CouplesSpark Makes Relationship Counseling Social

by Elias Shams
Last week, I handpicked and covered five out of eleven DC startups presented at the Social Matchbox event. Not that the other six weren’t any good. It’s just that I am more familiar with the space the five selected startups are going after. I think most of them have a clever and promising products, but tough competition.

Based on the feedback I received from a few local VCs about the new rising stars, as a loyal and passionate Washingtonian and serial entrepreneur, I’d like to give a little bit more educational coverage to each one of them starting with CouplesSpark which I  had the pleasure of meeting its founder, Kunmi Ayanbule over coffee at Cosi in Dupont Circle early this week.

Using the power of social media, CouplesSpark is a free online service that tries to tackle and solve our classic “I hate you,… and I hate you” type of conversation most of us  go through with our girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, and even our gay partners.

The site does this by giving each couple a stage to defend or elaborate their side of the argument and then crowd source advice from other couples  who are member of the site and possibly gone through similar problem.  Anyone can vote on which mate they agree with, ultimately giving a winner in the conflict.

Having gone through these type of of conflicts myself many times, I am not quite sure declaring the winner in these type of conflicts is the right approach.  The concept is in the right direction though. Declaring the winner thing requires a little bit of tweaking here.  The good thing is the advice and insights received by the community with similar problems may potentially improve your communication with your mate.

I must admit, before visiting the site, I expected all the conflicts to be bitter girlfriends or wives bitching and bickering about their boyfriends or husbands but I was surprised to see thought provoking and insightful conflicts. In fact, CouplesSpark defines a “conflict” as an argument or fight you are having in your relationship or a conversation with your mate that you disagree on.

This opens up the doors for much more interesting “conflicts” and make good conversation starters. For example, there is a conflict entitled “Should marriages have an expiration date”, which is not a bad concept if you ask me 🙂 “Mate 2” argues that this could lead to a reduced divorce rate as both mates will work harder in order to keep their partner after the marriage expiration.

Another conflict asks “if 80% of women go through their man’s cell-phone”. I sure hope they do not.

Some of the conflicts on the site are quite embarrassing and it is no surprise that a good number of the couples have chosen to be completely anonymous.

CouplesSpark seems to do a good job respecting and protecting those couples’ identities. The concept is simple and surprisingly addictive, and the implementation seems good. I’m excited to see where this goes.

If you are in a relationship (gay or straight) and having a problem with your partner, I encourage you both to give it a try and let us what you think of the concept.

Lastly, enjoy one of my favorite video related to the subject. It is hilarious 🙂

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

7 Responses to CouplesSpark Makes Relationship Counseling Social

  1. Hi Elias, thanks for the post. Couples Park looks interesting. It provides a great mix of conflict infotainment and it’s easy to consume. I agree the ratings concept needs tweeking…a few algorithms could help with that. Cheers.

  2. Elias Shams says:

    Well, the founder is young. Not sure how many relationships he has had before. So, I think he thinks by declaring the winner in the conflicts like this, it will make the loser of the conflict to bow.

    I don’t remember I ever bowed to any of my ex even though I knew they were right. I know I am not alone on this. Even the women act the same way.

    As I mentioned, the concept is in the right direction, but needs some tweaking

  3. Chris Jones says:

    I think it’s yet another amazing way to use social media. Engaging with an entire community over marital and couple disputes could offer interesting and insightful new methods of conflict resolution. Great article.

    • Elias Shams says:

      Thanks for the comment. Hope you are in a good relationship with your partner. If not, check out the site and let me know what you think. Cheers

  4. The founder definitely has skill. Once he’s ready, he may attract more traffic (female) by addressing your input. Perhaps he should think about extending the debate and mining for additional value. Good luck.

  5. Thank you for the wonderful article. To address some of the suggestions on here, we are currently working on a better way to resolve the conflicts in a way that really gives value to our couples. So stay tuned!

    Ofcourse I am always open to listen to ideas. 🙂


  6. Great concept and lots of fun! Glad you spotlighted this one, Elias!

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