A Woman’s Guide to Bumble

“Online Dating is so easy.” — Said by no one. Ever.

The tools available to modern dating audiences are numerous and they have grown easier to use as they have evolved simpler user experiences. Swiping is a phenomenon that has consumed the online dating world. Even more, traditional dating sites like OkCupid got in on the action. Tinder still reigns supreme, based on their sheer user figures.

Bumble has made a lot of noise since their launch with small innovations such as having women make the first move after matching with a potential suitor and more recently with their business networking features. Personally, I'm a big fan of Bumble and use it instead of Tinder. I've had a couple one-nighters from the app so I don't think it's necessarily any better than Tinder when it comes to the promoting the notion of “hook-up” culture. Maybe it's the colors or maybe it's just not a “tech bro concoction” in spirit, but I much prefer Bumble to Tinder.

How hard can it be?

Online dating is like playing life on level: FUCKING EXPERT. Put another way, online dating is just fucking hard. Even if you are what society considers attractive. Match, meet, repeat. It's a vicious fucking cycle and is friends to not one goddamn dating app/site user. True fact.

Bumble puts the onus on women to initiate contact once two people have right-swiped one another. As a man, I like that dynamic let's get women more comfortable with approaching a guy. There's nothing wrong with that, especially in our society where we are pushing so hard for gender equality.

Still, it's tricky. All too many times I hear Goddammit! I keep matching with men and they NEVER message me! from my female friends. It's brutal and no one really knows why that happens. I can hazard a few guesses based purely off of my own experience. For me, if I don't message a woman it's generally because her profile lacks details or her opening message is kinda lame. So let's unpack that shall we?

What makes for a good profile?

Bumble gives you 300 characters in your profile to help you tell the world who you are. Too many times, I see a woman resort to a list of things they are, things they like to do, who they want. Inherently, it's not wrong to do that. However, I do find that it is better to inject your personality into your profile rather than bullet journaling your bio. For me, and some male friends I asked, they would rather catch a glimpse of a woman's humor, personality, or wicked bad-assness. And with a 300-character limit that is hard to do but I only if you over think it.

Share a weird fact about you; maybe share something that made you made recently; maybe share some obscure bit of knowledge you have. The point is to be you and to keep it light and inviting. Weird is certainly okay. If you do get out on a date, you'll have plenty of time to share the bullet points that make you, you.

If there's a showstopper that you don't want to deal with, that's okay to put out there, too. Are you looking for only a serious relationship plus kids? Then by all means, put that into the profile. That's a good way to qualify a would-be suitor.

What kinds of pics should I have on my profile?

If you ask ten motherfuckers what kind of photos work best you're sure to get ten completely different answers from each of those motherfuckers. So what's a dame to do who wants to chat and date sweet babes from the internet all day long?

There are a lot of myths about what makes for a good photo but I think there are a few solid guidelines that can help with that.

  • The first image someone lands on should clearly show your face. Having your hair cover it up or having sunglasses fit for the Green Giant is a no-no. Just don't do it.
  • Should you smile? Should you be flirty? Should you be kinda blank-face? A smile goes a long way, however, people will find all kinds of reasons to talk to an attractive woman no matter what barriers exist. So do your worst (but I always advise doing your best and giving “good face”).
  • One of your photos should be interesting or mysterious, something to stir up a conversation.
  • If you have a photo of yourself doing something that you enjoy that's pretty cool, too.
  • Have fun in your photos, don't be afraid to poke fun at yourself. The crazy image is a good example of that. Wit and humor always win the day on the Urban Dater.

Some good photo examples (just my opinion there)

I chose these photos because they seemed compelling/interesting…to me!

On Messaging

Women on dating sites and apps are deluged with messages and it's a firehose of bullshit from most accounts that I've heard. However, there's always a few people who get through that initial line of defense, who float to the top of the pile with a rare mixture of sincerity, wit, and not being a fucking creep.

While I'd like to believe that common sense dictates that online penpals are a baaaad thing people still engage in persistent long-lasting back and forth message exchanges on the various dating apps and Bumble is no exception.

What to do when you match? 

Ladies, when you match with someone on Bumble and they interest you send a message. Do better than “hello” or “how are you?” People, it takes effort to stand out. Quality is what matters. So when you're ready to send that message, look at the profile, read it, study the pics and send a conversational message—a message that is inviting that kickstarts further conversation.

Within a couple messages you should have an idea if you want to meet. If you're interested in going on a date, put it out there. IT'S OKAY to state your intentions. Women, own your romantic destiny!! Don't wait for the man or the woman to make that move. You never know what's going on over there but you know what's going on with you and you can control what gets put into motion. So do the thing.

So what's the plan?

As a guy, I almost always ask women out. I find out where they live and I'll suggest some places near them AND between us (although, women always choose the place closes to them. Always). You can always chime in with your own ideas, too, obviously.

The venue selection needn't be hard but it also shouldn't be too easy. As a general and very personal rule, I will NEVER select a chain. I'm in Los Angeles so that's pretty easy to do. Your mileage may vary. But try a place you haven't been to or suggest a new place neither of you have been to, it's always fun to navigate uncertainty together.

Be safe and sensible

It should go without saying that when you meet your date that you do so in a public space like a bar or similar. Don't wane to pressure to go over to a person's residence for the first date (unless you're looking to get your naughty pants stripped off).

What happens if my date is flaky and just doesn't follow through?

Ah, yes. This happens a lot with men and women. You may get a few messages into a conversation or texting and then someone falls off the map for a few days or they never quite zero-in on that magical date date and time. Remember, Bumble is a dating app and not a trophy case. If someone likes you they'll let you know with follow through or they'll be fucking heroic at letting you know what's going on to assure of their interest even if they can't make the date happen right away.

Author Profile

Alex is the founder and managing editor at the Urban Dater. Alex also runs: DigiSavvy, for which he is the co-founder and Principal. Alex has a lot on his mind. Will he ever get it right? If he does, he'll be sure to write.

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