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“But their popularity is ensured by their complete acceptance of their popularity.Raya is an app that’s supposed to reproduce that sense of cliquishness—it’s like, for whatever reason, are approved as members of a club.”Like in high school, the thing about cliques is, they breed conformity.“If all a Raya date is going to get me is one more Instagram follower, well, I just don't need that in my life.”My experience has been somewhat similar.I’ve been on Raya for a year, but it’s the only dating app that I’ve never successfully met anyone through, compared with Tinder, Happn, and Bumble, which have all led to various degrees of dating, friendship, and casual sex.

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Essentially, Raya is the “you can’t sit with us” of dating apps.

So the other night I was at a party, talking to a friend of a friend—one of those special types of New York artists who never actually make any art. The consensus seems to be: Why go to a party that lets everyone in, when you could go to the party that accepts only a select few?

I started telling The Artist about this sweet ER doctor I’d met on Tinder, when he choked on his mojito. ” He was referring to the “elite” dating app that accepts only people in creative industries, unless you’re superhot, in which case: Who cares what you do? To gain access to Raya, which launched in March of 2015, you have to apply, and then an anonymous committee assesses your creative influence—aka your Instagram—and decides whether you’re cool enough to be in the club.

Multiple times, snooty friends of mine have turned up their noses at the mention of Tinder, assuming I would use a “normal” dating app only if I’d never heard of Raya, or if—shock, horror—I’d applied and been rejected.

The problem, of course, is that whenever something is defined as being elite or exclusive, it tends to attract status-conscious douchebags.

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