Oh, the joys of dating! That cat-and-mouse game that men and women play, the whole time trying to get what they want without making it seem like they’re only trying to get what they want. Even the actual process of getting a date can be an entire negotiation in itself. Are we doing dinner or just drinks? Meeting at Starbucks or sitting down to lunch? For some, these details matter when deciding whether or not to accept a date, and now a new app is putting it out there front and center so you can have all of the info before you make your choice.

The first thing you see when you visit the Carrot dating app website are the words “Bribe Your Way To A Date”. The idea is that you can “dangle a carrot” to someone to make the idea of going out on a date with you more attractive. The creator of Carrot, Brandon Wade, wanted to give people a way to stand out from the crowd by making potential dates an offer they can’t refuse. Another section of the site explains it this way:

“Carrot Dating is the world’s first mobile app where singles can use bribery to get first dates. This unique approach teaches singles to always bring something to the table. Whether it is a special gift or a unique activity, the Carrot Dating app gives you the power to prove your worth and date the man or woman of your dreams.”

Once you sign up and upload a picture, you can browse other user profiles. If you’d like to bribe someone to go on a date, you have to first purchase credits, which range in price from $4.99 for 50 credits to $39.99 for 700 credits. After you’ve offered a bribe to someone, it costs ten credits to unlock the conversation to communicate with that person and set up a date. After the conversation is unlocked, you can continue to chat with your bribed date for free. Bribes can range from flowers to dinners to gifts or just about anything in between. One important thing to note is that there are no guarantees that a person will honor the bribe OR that the person who accepted the bribe will actually show up for the date, so as with anything else let the briber beware!

The hopeless romantic in me thinks that this whole idea is just downright shameful, and some have compared it to prostitution. It should be noted that Wade is also the creator of the sugar daddy dating website SeekingArrangement.com and other similar online ventures. But then there is the pragmatic part of my brain that thinks if two consenting adults know what they want, why beat around the bush? Maybe if we were all a little more up front with our intentions, the dating world would be better off, right? The Carrot app is free for iPhone and Android.

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