DNA dating apps and Netflix’s

Scene from ‘The One’ on Netflix. Image via Instagram @theonenetflixtv

DNA dating apps and Netflix’s ‘The One’: Can genetic matchmaking really work?

Netflix’s new release ‘The One’ focuses on matchmaking based on genetics and DNA. But how realistic is this approach to finding the ‘perfect partner’?

DNA dating apps and Netflix’s

Scene from ‘The One’ on Netflix. Image via Instagram @theonenetflixtv

Netflix’s new release The One centres around genetic matchmaking to find the perfect partner. Is this something that can work realistically? 

Here is everything we know… 


Around mid-March, Netflix released the sci-fi drama The One which quickly gained popularity. The series follows the life of Rebecca Webb, played by Hannah Ware, an ambitious and impulsive CEO of a matchmaking company that pairs people with their “perfect partners” based solely on their DNA.


The series is not based on a true story, but on John Mars’s book by the same title. One can’t help but to wonder whether finding your perfect match based on genetics could not become a reality in the future?



According to The Tab, there has actually been a few apps that have attempted to match partners through DNA and genetics. Pheramour, a dating app which aimed to connect single people by using physical chemistry and social alignment went quite far and reportedly had 3000 members.

Pheramour required users to send their saliva in a tube to the company who then analyses the DNA and matches you with a potential partner. The app can pinpoint 11 genes that are proved to determine romantic and sexual attraction. However, this website is no longer available.


Another dating site which was started back in 2014, SingledOut, uses DNA samples to look for matches. The app, just like Pheramour required members to send a tube of saliva that the company sent to a lab to test for two genetic markers.

The app looks at serotonin labels and the effect on the immune system to determine the likeliness of a relationship between two people. The app is currently still running.


More recently, Professor George Church from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is developing a genetic-based dating app that focuses on compatibility. The app aims to stop genetic diseases that children inherit from their parents.

The app basically stops you from being matched with someone who has the same recessive genes as you do. The Digid8 website currently has a link to an app called Safem8.

This shows that there are apps out there that base their matchmaking on DNA and genetics, although, not as extreme as the service seen in The One.


Despite The One only having been released recently, aActress Zoë Tapper who plays detective Kate Saunders, hinted that there could be more to the story in the future. 

“Obviously you’ve started to see the cracks forming, you see the cracks forming in the characters, but you also see the cracks forming in the actual business model,” said Tapper to The Express.

“Because it’s had such a global effect, it’s as big as Facebook. People have taken this by storm, taken it on board, and it’s changed their lives,” she continued.

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