Netflix Made 'Black Mirror's' Dating App To Tell You How Long Your Relationship Will Last

Of course this dating AI isn't as sophisticated as the app featured in "Black Mirror."

As a Valentine's Day treat Netflix is here to blend dark sci-fi TV with our reality. Yesterday, the streaming service released its own iteration of the dating system depicted in the Season 4 episode of Black Mirror titled "Hang The DJ."  

In the episode, a dating AI called Coach pairs people off into trial romantic relationships for a specific timeframe. Coach collects data from each of these relationships in order to find their "ultimate compatible other." The system also determines where they go, what they'll eat, and, most importantly, how long they'll date. The relationship's duration is determined by an algorithm before the couple meets and it can be any time frame from hours to years. The couple can choose to reveal their expiration date at any point in their relationship or decide to be surprised instead.

The real-life version is not nearly as sophisticated. It asks users to "put their trust in the system" to find our if their partner is "the ultimate match."

When users visit the website, they're given a unique link to send a partner. Once the partner clicks the link, both participants can click a button that determines how long the relationship will last. This should be done within five seconds of each other. Both users also have the option not to click the button, but if one does while the other doesn't, the relationship's expiration date will recalibrate to much sooner than expected. 

The web app is supposed to be a fun way to bring a part of a fictional TV show into reality and might serve as a flirty way to connect with someone new. But it's not for everyone. 

Our associate editor and resident relationship guru/columnist Lindsay Geller tried it with her boyfriend yesterday and was upset at the thought of her relationship having an expiration date. "The app is clearly a joke, but in the moment it freaked me out," she said. "I didn't want to check the expiration date of a relationship I hope doesn't end — even jokingly. I don't recommend anyone do it with their significant other. Even if you think it's going to be funny, it's going to put this nagging thought in the back of your mind that 'Maybe we'll make it past this timeframe, but maybe we won't.' That isn't healthy for any relationship." 

So, like with most unfamiliar things on the Internet, proceed with caution before you click. 

Cover image via Kashin / Shutterstock

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