Bumble, which by many has been labeled “The Feminist Tinder,” is not only one of my personal favorite dating apps, it's also one of the best downloads for single women. Unlike Tinder, Bumble allows women to have more power when it comes to their matches; you're still meant to swipe left or right, but if you match with a guy, it's up to you to message them within 24 hours, or else the match disappears (and poof, no more chance to talk!) For women seeking women on the app, either person has 24 hours to make the first move or that connection will disappear, too. (Bonus: It also boasts a female founder, Whitney Wolfe, who was an executive at Tinder before launching Bumble.)
But like most dating apps, there are still plenty of mistakes to be made when swiping along. One of the most obvious: Treating Bumble like it's Tinder. Yes, the two are very similar, but the app was specifically created by Wolfe, Tinder's co-founder, to give women a dating platform of respect and autonomy. So you shouldn't be using it just like you use Tinder, even if all the swiping makes you feel as though the two are similar.
1. Not Talking With Your Matches As Soon As You Get Them
One of the best things about Bumble is that you are the one who can start the conversation as you choose. But, if you wait to long, your matches will disappear. Jennifer Stith, the VP of Communications and Brand Development over at Bumble tells Bustle that the whole purpose of the app is to encourage you to to say something.
“The ephemeral nature of the app means you’ll have less time to sit on your hands and will really be presented with a small amount of time to decide who you really want to talk to. We’ve found that this leads to more confident connections,” Stith says.
If you get notifications sent to your phone, the app will let you know when a match is about to expire. But, to prevent this from happening, message them soon after you become a mutual match. This way, they will know that you're interested in pursuing a conversation, and you don't run the risk of losing out on a potentially cool person.
2. Neglecting To Read Their Bio
This is a common mistake when it comes to dating apps. You're swiping along, making quick judgments based on a person's pictures, but disregarding common interests or the few sentences they've decided to write about themselves. Dating apps are designed to be easily navigated, and quick, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a moment to find out who you're matching with. We're not given many words to share our life stories, so whatever words they put there, take an extra second to look. This way, you may have a conversation starter for when you do match.
Similarly, don't forget about yours. “Take the time to fill out a bio,” Stith says. “A little humor always goes far.”
3. Treating Bumble Like It's Tinder
Like I said, Bumble isn't Tinder, and was specifically designed to be something a bit different. So don't fall into the “swipe right to everyone” trap you may fall into when you're Tinder-ing, and don't sit and wait for someone else to make something happen. With Bumble, it is completely up to you — which, yes, can be scary. Wracking up matches for the sake of it also isn't an option, because not speaking to your matches means they won't be there the next day. Unlike Tinder, this app gives you little option but to get to know people, so embrace that!
4. Forgetting About Their “Shake Back” Feature
One of the cool things about Bumble (that you don't actually have to pay extra for) is the ability to backtrack by shaking your phone, and get back the last match you accidentally swiped left to. If your phone malfunctions (which happens because technology) or your finger twitches to the wrong side, there is no need to fear. You can get that match back, and swipe the right way this time. Nice!
5. Starting A Conversation with “Hi”
This is a rule of thumb for dating apps/websites in general. Starting a conversation with “Hi” is boring, and unoriginal. And if the person does answer you, they'll likely have nothing original to say back. It's hard to develop an interesting conversation from that, because you've already started on a pretty mundane note. You don't have to be the most clever person that ever graced Bumble, but if you start a convo asking them about a picture, or their “About me” (which you read) you're sure to get a more interesting response.
6. Taking It Personally When Someone Doesn't
Because the shoe is on the other foot for hetero women with this app, you may begin to notice that you've started some conversations, and people just aren't answering you. Don't take it personally. Ghosting is pretty common on all dating apps, but it's especially felt on Bumble. For whatever reason, the person just didn't decide to answer. So what? Keep on swiping, and talk to the other new matches you're sure to get.
But when someone does answer you, be sure that the conversation eventually goes beyond Bumbling. “The ultimate goal is for both parties to feel comfortable enough to perhaps exchange phone numbers as a first step and then ultimately, to meet in person. If too many messages are exchanged without this happening, it’s easy to meet a dead end,” Stith says. So don't be afraid to ask for their number, and start things outside of the app.
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