We are helping reduce the risk in online dating because sometimes… people suck.
This is Aste founder, Julie Nashawaty, who has developed a sophisticated method of capturing social validation on her dates.
TL;DR: Julie almost dated a bank robber.
I’m Julie, the Founder and CEO of Aste. My mission in life is to help you to date safer. Why?
Spoiler alert: I almost dated a bank robber.
In the summer of 2016, I went on at least 25 first dates. Divorced and single, I worked at an AI startup directing operations and in what little free time I actually had, I dated and I dated a lot. I was on OkC, PoF, CmB, Bumble, Hinge, TimeWaster.com, etc. and I kept finding that even though I had spoken to these people beforehand, I would still show up and find that whoops, they forgot to mention… say… that they were 10 years older than their profile. “But Julie! You wouldn’t have been in my matches if I said exactly how old I was!” Yeah. That’s the point.
I then met a man on OkC. He was 36 years old, a 92% match, “ESTP”, “drama-free”, looking to “find someone intelligent, down to earth, and can keep up with [his] depraved sense of humor.” He went on to say that he was at a tech startup and on the weekends he was “on a quest to find new and fun activities”. He had a gorgeous dog and he didn’t eat kale. Oh and he was “really good at treating you like a princess.”
We instantly connected, texted incessantly, and became Snapchat friends. We had plans for Monday and it couldn’t come soon enough.
Even though I had developed an algorithm to vet my dates, I honestly didn’t use it nearly enough. I was so damn busy and the search still needed my own two eyes on it and there was no one I could ask or pay to run a social check on him. So, I found some time and I ran my report.
And I found him.
There he was in all his glory. This uber cute guy I had a date with IN TWO DAYS had allegedly robbed a bank less than a year ago.
I then found his wedding website declaring he was supposed to be married in October 2015, but was arrested the day before. He went to jail until February of 2016 and his return to social media showed he was happy to be back with his dog. When I asked for more details, he admitted that his fiancée left him when he came clean about robbing a bank and he was just trying to live a normal life before HIS TRIAL. #BoyBye
But wait Julie, back up. What did he say when you called him out? Well, when I Snapchatted this very picture to him with “WTF” on it, his first question was, “How did you find my last name?” I told him he didn’t need to worry about that. His second question was “So I guess our date it off?” Yep, genius, our date is off.
As a society, we joke that we “research” our dates before having them. Some people think it’s a good idea, while others don’t. But in an age where 45M people are online dating, we should at least be armed with the knowledge that the person is who they say they are. Did you know that 10% of people dating online are registered sex offenders? Yeah. This is serious now.
Those outdated people search engines that return incorrect information (if any information at all) are all click-baited nonsense and I’m sick of wasting my damn time.
Aste was born because there’s a more reliable and sophisticated way to protect ourselves. Finding people online isn’t easy (especially when they have common first names), and we often don’t have the time to even attempt it. Every online dating site I’ve been on says the same thing: “Do your own research before meeting them in public.” But we don’t. We can’t ask for a last name (it’s the obvious giveaway), but we always have a first name, location, and phone number, and that’s all I need to get you social proof.
Join me in a revolution of people helping people to make this world a little less yucky.
So. Are you ready to finally start dating smarter and safer?