The New Dating App Made With Love In St Albans


Absolutely Hertfordshire chats to Stacy Thomson, founder of dating app, REDDI, and a St Albans local, about what makes their offering different

What inspired REDDI?

In many ways, I feel that I manifested REDDI. In 2019, I wrote an article on ‘The Trouble with Dating.’ I experienced burnout after spending the majority of my adult life as a single woman on and off dating apps. I was someone who absolutely believed in the concept of love – I still do – but somehow, I hadn’t managed to find it for myself.  

This wasn’t an issue for me until it became an issue. At the age of 41 and now thinking about my own fertility, I discovered that my eggs were literally dying. So I took the decision to have solo IVF, which resulted in my beautiful son, Milo, who is now 16 months old.  

Whilst going through my IVF journey, I realised there were thousands of women out there also now having to choose the same journey – not just those of a similar age to me, but much younger women who were also fatigued, and had decided to take matters into their own hands. This is despite 95% of women strongly preferring to have a partner, and the rise in single, depressed and lonely men. 

Younger generations are also having less sex than any other generation that has come before them – a pattern that is mirrored across all age groups – so something is going seriously wrong, and I want to change that.

Stacy Thomson

What makes what you offer different?

REDDI is a dating app dedicated to helping people find healthy, long-term relationships (we use attachment styles, core values, and love languages) that maximise the chances of creating matches with longevity. Then, hopefully (when the time is right) lead to creating, merging, or joining a family.  

We’re both an on and offline dating community, with the view that connection often takes more time than a single one-off date, and some people need some guidance and support.  Many people don’t actually use apps to date – rather for validation, to give their self-esteem a boost.  

We are trying to change the way people date – by altering the brain’s behaviour. The gamification of modern dating apps release the feel-good neurochemical dopamine. When we receive a match or a ‘like’ your brain receives a dose of both dopamine and adrenaline. Our brains love to feel good: we want to feel good all of the time – so it’s no surprise that when we create this feedback loop, we want to experience it continually. But the reality is that it leads to addiction, dating burnout, and poor swiping choices.

How does your background in the health industry influence what REDDI offers?

Prior to REDDI, I spent 20 years working in mental health and have had my own performance consultancy for around seven of these. This experience has undoubtedly been fundamental when designing REDDI – very much incorporating what I have learnt about human behaviour, relationships, connection and love.

Through my work as a Mental Health Practitioner, I have not only encountered hundreds of people, but also been extremely privileged to have been told the deepest, darkest secrets of many. I’ve also discovered a lot about myself, which I feel has been a great foundation for building the app. As both a dating app founder and practitioner, I feel a huge responsibility to do the right thing by others. The innate sense of a duty of care runs deep within my veins, as does my desire to create great change that leads to positive mental health outcomes – which relationships are of course a key part of.

As we all know, one of the most important challenges of the 21st century is mental health, and we need to take action now. There are many different organisations out there trying to solve the multiple challenges we currently face, living in such a progressive world. Here at REDDI, we have decided to take a different approach, targeting the very foundations of what it means to be human, and what it means to connect through our relationships. We aim to help build the solid foundations required so that our members can thrive: by building strong, compatible partnerships with longevity in mind.

As an industry, I also feel that now is the time to be socially responsible. Up until this point, dating apps have had very little ethical guidelines to speak of. Safety guidelines, yes – but when it comes to a duty of care and acting in a manner that aims to do no harm, contributing positively to society, this is an area where I feel the industry sadly falls short. ⁠

Therefore, I’m also calling upon all dating app CEOs and founders to pledge to do business with social responsibility, so that we can all be a force for good. Not only will this improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes, but also change the lives of our current generations, and many more generations to come.

How does REDDI work?

REDDI is a private members-only platform – so any potential applicant would need to apply to join us by downloading the app and completing our short questionnaire. If selected, then you will be required to pay a 3 or 6-month subscription fee. We value safety and quality over quantity, so being a subscription app enables us to provide our members with a more exclusive service.

Our members don’t have the option to just endlessly swipe, either – we aim to show just five quality matches per day. These matches are based on attachment style as well as basic preferences such as location and age. Profiles offer a more intimate discovery – enabling our members to be more upfront than on other apps. For example, it provides an opportunity to vocalise your preferences and non-negotiables when dating and within relationships.  

We also offer a ‘Matchmake Me’ service where we are creating more intimate offline immersive events, and personal introductions. 

What has the response been like to what you are doing?

Over the last five months we’ve been testing the platform and the response has been great – we’ve had some amazing feedback and reviews, with so many people telling me daily how much an app like this is needed. I think also, coming out of the pandemic, many people are just looking to spend their time more wisely. People were experiencing fatigue with online dating, the paradox of choice, and a kind of ‘analysis paralysis’ – almost becoming too overwhelmed. I think that in 2023 we will see a big trend in more intentional dating, which is great! 

You are having a relaunch in January – what are you changing?

Following the initial trial period, we are now moving to a referral and subscription model. The app will only be accessible to those who are referred or are given a REDDI ‘Golden Ticket’, which can be sent to them from a certified existing member. We will also move to a paid subscription, so January will be the last month for people to sign up for free.  

The app will continue to develop as we move forwards, with new features planned as well as exciting partnerships for our offline experiences. 

How does running REDDI fit in with your life as a mum of one?

Well, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a juggle. But if you ask any entrepreneur who is starting a new business, they’d probably say that work/life balance is a privilege – especially at the beginning – as you’re often doing a lot of things yourself. It helps that my son is at nursery for three days a week. I work flexibly and offer the same to my small team which works well. 

How long have you lived in St Albans and what do you love most about it?

I decided to move out of London and to St Albans when I was four months pregnant.  I had done some research on the best areas to live and St Albans just kept appearing. It was a great decision. Having lived here for the last 20 months or so, you can see why people love living here. It is such a pretty city, and as a new mum I have been welcomed with open arms by the other St Albans mums. There is always something to do, and as I live close to the centre of town, I love just window shopping and taking a walk in the beautiful market. 

Stacy loves living in St Albans

Hertfordshire has so much to offer. What are your three favourite places to visit? 

I love Verulamium Park and spend lots of time there. I have a little dog, Winston – so the park is ideal for him, and it’s just so relaxing when walking with Milo in the pushchair – although the hill isn’t my favourite thing in St Albans!  

I also love the fact that whilst St Albans is a city, it still has a very pretty, country feel to it – I love heading up to one of the local woods to get some fresh air.  

I’ve also just started with The Good Pilates Club, which is beyond amazing. 

How do you like to relax away from work?

For me, I love being around those I love. Not necessarily doing anything – time is so precious that we can often try and fill it with ‘things’ to do. Just being present with people – both family and friends – brings me a great sense of joy and contentment.  

A few years ago I figured out that I wasn’t very good at doing things for myself. So, I’ve been working on giving myself some more time and love when I can: spa days, holidays, going to great restaurants, or just trying to see more of the world are some of the things I try to factor into my schedule wherever possible. 

What are you looking forward to in 2023?

My son is at such a lovely age, so watching him grow is exciting. I’m also looking forward to finding love myself. I’ve kind of put finding a partner of my own on the backburner, but now feel ‘REDDI’  to invest more of myself into dating consciously. Who knows, I may even find love on my own dating app?!

Last, and of course not least, just continuing to grow and spread the word about REDDI. Being able to potentially help hundreds of people live a beautiful life fills me with pure joy – what greater privilege could there possibly be?


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