We downloaded RLOVE, a dating app for psychonauts and “light warriors.” Here’s what happened

RLOVE is a new dating app designed “to connect awakened souls” who aren’t able to find partners through more traditional, tried and true means such as OkCupid.

As of the time of writing, roughly 24 hours post-launch, the user base is still sparse: I have only encountered three other users on which to swipe, but a representative with the company said there were 2,500 users signed up.

The app differs from its competitors through its expanded profile creation features. Instead of merely listing one’s alma mater or a favourite flavour of ice cream, the app allows for profile customization catered to psychonauts, including the possibility to list:

  • Spiritual alignment, from religious to metaphysical to naturalist
  • Medicine use like Ayahuasca, Cannabis, San Pedro, and Iboga
  • Meditation, breath work, nature reconnection and other practices
  • Self-growth activities, such as biofeedback, Yogic training, sweat lodge experiences

Logging into the app, the asks for the standard fare of height, body type and relationship preferences.

On the spiritual side, the app has a section which allows users to list any accreditation for any spiritual training they have completed. Boxes to tick include yogic training, Landmark Forum–an organisation which has been called both a multi-level marketing scheme and a cult–and one simply called “Tony Robbins.”

Another interesting caveat during the profile set-up process is a section regarding health. Users have the choice to screen potential matches for any diseases, but reminds you that “50-80% of the population has oral herpes.”

RLOV is currently free, though a potential ad-based revenue stream is currently in discussion. In 2019, Tinder’s parent company, Match Group (MTCH.Q), earned $489M in Q2 revenue, while Tinder reportedly added more than 1.5 million more subscribers during the quarter than it did during the same period last year.

The app was created by Gerard “Gerry” Powell, a plant-medicine advocate and founder of the Rythmia Life Advancement Center (RLAC), an organization which facilitates ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica.

Located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, RLAC previously offered ibogaine treatments, operating as a rehab center, though the organization has since pivoted to more of a life-coaching and wellness model.

One of the life-coaches on-staff at RLAC is Michael Bernard Beckwith, featured in the 2006 film adaptation of The Secret.

Steffen Hoffman, creative director with Rythmia Group, said RLOVE as a way of collecting like-minded psychonauts in one place.

“Things just aren’t working and people are getting more and more depressed, so that leads them to centers like Rythmia to really transform their lives,” Hoffman said.

“And once they realize that transformation and begin to step into their truth, a lot of other aspects of their lives change because their mind has changed, their perspective has changed.”

Hoffman speaks about the difficulty of finding one’s tribe after a ‘transformation.’ An attendee at one of Rythmia’s retreats confided in Hoffman that one date in particular didn’t know what meditation was.

The app isn’t just for psychonauts, however. Potential matches can be screened for genderfluid and polyamorous-friendly users, two groups Hoffman calls under-served by largely hetero-normative apps like Tinder and Bumble.

“I would say the stereotypical cookie-cutter relationship is just not working for people,” Hoffman said.


–Ethan Reyes

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