App Is Co-Dependent, Also Wonderful: The Giant Group Review


When Carmen emailed us about, I confess I’d heard about it before but dismissed it immediately as co-dependent and terrifying. I mean, just look at their product video.

But many, many of our staff members had strong positive feelings about the app. Which led me to think two things:

a) perhaps I am dead wrong about this app
b) this would be a great time to merge an app review with how adorable everyone is with their perfect humans because everyone who works here is a total critter.

We tried to get a bunch of different kinds of relationships, from the super new to the super long term to the super close and the super far away. Those humans are:

Carmen and Geneva
Carmen’s in DC and Geneva lives in the Great White North. Both of these cool cats work for and they met at A-Camp.

Carmen: I think I speak for both Geneva and myself when I say that has provided us with a fun space to chat and interact with each other, and that we will definitely continue to use it. To be honest, I still can’t get over the whole “me and my girlfriend have a relationship so special we use an app” thing.

Kaitlyn and Camille
Kaitlyn is one of our newer contributing editors, based in Chicago, and her girlfriend lives in New York City. They’ve been together 7 months.

Kaitlyn: Camille and I have a pretty app-oriented relationship. Before we were dating, we may or may not have created a four-person GroupMe chat so we could hit on each other in a less intimidating space than, you know, real life, and GroupMe was our main mode of conversation in the months before she got an iPhone to replace her old, text message-hating phone.

Hansen and Maddie
Hansen is our DIY/Food editor and she met Maddie at this past A-Camp. Hansen lives in Colorado, Maddie’s all the way in Nevada.

Hansen: My girlfriend and I started using Couple first out of curiosity. We’re currently long-distance, with her in Vegas and me in Colorado, so in the weeks between our visits, we thought it’d be nice to have a different way to connect. We weren’t even officially in a relationship at the time, so we thought we could be the “control” pair, as in “Can new couples who aren’t super duper in love use this app without feeling creeped out?” And let me tell you, we were totally creeped out at first.

Yvonne and Gloria
Yvonne is our Associate Editor. She and Gloria have been together since college. They live together in Texas, but Gloria’s job recently took her to Philadelphia. Indefinitely.

Yvonne: We honestly were friends for that first year and nothing happened between us. She was the first person I came out to in college and I had no idea she was queer despite us going to gay clubs and watching “Loving Annabelle” and “Imagine Me and You” in her dorm and not thinking it was weird. It turns out she was queer too but she didn’t tell me that until the next fall semester. Well anyways, we realized we really liked, liked each other that turned into love and the rest is history. We’ve been together for more than 3 years.

Look at us, all grown-up.

Yvonne + Gloria

Ali and Abby
Hi! That’s me and my girlfriend! And right now we’re semi-nomadic in that we have our home base in NJ (mostly together) but we travel a ton because neither one of us can say no to opportunities/fun stuff. But we do that mostly together. Abby was next to me while I wrote my portion of this review.

Ali: For me ‘n Abby, this whole experience started with me texting her the link and stating “we have to review this travesty of an app.” In short, we were prepared to hate it. And for a little while, we definitely did.

So without further ado, I give you the giant review of, organized by app feature.


Carmen: We moved a lot of our chatting over to Couple for a few reasons:

+ Because Google Hangouts fails to work on my phone every. damn. day. and makes me want to bang my head into the metrobus window when I’m on the go,

+ Because the beta web version of the app is amazing and lets your “wallet photo” (I know, right) be an omnipresent part of your online experience,



Carmen: Geneva gave me the gift of Beaver Stickers That I Strongly Identify With and it was legitimately the most amazing act of love I’ve ever experienced. It’s really revolutionary.


Although I identify most with the heart-wielding Beavers, Geneva insists the Flirty Drunk Beaver speaks to my person. Considering how we met, this concerns me, but not enough to stop sending it to her every morning.


Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.


Kaitlyn: You guys, we need to talk about Thumbkiss. This feature takes you out of the conversation screen to a blank white one, where you press your thumb to show your partner a fingerprint icon that they can then touch with their own thumb. If you hold your thumbs together for a few seconds, the screen turns red and the phone vibrates. You have just Thumbkissed. Like with actual kissing, it is awkward to initiate your first Thumbkiss, and if you go for it and your partner does not reciprocate, you will feel the same urge to run away, fake your death, change your name and start a new life on another continent, preferably with a tropical climate. Also like kissing, you get better at it the more you do it. Soon enough you’ll figure out what you like, who should lead, who prefers little pecks to long smooches, which one of you has better aim and how the whole thing gets old after 25 seconds or so. Wait, that last one only applies to Thumbkissing.





Hansen: I thumbkissed her, and she said, “That’s weird.” Then, I don’t know what changed, but I found myself thumbkissing her under the table during class and grinning to myself.

Ali: The first time we thumbkissed, Abby sent back the message “ew, this is weird, I don’t like it.” But she also wants you to know that she’s a luddite who doesn’t like change and it takes her a while to warm up to new things. I’m not like that, though, and I still hated it. Because it felt co-dependent in a way we really aren’t.

And then I went to South Carolina for a week. To dog-sit my parents’ Greyhounds. And I was on that farm for a week. By myself.

All of a sudden the thumbkiss feature that we found so creepy was a cute way to know we were doing the same thing at the same time. Of course we could have both stared at the moon and realize we were staring at the same moon like Fievel, but this was definitely a more 21st century way to do that.

Yvonne: Me and Gloria practically thumbmakeout all the time.

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. I also use this app and I’m fairly certain those beaver stickers make up about 98% of my relationship.

    my favorite is the one that’s sleeping so hard there is a droplet of drool coming out from its mouth. that is me. all me.

    • Hello! I am desperate to find the beaver stickers – especially the zonked drooling one. Where on earth would I start looking (google is rubbish)

  2. Wait was this post supposed to convince me to download or convince me that Carmen and Geneva are the cutest, I lost track

  3. this just makes me infinitely grateful that as of two ish months ago I am no longer in a long distance relationship. after 3 years of skype and twitter messages and similar apps, i’m really ready to have relationships that are tech free.

  4. So, I don’t quite know how this happened but this post made me cry, probably because of missing my long-distance girlfriend so much. I’m about to send her this article, though, with instructions to read it before our Skype date tomorrow morning so we can discuss.

  5. Wait…with the live sketch can you both draw on the same thing? Drawing a stupid picture together sounds like great fun.

  6. So. This sounds great, in that, this is weird but I totally could see using it especially in LDR type situations and that seems really particularly relevant to my life right now. (Thanks a-camp, for providing me the best friends I see at most twice a year and so often geographical challenges in every type of relationship.) But for those of us who like, date multiple people… this pretty much can’t be used except with one of them, right? Or like, can you have like, multiple couple space things?

    Yep. This world we live in is a strange place.

    • From what I can tell, it’s not very poly-friendly. My girl and I each had to “un-pair” from our exes when we logged in to try it together, which was nice and awkward.

      • Ah. Thanks for the answer. I guess that doesn’t sound like a good idea then. :\ Having to unpair with someone on the app just to thumbkiss some other girl would be even weirder than those words I just wrote.


    • THANK YOU! I was wanting to ask the same thing. I’d love to connect with multiple partners, and my overseas bestie, etc. I think there’s a similar app called Avocado, which means you could have that app and Couple for two partners, but if you have more than two … :/

      • Yeah there’s a few different ones, I think there’s also one called Pair.

        It just seems like a pile of awkward with multiple partners though. Like “sorry, we can’t try that app because I use that with someone else” and “actually I’d like to use this app with this other person, so like, I guess we have to break up on the Internet now, but don’t worry I still care about you and see you next Friday?” just seem like the first world problems I never want to have.

        • Agreed. And if one app is more functional or more adorable than another, then one partner gets more benefits and it could all turn into a hierarchy drama. I think I’ll stick to Facebook messages, texts and Snapchat for now. :)

        • this is hilarious. More seriously, I think it would be really interesting if someone poly reviewed these apps, and compared and contrasted them.

  7. My housemates (two straight girls, not a couple) heard about this, downloaded it, paired with each other, and proceeded to use thumbkiss chase each other’s thumbs around the screen and see if they could do it with their noses.

    • Not gonna lie, I have a considered thumbkissing with other body parts just to see how good my aim is.

  8. Just downloaded it today, just in time for being away from my person for a week and each dealing with our unsupportive families. Obsessed already. Thanks for the recommendation, you guys!!

  9. Home for the holidays, convinced my GF to download it….after thumb kissing “This is weird”…We’ll try again when she’s not out with her family drinking PBRs.
    The reviews are all pretty adorable.

  10. Okay, so now that my gf and I have downloaded it and started playing around…it is so fun!!!

    I’ve noticed, though, that my phone battery is TANKING. Is this a thing that the reviewers experienced? (iphone 5, ios7)

  11. You are all the cutest couples… and that conversation about syncing and getting uterus engaged was hilarious!
    Now all I need a girlfriend so I can use this app. No fair! I want to use it NOW

  12. My girlfriend and I are in a temporarily long distance relationship while I do a job in Cali, and i can honestly say that I’m pretty sure this stupid app has saved our relationship on more than one occasion. Nothing conveys an apology quite like a remorseful beaver.

  13. What’s worse than codependency? The term “critter”. I hate it so so much. I’m sorry, haha it’s just the creepiest.

  14. Omigodddddddddddddd Geneva and Carmen ARE TOO CUTE. Beaver stickers for the win.

    I am definitely going to be downloading this app with my co-dependent. She read the article over my shoulder and this sounds like it was built for us.

    Question, though: are the thumbprints like our REAL thumbprints, or just a generic image?

  15. This app sounds kind of strange but also quite cool for people in LDRs – I kind of wish I had an appropriate mobile device to try it out on. My thousands-of-miles-away girlfriend and I both like making lists a lot, so that would probably be one of the principal uses. That, and pictures of her dog.

    • Making lists together would indeed be very useful! Even when you’re not long-distance, actually.

  16. All these comments, and no one has mentioned the dog in a bow-tie yet? Because that is frickin’ adorable. The whole family in formal wear!

  17. My ex would love this, I would hate this. Therein.

    Why does someone need to know what you’re doing all the time? Mystery? Space? Boundaries?!

    Admittedly, we weren’t in a LDR, and I can see that would help you feel closer. (Though possibly still in a creeper way.)

  18. There’s something no one has mentioned yet… When you use Couple and then break up (which I have recent experience of), once you “un-pair” all the lovely messages and pictures you exchanged are lost in the aether. Gone. Not great for either coping with a breakup if your partner broke up with you, or for keeping the happy memories if it was mutual.

    • i can’t decide if this makes me sad or not. it makes me sad, actually. i love the archive of our chats from gchat and such!

      • reading old gchat conversations is legit one of my favorite things to do, i think i actually creep out my girlfriend with the amount of times i say “babe i was reading our chat from august and remember when…” so yeah, if my archive of relationship “stuff” just disappeared into the ether i would probs cry for forever.

  19. It is cute, but IDK if it is necessary? I use FB messenger and 1. the cute emoticons are all free. 2. I send the person I am seeing pictures through messenger, which is pretty private and I have never had an issue with it. 3. The thumbprint thing is a little weird for me/ just not necessary. Also, if you break up, FB messenger does not erase everything.

    Just my two cents!

  20. This is the cutest thing. To be fair, pretty much anything that is endorsed by Ali/Abby, Carmen/Geneva, Yvonne/Gloria, Hansen/Maddie and everyone else here being adorable is a thing I can’t say no to.

    I particularly liked the point of “everything is in one place and you don’t have to put all the things on social media just to share them with one another.” Brb, downloading this.

  21. it still strikes me as unnerving. like yeah, they dump it off your app after you break up with somebody, but doesn’t it mean there are stored records of your past relationships somewhere? not that they would use it, but there’s something weird about all that intimacy floating out there.

    (sighs.) I need to get more with the future…

  22. caaaaasually thumbkissing my girl under the table at *~family brunch~*
    “No mom, it’s not the mimosas, my phone is just giving me the gigglefits”

  23. It keeps the photos you take out of your photostream, which is a nice feature for, uh, some kinds of pictures you may or may not send.

    THIS WAS AN AREA OF CONCERN FOR ME. I don’t know where this stuff is stored – I doubt it’s just on your phone, so they probably store stuff on their own servers, and I am skeptical of how safe it would be. Tbh I wasn’t only concerned about the co-dependency elements of this but why I was giving up so much personal information to a single app I didn’t know enough about.

    (Before the inevitable questions: yes I do have similar concerns about Facebook/etc. I am a geek who usually signs onto things as soon as they come out but so so very wary of security/privacy.)

    But all that aside, this was a great review, y’all! My partner and I will probably just stick to sending each other those oversized smileys periodically.



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