t want to send a video message without looking my best. The photos on my profile showcase my best self but it takes a long time to look like that. It’s not every day that a woman has an extra 3 hours to do her hair and makeup so she can look drop-dead gorgeous. Guys will probably have an easier time with this. 

While I like the video messaging component—in theory, the reality is, it’s daunting. You want to look your best before you send it and for a woman, that means multiple hours of effort. I’d presume this might slow some folks down, especially if they’re past the age where they feel the need to wear false eyelashes on the reg.

Step #5: Exchange numbers

Last but not least is the phone number exchange. When you get to the end, you can “meet in the cove” and exchange numbers or opt to continue with compatibility games. The latter being an even crummier form of the friend zone because it’s a virtual friendship held together by the glue of monetary incentives (see below). They might as well just offer you the choice of either:

  1. Meeting up for a date (or)
  2. Helping Shelly pick out cute outfits for her dates with Chad and Brad

It’s the ultimate ego blow if you ask me.


As a woman, receiving financial incentives for communicating with strangers makes it super compelling to play compatibility games ad nauseam, instead of ever actually meeting up IRL. What a creative new side hustle for women who know how to work the system. My gut tells me this won’t be the way it works for long. Interestingly, the incentives aren’t all one-sided and men can earn some free Uber rides as well.

How Cove’s Gamification Works:  Earn Points and Use Them for Starbucks, Uber, or Donate to a Charity of Your Choice

cove rewardsUsers earn points for playing compatibility games or sending text, voice, and video messages. You can also earn points by referring friends, responding to survey questions, or randomly for no reason at all.

Points can be used to support a charitable cause or for Uber or Starbucks gift cards. Sweetness! This is a big difference from Tinder or Bumble as it gets people to interact much more.

But make sure you’re careful. Our male test user received a video message of a household ceiling, not the actual woman who was supposed to be interested in conversing. Super — thanks, babe. There are easier ways to get a free Starbucks!

How You Unlock Perks

Points unlock perks and you can click the “redeem now” button to view all the latest offers. With that said, if you keep collecting points you can score even bigger ones. Perks incentivize users to continue engaging with their matches on the apps. This is a win-win unless of course, you match with weird household ceiling girl.

Conclusion – How New Dating App Cove Works

In summary, Cove has the potential to revolutionize the dating app experience. It can help you save time and money by providing insights into what your date looks and sounds like before meeting up IRL.

This additional filtering system may take longer than traditional dating apps initially but should save you time and the discomfort of going on a bad date in the long run. You’ll also be able to filter for chemistry and trust. As a byproduct, Cove may become responsible for eliminating bots, scammers, and women who look nothing like their photo.

Women are likely to gravitate to Cove for the added benefit of safety. Incorporating video chats might encourage users to post more realistic photos that haven’t been doctored to fit an unrealistic stereotype of beauty. 

I’d encourage people who are curious about Cove to download it and add it to their mix of dating apps. Keep an eye out for new users too because it looks like there are more and more people signing up every day.