New Dating Safety App Helps Women Ask: Are Their Dates Sweet or Psycho?


Psychology-driven questions assess dates’ character, behavior


DateShield, an app that uses questions developed with psychologists to help women assess if a date might not be as sweet as he seems, launched today. The app, which is available in the Apple Store, supports video dating as well as traditional dating.

Hellish Dating Scenario Prompted Development

Software developer Nigel Richards built the app after seeing the harm from an abusive relationship.

“When someone close shocked me by revealing the gaslighting, belittling, and other abuse she’d endured,” he said, “I was relieved she was out of the relationship. But later, I was dismayed to learn she’d returned to the abuser. She was able to get away finally, but the experience exacted a huge toll. I decided to create an app to alert women to red flags when dating.”

What the App Does

The DateShield app guides users through a multi-step process that includes: 

  • answering questions about their dates
  • journaling impressions of their dates
  • acting on to-do-list items and reminders to learn more about their dates
  • being alerted when disturbing characteristics are revealed

Questions assess traits such as evasiveness/honesty, ghosting/reliability, coldness/empathy, contempt/respect and controlling behavior/healthy independence.

After each assessment, the app adjusts a date rating dial based on the user’s answers. 

Clinical psychologist Dr. Nicole El Marj said, “I’ve seen a lot of women in private practice seek therapy following toxic and abusive relationships. Words cannot describe the pain and suffering that these women have endured and coming out of such relationships takes a lot of courage and strength. The questions in the app are absolutely on-point. I believe that this app can help individuals think twice before entering and fully investing in a potentially unhealthy relationship.”

DateShield also enables users to easily alert trusted contacts and directly dial 911 if they feel threatened. The app can even share a physical description of the date and the street address.

Richards explains, “The CDC estimates that one in five women in the U.S. has been seriously assaulted by an intimate partner. We believe that women deserve respect, safety and autonomy in their relationships, and we hope DateShield will contribute to that outcome.”

The app is available on the App Store, and more information is at