Even if you’re not a “math person,” you want to jump right to the stats on someone’s dating profile. Age, location, height — you need to know what you’re working with before you get invested. And as of today, Bumble is adding another option. In celebration of National Sober Day and with the release of new data around drinking and dating, Bumble exclusively tells Bustle that it’s unveiling a new “Sober” badge, allowing users to express their alcohol preferences directly on their profile.
Launched in 2014, Bumble has always been ahead of the curb with its qualitative questions. Going way beyond the standard age and location, Bumble’s asked about users’ zodiac sign, political orientation, religious identity, pets, and family planning preferences — all in its “badge menu,” aka the top part with all the juicy stuff before someone’s bio.
While Bumble has asked users about substances before, the options for drinking and smoking have historically been “Frequently,” “Socially,” and “Never.” Yet Charlotte Brown, Bumble’s DEI Engagement Manager, says these options were not representative of users on the app.
“Folks who never drink are not necessarily sober,” Brown tells Bustle. “With that in mind, and given how many people have reevaluated their relationship with alcohol as we navigate the pandemic, it felt important for Bumble to give our sober community an easy option to share that.”
As the sober curious movement gains traction, beverage companies release more non-alcoholic options, and booze-free bars continue to pop up all over the place, more and more Americans making adjustments to their drinking habits. Earlier this year, Bustle asked over 2,000 women how their alcohol consumption has changed since the beginning of the pandemic, and 22% of respondents said they were drinking less. Overall, 38% of women who responded to the poll said they were sober, straight-edge, or in recovery, and another 11% said they don’t drink but are OK with weed.
Per Brown, letting users express their sobriety is another step in making Bumble a safer and more welcoming place, while also helping them easily find compatible matches or nix incompatible ones right off the bat. Instead of stressing over the right time to “disclose” or wondering if your match can hang with your sobriety, now your profile does it for you.
According to a 2021 survey of 1,000 singles, commissioned by Bumble and performed by Censuswide, 47% of respondents who do consume alcohol are open to dating someone sober. And while “let's grab a drink” has become the default way of moving a connection from an app to real life, nearly one third (29%) of respondents believe this trend is shifting. So cue up all your cute booze-free first date ideas — grab coffee, take a cooking class together, or go browsing at your local indie bookstore.