The Girl's Guide to DC
Issue 39: Cuffing Season
I hope you enjoyed DC’s “fool’s spring” this week! If you missed last week’s issue, find it here.
I want this newsletter to be about you, the ladies of DC, so send your favorite thrift shops and bad date rants to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q&A with the Founders of Cuffed
You’ve heard of cuffing season, but what about Cuffed the dating app? I interviewed Kyle Kashuv (who’s no stranger to DC) and Neel Somani about their soon-to-be-launched project that tries to encourage more intentional dating.
What inspired you two to create Cuffed?
NS: The idea came up when West Elm Caleb went viral on TikTok. This was a guy who matched with tons of people on dating apps and had these short, intense relationships that ultimately resulted in him ghosting. The TikTok mob was furious, but I started thinking about how the structure of dating apps incentivizes adverse behavior, kind of like a Prisoner’s Dilemma in game theory.
KK: It’s tough for those seeking relationships on dating apps and in major cities. Other than Churches or Synagogues, and even then, there’s no main area of which those present have a greater level of desired commitment. There are two intertwined problems here: (1) bringing those who want to have a more committed relationship together in one place and (2) finding two people who are attracted to each other and then chatting and meeting up. For those who are looking for something more serious — dating apps and the dating scene — are left fatigued. What if we could make a dating app, but with a more wholesome structure?
How will users be matched up?
When you both like each other, you match. But you’re only allowed to talk to one person at a time — meaning, you’re both only talking to each other. This leads to a more meaningful and higher chance of meeting up IRL, and more thoughtful swiping. If it doesn’t work out — that’s fine!
What's the rollout plan for Cuffed?
NS: Right now we're thinking about a couple of strategies. One route is to focus on an audience closer to late 20s or early 30s. That might involve getting some local press and launching closed betas one city at a time.
How can people connect with what you're doing?
Sign up for our waitlist at cuffedapp.com! And send to a friend. If you put someone down as a referral or get referred, you have a higher chance of moving off the waitlist and being one of the first users when we launch.
Know someone I should interview? Email me at email@example.com!
Interview with Lauren Baldwin
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I just moved into a cozy apartment in Navy Yard and love all of the amenities the neighborhood has to offer within short walking distance. Unsurprisingly, I have developed a newfound addiction to my apartment's sauna/steam room, which has now become my post-work destress sanctuary.
What does your life look like right now?
After graduating from the University of Alabama last year (Roll Tide), I started my career in DC working on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Correspondent. This year, I am excited to have started a new role as a Policy Analyst at America First Policy Institute's Center for American Values, focusing on family policy.
What’s your favorite place for a coffee run in DC?
While my DC coffee runs in the past have typically consisted of a hectic scurry to the Dunkin Donuts underneath the Capitol during a break in my workday, Rako Coffee Roasters in Arlington has an incredible Volcanic Black Salt Vanilla Latte that is a must-try for any of my vanilla latte gals.
What’s something you wish you had known before moving to DC?
In true San Diego fashion, I truly did not realize how frigid the East Coast can get and soon developed the foreign habits of checking the weather and stowing an umbrella with me. Needless to say, I now own a wool coat.
Aside from that, DC's fast-paced lifestyle can make it difficult to focus on life's meaningful priorities (faith, family, health, etc.) so I would advise any DC newcomer to maintain their focus as well as a healthy work-life balance.
What’s your beauty routine like?
My great-grandmother always referred to makeup as "warpaint" and let me tell you, I rarely face the day without my warpaint on. As many working women of DC can sympathize, working 45-hour weeks often leaves my skin in need of some love. My favorite skincare brand, Origins, has a fantastic, award-winning skincare product line infused with Reishi Mega-Mushrooms. Not only do the products smell like a spa day, but they miraculously hydrate, soothe, and reduce redness.
How would you describe your style?
Because I refuse to endlessly scroll through TikTok and Instagram to keep up with the daily influencer trends, I try to invest in high-quality, timeless pieces (Ralph Lauren and Aritzia are all-time favorites). In a culture where embracing classic femininity seems to be increasingly more difficult, I also try to incorporate more skirts and dresses into my everyday style (have found that they tend to gather more compliments too!). Kate Middleton, of course, is one of my favorite classic style inspirations.
Even though I’m living the apartment life right now, I love it when I have an excuse to drive through some of the nicest neighborhoods in and around DC to look at the beautiful houses. This article from The Washingtonian gives you the inside scoop on who’s buying and selling DC’s most amazing mansions this month.
If you’re like me, you’ve never thought much about the color of the clothes you wear beyond how they make you look. I really enjoyed this story from Evie Magazine about the psychology behind the colors we wear — green gives off a vibe of creativity and tranquility, red boldness and passion, and so on. What new color will you try wearing based on the article?
I joked about running personal ads in The Girl’s Guide to DC a few weeks ago — but there’s a DC publication that’s actually doing it! Check out The Washington Review of Books for information on placing or responding to a personal ad — and maybe you’ll find your next date!
Congrats to MADELINE and MICHAEL SCHULTZ on the birth of their son THEODORE MICHAEL SCHULTZ on Feb. 22!
MAX BODACH celebrates his birthday on Feb. 26! Congratulate him on Twitter.
CAROLINE BRISCOE joins Rep. Tom Tiffany’s office as the new press secretary/digital director. She was previously deputy press secretary for Rep. Jody Hice. Congratulate her on Twitter.
Join MARY ELLEN O’LEARY at the brand-new Wasinger and Co office in Fairfax Station for a First Time Homebuyers Social at 6:30 pm on March 9! Enjoy champagne and charcuterie while getting advice from Mary Ellen and her broker Meghan Wasinger who has been in the business for over 25 years. Whether you're ready to buy or thinking about buying in the next few years, this social is for you. You are never too young to think about investing in real estate.
Have a question you want me to answer in the newsletter? Click this link to send your question anonymously!
I can’t promise to have all the answers, but I will consult with the experts, a.k.a. the plotlines of my favorite 2000s romcoms.