It鈥檚 no secret that, in spite of all of its advantages, online dating comes with a healthy share of potential downsides. MTV鈥檚 Catfish has bred in even the most hopeless of romantics among us an almost innate skepticism about the true identity of our digital matches, and online dating abuse has become an unfortunate reality.

In mid-February, the team from Once, a popular European dating app that recently launched in the US, conducted an online survey of 1,500 unmarried participants. According to a spokesperson from Once, 80 percent of the female respondents say that they have been deterred from dating apps because of inappropriate behavior they鈥檝e experienced firsthand, with 50 percent saying they have been propositioned for sex during an initial conversation via an online dating platform and 32 percent saying that a match has made them feel generally uneasy and unsafe. Once鈥檚 recent arrival stateside is aimed at combatting dating app fears.

Launched in major European cities in 2015, Once is built on the premise that, by providing users with one mutual match per day 鈥 rather than many options to choose from 鈥 the dating app experience can more closely mirror what it鈥檚 like to meet people face-to-face. According to the app鈥檚 CEO Jean Meyer, these matches were originally made using a human matchmaker (yes, that鈥檚 right鈥 an actual person), a process that has since been delegated to an algorithm with the growth of the platform. In three years, the app has expanded to six million users in seven countries 鈥 a number that the company hopes to see grow now that Americans also have access.

Meyer says that he believes Once has been so popular in Europe thus far because it鈥檚 an antidote to the swiping culture that has become so prevalent for people trying to find love. 鈥淭his is the future of dating online,鈥 he tells us. 鈥淚t鈥檚 not about swiping. It鈥檚 about matching people perfectly from the get-go.鈥

If Meyer and his team have their way, the future of dating online will also be safer and more reliable. Due to the results of their recent study about app dating鈥檚 drawbacks, Once has introduced an Uber-like ratings system that will allow women to confirm whether or not a planned date actually happened, to quantify how much 鈥 or how little 鈥 the match was consistent with their profile, and to note any security concerns they had about the person.

鈥淥ur revolutionary new ratings feature gives women the ability to rate men after their dates, which is appealing to serious daters,鈥 Meyers says in a press release. 鈥淣o more catfishing or bottom fishing 鈥 men will be held accountable for who they are and how they behave. We鈥檙e focused on happily ever after, not instant gratification.鈥

Users who have been flagged for making their dates feel uncomfortable or unsafe will be banned from the app entirely.

once dating app

While male Once users will be prompted to rate the accuracy of a profile photo after a date has occurred, they won鈥檛 have access to the other new rating features. When asked if that rollout would happen down the road, Meyer invokes the specific concerns of the female dating pool, as well as the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

鈥淭he day that we have perfect equality between men and women on dating apps?鈥 he says. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 when we鈥檒l start rolling [more security features] out to men.鈥

Will you try Once now that it鈥檚 stateside? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Image via Once, featured photo via Getty)