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Several young beauties have crossed my path in the last 10 minutes, including Sue, 24, CEO of a design company, and Ellie, 23, a Chelsea Football Club official. I think it’s sad.” “Oh but this is a dating app, it’s really cool.” “Sad.” And with that she disappears down a side street.I send out likes to both (I’m not sure if happn’s “Margot” is a real person or a virtual receptionist, but she hasn’t updated my age yet so maybe I’m in with a chance). I have now sent likes to more than 30 people and received two “charms” from girls I don’t fancy: Jenny, 26, a banker, and Louise, 25, a make-up artist.“Ten years ago we might have been ashamed about dating apps and websites,” says Nadia Bensalah, a 34-year-old advertising executive.“But now, if you’re not on them, you’re probably out of the game.” So what happens when two people – myself and a friend, James Innes – decide to test out France’s hip new app? Will we find that much desired coup de foudre or will we be wallflowers in our own town?French men may lack the height and humour of their British counterparts, but one thing they’re really good at is approaching women.Which is why “happn”, the newest, hottest dating app, is so surprising.In a last-ditch attempt to find a meaningful connection I begin “charming” what seems like the entire female population of happn. ” I turn to find an attractive German girl in her mid 30s sitting next to me. “It’s all about linking up with all those lovely people you pass in the street and never have the courage to speak to.” “Not working out? In no time at all we’re chatting about everything from why the peacocks of Holland Park are more impressive than the peahens to whether true romance is possible after 35.
He’s good looking, nothing showy, just very classic, and he’s in international relations, which strikes me as exactly the right sort of job for a man on happn. Casilda Grigg writes a style blog about the French in London called whostolemycroissant.JAMES'S STORY I’m four hours into using happn, I’ve sent several “likes”, and I haven’t received a single “crush” (meaning someone has taken the trouble to fancy me back). My profile photo is of a man in the mid section of life (the flecks of grey don’t lie) whereas my profile says I’m a mere 26. The happn app is linked to Facebook and that’s where the problem lies.With extreme politeness – for Parisians are as rude as they’re polite – he asked if he could join me at my table.This was not the start of a love story, but one of those flirtatious, faintly louche exchanges for which Paris is famous.And within five weeks of launching in the UK, 25,000 people have signed up. In the old days online dating was an arduous business that involved writing long profiles and filling in elaborate questionnaires.“I have seen so many hot guys today that I wish I had been on happn,” tweeted one user. Now there’s an altogether simpler, more instant way to meet people, based on GPS technology in your smartphone. All you have to do is supply the skimpiest of personal information (and your Facebook network), upload a picture or two, and – bingo! Designed to facilitate what one French magazine racily refers to as des rencontres fugaces (fleeting encounters), happn operates within a radius of 250m, which is good news if you live in the capital, bad if it’s the Brecon Beacons.