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I’ve got an idea for an app. Or maybe a widget? I’m not really sure. Among the many things I am clueless about, modern technology is almost as lost to me as dating. Never mind that — back to my widget/app. It doesn’t have a name yet, but think of it like Yelp for dates. It could be called Rate a Date. Then we can refer to it as RAD, which, I think we can all agree, dating is not.

RAD would expedite the process of meeting someone on a dating app, texting for an eternity and finally going on a real date, only to learn they are actually a douchebag in real life. To be fair, I haven’t gone on a date with a douchebag in quite a while, but that’s mostly because I’ve decided dating isn’t worth it. Every once in a while, however, I get a twinge of “I should get out there and meet people” guilt. And I give the whole dating idea another go.

This happened recently when I bought a portable air conditioner from someone in my neighborhood. I met the guy, exchanged small talk as he loaded the air conditioner in my car, paid him and left. Later, I replayed it in my head. He was cute, which I hadn’t noticed at the time. He mentioned an ex-girlfriend repeatedly, as if to make it clear he was unattached. He called me up later, just to “check” on the air conditioner. I have a long history of not knowing what flirtation looks like as it’s happening, but this seemed pretty clear cut, even to me. So I decided to ask him out.

My aversion to douchebaggery lead me to activate a primitive version of RAD. I checked out his Facebook page and then reached out to our mutual friends for a review.

“Tell me about your friend Mac?” (His name has been changed to protect his identity.)

“He’s nice! You should go out with him.” (My friends get right to the point.)

“He’s probably not a murderer … or a Republican.” (Sold!)

In the end, Mac and I were not meant to be. But I appreciated the opportunity to get a sense of him before jumping into the big ask. And it made me wish I could have that for all potential dates.

Welcome to RAD. Rate before you date.

Five stars: Dennis was a perfect gentleman!

Three stars: Good conversation with Charlie. Points deducted for being an Eagles fan.

One star: Frank grabbed my ass and pretended to drop a magnum-size condom from his pocket. Would not recommend.

I can foresee some flaws in the RAD system, mostly jilted ex-lovers seeking revenge. But maybe there’s an algorithm to correct that. I would hope that most would give honest reviews.

I’d like to think I would give high ratings even to the guys who have smashed my heart into a gajillion pieces. After all, incompatible does not equal insufferable, and I haven’t been murdered yet.

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