Singles are using Venmo as a dating app


Anna Hogan, 27, was waiting on line at Prince Street Pizza on a Friday night when she realized the popular joint was cash only.

The 30-something-year-old man ahead of her overheard her debacle and offered to give her a $50 bill if she would Venmo him the same amount.

The pretty brunette gladly paid the man via the mobile payment service and walked away with her hot-and-ready slices.

A few minutes later, she looked down at her phone to see a $5 Venmo payment from the random stranger, along with the message “Can I get your number?”

Hogan accepted the small payment immediately but didn’t reply. She’d taken the 5 bucks, but she had no interest in ever seeing the man again.

“He could’ve just asked me while we were there with him,” she told The Post, explaining that the move led her to assume the man was “a wimp” and not her type.

“It was not attractive,” she continued. “It would’ve been better to be hit on in person.”

The paltry sum was also a turnoff.

Anna Hogan, 27, thinks that flirting over Venmo feels transactional and is cowardly.

“He should have at least Venmo’d me $20 for a drink,” said Hogan, who has been hit on by other men on Venmo and found it equally unattractive. “It comes off as transactional and gives sugar baby vibes.”

From the OG to the vegans-only site Veggly, there’s no shortage of dating apps these days. But some singles are looking beyond dedicated romance platforms: They’re using Venmo to find love, sending payments along with flirtatious messages to attractive strangers. Many find it creepy, but some think it’s cute and crafty.

When Asher Griffith of Chattanooga, Tennessee, received a $1 Venmo on his 22nd birthday in 2019 from a family friend, Grace, whom he had never spoken to in person — but was secretly crushing on from afar — he jumped at the chance to shoot his shot. (Venmo only allows users to send messages to those they send or receive money from.)

Grace playfully directed him to go buy himself “something real nice” from Goodwill, so Griffith extended an invitation to tag along.

“I told her she should come with and that was it!” Griffith told The Post. The flirty transaction led to their first date. Almost exactly four years later, Asher and Grace are married with a beautiful baby girl.

Asher Griffith Venmo
Asher and Grace Griffith first flirted via Venmo when she directed him to buy himself “something real nice at Goodwill” with the $1 she sent him.

Asher, Grace and Florence Griffith
Nearly four years later, the couple are happily married with a beautiful baby girl.

While it worked for the happy couple, Rori Sassoon, relationship expert, matchmaker and co-author of “The Art of the Date,” cautions that using Venmo to approach a stranger can come across as a bad move. Men might seem like they’re trying to “buy their way to a date” if they start a flirtation by sending cash.

“Venmo is really used to transfer money, so it’s all very transactional and it should really stay that way,” Sassoon told The Post. “If you want to be respected, be respectable.”

Some are using Venmo to try to try and reignite past romances. Alli Litchfield, 25, blocked her ex on everything — or so she thought — after a bad breakup. Nearly two years later, she was “shocked” when she received 1 cent on Venmo from him, asking: “Penny for your thoughts?”

She gave her desperate ex one last chance and unblocked him on Snapchat to sort things out. But when “he didn’t get the answer he was looking for,” he requested the cent back. The two have not spoken since.

“It was honestly comical! I was shocked, but I mean, he was creative! I’ll give him that,” Litchfield told The Post.

When asked about people using Venmo as a dating app, a representative from the company said the platform “has always had community at its core.”

One expert warned that men might appear to be trying to "buy their way to a date" if they start a flirtation by sending cash.
One expert warned that men might appear to be trying to “buy their way to a date” if they start a flirtation by sending cash.
Getty Images

Jaime Bronstein, a licensed therapist and author of the upcoming book “Man*ifesting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Attracting the Love That Is Meant for You,” encourages those who are thinking of Venmo-ing their way to romance to get creative, be genuine — and maybe run your idea by some friends first.

But, she notes that in the end, the recipient will likely interpret the effort however they want, depending on whatever feelings are or are not there.

“You could note that the sky is blue,” she said. “If someone is interested, they will respond positively to you.”

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