In the Brexit referendum aftermath, hashtags and memes of despair united many in an attempt of an online takeover from the generation that lives on the Internet. Supported by the buzz sparked by the Remainers, a new website matches Brits with Europeans.
The chief executive ladies of I’d Be Nothing Without EU project, Katy Edelsten and Chloe Cordon, are a student creative duo from the School of Communication Arts in Brixton. When the rate of hate crimes after the Brexit vote skyrocketed, the girls thought of one simple solution: love. Because, after all, love is all you need, especially when history kicks normal people in the bottom. That’s how the idea of the new matchmaking site was born.
“The rise of hateful, racist, and xenophobic attacks across the UK that have bubbled up after Brexit made us really, really angry,” Chloe explains. “We’ve got loads of friends who aren’t from the UK, and it was horrible to watch them go through it. So to fight with all the hate we thought, hey, if we throw loads of love at this problem, maybe it’ll just go away.”
“I’ve always wanted to own a dating site. It’s a real romantic’s dream come true,” Katy adds. “And besides, imagine having a bilingual baby and being able to save them all the stress of French lessons at school!”
If you’re all set to fall in love with somebody from Europe (and possibly keep your holiday plans intact for the rest of your life as a benefit), the website won’t make it complicated. The owners believe that super-sophisticated profiles are a thing of the past. When you register, you are asked if you’re a British passport holder or an EU citizen. Then, you can simply add your name, age, and location. After that, you’re free to browse through profiles and message other users.
“We wanted to keep it simple,” Katy and Chloe say. “The fun is in what we’re trying to do and we don’t want to complicate that.”
But is it so simple when it comes to differences across cultures, and will the Mr. Right differ massively in terms of habits and preferences? Mingling with many people from different cultural backgrounds, the girls never saw any massive difference that could become a threat to a relationship between a Brit and a European.
“That’s just another level to the relationship. There’ll be plenty to talk about on the first date,” Chloe advises. “Besides, love isn’t picky about where you’re from. We’re hoping to see some love at first click,” adds Katy.
As much as the idea behind I’d Be Nothing Without EU seems refreshing and fits into the trend of looking for post-Brexit rescue ideas, there’s also a lot of space for the scepticism. What about marriages that exist only on paper? Won’t the website support a movement that goes against the law? The Brixton-based students oppose, saying that it was never their intention – they’d rather see some lifelong relationships grow.
“We don’t want fake marriages! It’s all in the name of love, and we believe that only those who fall truly madly deeply in love should tie the knot,” they clarify firmly. “We’re just giving people another way to find their true love, and show some support to our EU mates. And it seems right to try to do it in a funny way in these unfunny times.”
The website that grew out of the momentum certainly fills in the niche and tries to send a positive social message, but it also wants to challenge how people think of online dating. Ever wanted to scoff at somebody who declared that he was willing to lie about where you met on his dating profile? You might agree with another point of the website’s mission statement.
“We hate the stigma attached to online dating. Admittedly it is on the down, but people are still ashamed to say they met on Tinder. We’d love it if people were proud to have met on our website, and we hope that we’ve given them a reason to be,” the femtrepreneurs explain.
Let’s say, you started a profile and you’re all ready to grab a croissant and latte in a quiet café or a glass of quality Portuguese wine over olives in a trendy restaurant before the imported food prices go through the roof. Who should you expect among your matches? Those with alternative lifestyles and interesting mindsets, as it turns out.
“So far, we’ve got people of all ages, genders, and locations,” Katy and Chloe say. “It’s a fun blend already!”