Are you averse to Aries or a sucker for Scorpios? With millennial interest in astrology at an all-time high, chances are that you’ve chalked a bad connection down to cosmic incompatibility at some stage during your dating life. Looking to the zodiac to further investigate why, how, and when users might hit it off, The Pattern’s new Connect feature has been a long time coming for Lisa Donovan, the driving force behind the app which has won over everyone from Channing Tatum to your most skeptical friend. Connect’s premise is rooted in astrology, but primarily focused on allowing users to date with depth—welcome words when the term ‘swipe fatigue’ has become an all too prevalent norm. With Connect, users of the popular app can review others’ profiles in Discover mode and check their bond compatibility and whether their union falls into one of six categories—Soulmate, Extraordinary, Powerful, Meaningful, Complex, Delicate, or Challenging. Gulp! I hopped on Zoom with the London-based innovator to get the lowdown on Connect and to hear why understanding your birth chart is a game-changer for navigating relationships. TL;DR: Trust this woman! She’s on to something…..
What’s your backstory?
I started as a YouTube content creator back in 2005; the early days! Back then, no one even knew what being a ‘content creator’ meant. But I thought it was incredible and my channel ended up being successful with a lot of people watching. There was no money in it though and it was quite a grind, still working my regular job and creating this content. But that experience was the inspiration for Maker Studios, which I co-founded in 2009. We would bing content creators out to L.A., and eventually we sold it to Disney in 2014. Externally, everything was amazing—but there was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes and it was quite an intense time. I was figuring out who I was, the choices I had made, the people in my life, and all of it was changing very quickly and my life was turned upside down. For me, what happened is that it broke me open, inspired me to seek and search…which led me to my first astrology reading.
How was it?
I’d thought that an astrology reading would be cheesy and new age-y, but it was incredible. It was a full psychological breakdown of who I was. I’m more of an analytical person, so it made sense of a lot of the feelings I was having. It became an incredible tool for me, and over time, I thought this would be incredible for everyone. Online, nothing was giving me the depth of what it was like to work one on one with someone.
Did you immediately think it could become an app?
I started seven years ago, and I thought it would be easy. I was chasing this astrologer who was in his 70s all over the place, trying to talk to him. Astrology is mainly an oral tradition. So I started extracting the information and creating a system. I found a coder who understood astrology. When my dad passed, for two years I wound up writing all of The Pattern content from my childhood bedroom. It became an obsession, but a self-healing one, making sense of all of the feelings I was having but it was being driven from a hard place I was in. Then I put it in beta and there was about 50 people using it. One day, I woke up and there was 30,000 people on the server!
How did that happen? You’ve never really done any press…
With what I was trying to do, I didn’t want any barrier to entry. People can be very judgemental about astrology! There’s no symbols or mentions of astrology anywhere, because I wanted it to be for everyone. Even my Uber drivers, I’d be like, ‘Can I do your chart?!’ Every single person wants to feel seen and talk about how they feel—it doesn’t matter their age, race, gender…they just want to feel recognized. The world has evolved and people are hungry for more depth. A lot of astrology can be superficial, but The Pattern is about going deeper. It grew from there, I had never done PR and marketing, but it
was growing on its own.
Tell us about Connect!
Since the beginning, people have been asking about dating. What we’re known for is being scarily accurate! And so people are like, ‘Wow, how do I do this with dating?’ [Connect] uses our methodology and algorithms, that are unique to The Pattern. It’s dating with depth. You slide and look at profiles, but before you can like or connect, you can run a bond.
It gives you a result—like whether you’re soul mates or an extraordinary connection. It gives you information about the relationship, so right out of the gate, you have context. You can then like them, reach out, talk about your karmic links.
It’s not just hooking up: people are hungry for something a bit deeper. You might be soulmates with someone you might not have thought about!
What’s the feedback like?
This was always something people were always asking for. Understanding yourself better has become so much more a part of the culture. I was hesitant at first, I like to think of us as a life app [instead of an astrology app]. I don’t want to alienate anyone. But this dating feature; it’s just the start! We’re going to do work and parenting too. We’ve all gone through something collectively and people are really wanting to connect. And we all need a great companion for the world! Every relationship is viable, but with Connect, our algorithm gives you something you can’t get. You can run the bond and it can help you understand a relationship and what might be challenging. My favorite feedback is couples who say they read The Pattern together.
[Ed note: As of today, Connect is now available in CA, TX, GA, FL, IL, NY, NJ, PA, CT. Users in other states can join the ‘waiting room’ by signing up via the app.]