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The Short Version: Couples who have recently made their relationships official often want to create foundations for lasting love. Two practices that strengthen relationships are checking in with each other and trying new things together. Official is an app for couples that helps them build healthy habits and keep their relationships fresh year after year. The app offers date-planning tools and encourages couples to be mindful of their partner’s moods, wants, and needs.
New couples often wonder what it takes to build a long-lasting relationship. Writer Rachael Pace sheds light on some of the qualities most committed partnerships share.
People in successful relationships make a habit of two significant behaviors: They share information and regularly check in with each other. For instance, couples should feel comfortable sharing intimate details with their partners and setting and maintaining boundaries.
“When you set healthy boundaries, and your partner respects those boundaries and vice-versa, it builds trust, respect, intimacy, and communication in the relationship,” said Rachael.
Most long-term partners also develop shared interests. Couples who participate in activities together, including playing sports or board games, were more likely to stay satisfied with one another.
Official is an app that brings those aspects to the forefront for newly committed couples by combining fun ideas for date night with relationship and mood check-ins.
“Our mission is to help couples have the best relationship they can possibly have,” said Official Founder and CEO Zac Stern. “We want people to have more fun and be themselves.”
The app helps happy couples avoid falling into a dating rut by infusing new activities into their lives. That is also an excellent way to keep the honeymoon phase alive longer.
And Official activities give couples opportunities to strengthen their bonds and build positive habits that can contribute to a lasting, fulfilling partnership.
In a way, dating apps inspired Zac to create Official. While the point of dating apps is to meet “the one,” he said he wanted to develop an app that users would continue to find useful after they meet a potential partner.
“While working in venture capital, I analyzed the business models of everything from jetpacks to cancer research; dating apps somehow fall within that range. When looking at a business, you learn that you want to keep your customer,” Zac told us.
On the other hand, dating apps lose their customers when they work correctly. The same thing happens when they don’t work, or when users find romantic partners in other ways, including meeting someone at a bar.
From a financial perspective, Zac said he realized it made more sense to focus on helping people stay together. The longer they were together, the longer they would remain users.
“Official switched the incentives so that when our users are happy in their relationship, we win, and if our users struggle in their relationship, we lose,” he said.
One positive tool Official users can access is its date options feature which allows couples to swipe right or left on date ideas rather than on other users. For example, if a highly-rated local restaurant holds an event, the app asks both users to swipe right or left on the experience. If both partners opt in for a date, they can book that experience directly from the app.
On these dates, couples can also record memories, which the app prompts them to remember later.
The Intimacy tab works similarly, and couples can use it to note and share their sexual preferences.
Zac said he was inspired by his own romantic relationship when he developed Official’s features. In 2019, he was studying in London while his partner was in New York City.
“I met her two weeks before I left to study abroad, so we started our relationship with many calls, texts, and FaceTime. To remember everything, I made a note on my phone about her, another note about her family, Instagram-saved things to do in the future, and pinned every future date spot on my phone’s map. While tedious, this was the only option,” Zac said.
He knew there had to be an easier way.
So Zac added features to help other couples stay in tune with each other, even if they got busy. For example, the Check-In Daily feature prompts partners to share how they’re feeling. They can also set in-the-mood alerts.
The Daily Question tool encourages couples to get to know each other better by answering questions about themselves. An example of the Daily Question is “What’s one thing on your bucket list that we can do together in the next year?” If both couples answer the daily question for several days in a row, they’ll start an Answer Streak.
“Our goal at Official was to broaden two main pillars of a relationship — exploration and communication. Date planning allows users to discover new and exciting things around them, but it is not the app’s main feature. Additionally, our users can check in with their partner, set their mood, and even have a daily question that prompts a real life discussion of topics,” Zac told us.
Official’s features are all free to use, but the team is experimenting with a paid subscription that would add more premium options.
Before Official, Zac said many of his friends strived to be part of the perfect couple, but they didn’t know how to make it happen. That’s why Official’s mostly Gen-Z user base finds the app so appealing: It demystifies long-term love. Young daters between 18 and 25 grew up with mobile devices, making automated relationship-building feel more natural.
“While the app has benefits for any couple in any stage of their relationship, our marketing has been organic on TikTok. As a result, more Gen-Z couples tend to use our app after seeing our videos,” Zac said.
Couples of all ages, sexual orientations, and ethnicities are welcome to use the app. Though Official is still in its early years, many users are finding it helpful in building relationships.
“Official has grown rapidly, and people keep coming back, which I believe is a testament to how we built the platform. The most exciting times are when users send us emails or tag us on TikToks of dates they went on and loved,” Zac told us. “These are the moments that feel the most special because we know we are making a real impact.”
The app already has a loyal following but plans to add more features to simplify communication and date planning. Tools the team plans to launch include a joint photobook, a random date generator, curated content, and more bookable dates.
“We are going to continue on our path to making relationships the best they can be and hopefully bring more joy into people’s lives,” said Zac.