Valentine’s Day is upon us and many people will be trying to find their ideal date with the help of dating apps. I heard of Bumble and was interested in the 24-hour time limit to message your match before it permanently expires. Sceptical of dating apps after hearing Tinder horror stories, I was intrigued to find out what kind of people I might find on Bumble.
I was initially unsure of the feeling of the app so I researched what information was out there about what it takes to have a good Bumble profile. A mixture of pictures with friends and light-hearted snaps was recommended. There are prompts to choose from as well, to add depth to your profile. For example, “My secret skill is…”, which I thought was a good way of bringing the focus away from pictures and more onto personality.
The ‘basic info’ section was interesting, as you could add information to your profile like your political leanings, your height (which everyone is definitely not truthful about), and what kind of relationship you’re looking for. It did take a while to set up, but I was excited to start swiping (it has the same formula in that regard as Tinder). I soon had several matches but did see an unsettling amount of people I knew so, I needed to take a break.
I found that I liked having to message within a time limit because it meant that I had to be more decisive and it was harder to ‘play games’. As a girl interested in a boy, I had to message first which I found empowering and confidence-boosting.
When it came to approaching a guy, I first asked something about their profile. This was easy when the profile included something quirky or funny as it caught their attention and opened an interesting conversation, however, some people did not respond to this. For example, one such Bumble-user wasn’t so keen to discuss the sheep in his picture.
Bumble quickly became problematic, as I found myself flicking through the app every few minutes and when I actually had to start doing some work, it was a huge distraction. The extent of my addiction became clear when Bumble ran out of people to show me within the mile radius I had set. I had swiped them all away.
Slightly ashamed, I decided to focus on the people I had not yet messaged, which was shown in my ‘match queue’, and on the conversations, I was already having.
I started getting a few messages asking if I wanted to go for drinks. However, most of these messages were from the people I had spoken to the least. One person ignored my first message to them, but instead immediately asked whether I wanted to go on a date. This was the type of behaviour I more expected from Tinder, though his profile did say he was looking for something casual.
I was beginning to lose interest in the app and couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to think of good openers anymore. So, I tried using the suggestions for openers that are suggested to you when you get a new match. “Hi! What would your autobiography be titled?” Completely cringe-worthy but worth a go. These type of openers were received much better than I had expected, but the fact that some guys replied to them so seriously was to me, a little off-putting.
Even though the couple of conversations I had been having had inevitably fizzled out, I was getting tired of trying to maintain so many and I preferred focusing on fewer people. I definitely realised that I am someone who prefers face-to-face interactions, as on Bumble, I often forgot I was talking to real people. Although I had enjoyed the Bumble experience, I was ready to delete my profile. Personally, dating apps aren’t for me.
However, I found that Bumble does attract more genuine people looking for a serious relationship. As the app is more centred of personality, I was able to have some funny, interesting conversations with people. Most of the people I found weren’t in a rush to arrange dates, which made it a slower process and allowed time for there to be a real connection. I would recommend this app to people looking for something more serious and who fancy giving dating apps a try.
Overall, I learnt that it is important to be yourself and get what want from dating apps, without feeling pressurised to adhere to what others want from you. To avoid this, Bumble’s advice to ‘keep it real’ is helpful. Don’t forget that online dating is only one of many ways to meet people, especially because spending too much time in the world of apps can be isolating.
Nonetheless, dating apps increasingly dominate the modern-day quest for love and they can be used positively with an open mind. You may find true love, or just a hook-up, but dating apps can boost your confidence or even just open your eyees to what you really find important in a partner.
Image: Leo Reynolds via flickr