Most of us have been there: swiping through the latest singles on a Friday night, wine glass in hand, maybe texting screenshots of cringey profiles to the group chat. There are many ways to look for love in the 21st century, but we can all agree that dating apps are the most convenient. 

The only problem with those mainstream apps is that they often produce shallow connections.

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RetroDate is here to change that. The Latinx-founded service aims for users to get to know each other by slowing down, considering their options, and communicating. Maria Torres, the marketing director and one of the co-founders of RetroDate, says that the well-known apps offer a seemingly endless list of candidates that aren’t looking for anything serious.

“I have so many friends who are genuinely sick of the current apps on the market, and RetroDate helps to solve these problems,” said Torres in an interview with mitú.

We spoke with Torres about the intentionally decelerated nature of RetroDate, how her Latina culture motivates her, and tips for future entrepreneurs.

A modern take on an old-school style

Torres and her best friend of 20 years, Natalia, decided to create RetroDate because they were both unsatisfied with the modern dating world. The app launched earlier this year, setting out to give people over 21 a modern matchmaking experience.

“Our culture is so fast-paced,” said Torres. “We expect text messages, calls, emails, [and] packages immediately, and dating is not immune to that.”

Their fondness for anything vintage inspired the theme and mission behind the app. According to their website, RetroDate wants to bring an “old-school dating approach to a modern platform.” Users start by filling out a questionnaire and setting their feed preferences to help narrow down potential matches.

A screenshot from RetroDate displaying the questionnaire for new users.
Used with permission from RetroDate

Through the app’s unique features, like limited matches to prevent “swipe fatigue,” you can expect less superficiality and more of a lasting connection.

For example, ghosting is a phenomenon that is all too common. One party thinks there’s a spark, and suddenly the other party goes radio silent. RetroDate prevents ghosting through their “unmatching” feature, specially designed responses to give closure.

The “glimpse” feature allows all users to connect through shared interests in posts that mimic social media. Users can also bookmark a potential match’s profile for 48 hours until they unmatch with someone to free up a slot. It’s a carefully thought out process that can lead to a thriving relationship.

Being a Latina in tech

RetroDate’s founding team comprises four partners: Torres, Natalia, CEO Lourdes, and app developer Eduardo. They’re new to the tech world, and that’s been their biggest obstacle. While it is difficult to compete with established brands with more resources, they continue to give it their all because they believe in their product.

They rely on their culture and ‘Si se puede!’ mentality to navigate challenges in their field. After all, Torres says Latinx people are “born hustlers.”

“My mom is my biggest inspiration,” shares Torres. “She doesn’t speak any English, but that has never stopped her from getting out there and getting after what she wants, and she has always succeeded in whatever she puts her mind to.”

Torres’ tips for entrepreneurial Latinas

Starting any kind of business is a leap of faith, and knowing how to jump is half the battle. Torres’ top tip is to reach out to people who inspire you and ask them questions. 

“People are kinder than you may think,” said Torres. “There are so many entrepreneurs that are willing to help.”

Furthermore, she says being open-minded and giving yourself grace when things don’t go as planned is essential. She believes in making the best of life while she’s here, including not being afraid to keep trying when times get tough. “Failure is part of it; it’s how we learn,” said Torres.

RetroDate is available for download in the App Store with premium features unlocked for a limit