How to use the dating app Bumble?
December 5, 2017 4:01 PM   Subscribe

How to use the dating app Bumble? (From a female perspective)

After breaking up with a polyamorous dude a few weeks ago, I decided to try Bumble because I had way too many stupid messages to sift through on OKCupid. Also, a couple friends recommended it to me when I told them that I tend to gravitate towards free spirited and artsy bohemian men who end up not wanting a serious relationship (which I do). I'm trying to shake this habit (even though dating bohemian artists is fun) by dating men that are more mature and reliable, but I'm having trouble getting the hang of Bumble.

Firstly, the guys on there do not look like real people. A lot of them look like magazine cutouts or have photos that look like professional headshots. They're all in suits. Is this app known for having a lot of fake profiles? I never see these people in real life, so how come there's so many of them on this one dating app? Do I have to stay on the app a while before I start to see the real profiles or something?

Second, whereas, on OKCupid, I would only find someone interesting about 1 in 10 times, all of these guys look good, but I don't know anything about them. So it feels like a stream of hundreds of eligible men that are indistinguishable from each other. I get a lot of matches, but after 3 identical chiseled-jawed yuppies, I've run out of opening lines. I know people make connections all the time on Bumble and Tinder even without knowing anything about the person, and I've also started realizing that being with people exactly like me (ie: the high matches on OkCupid) isn't always for the best, so I'm definitely open to the idea of building a connection out of nothing.

I just don't know how to get the conversation rolling, and I don't know how to build an interest on my part without already being attracted to the witty repartee you find in Okcupid profiles. I usually have to be attracted to the whole package of a person in order to be attracted at all, but I'm trying to work on that. Like, being good looking and having a good job does nothing for me interest wise, whereas if someone plays a musical instrument or does something really creative, I'm already interested. But I'm trying to date outside my type, I guess, and find someone who's looking to build a future together. as an example, the last guy I liked was bisexual, polyamorous, a musician with no desire to settle down ever. I flock to these types like a moth to a flame, but I know it doesn't serve my long term goals.

I guess I need help figuring out how to change what I'm attracted to or just give different types of people a chance. How do i form an attraction to these online guys if I don't know anything about them as a person? I'd definitely give them a chance if they made the first move, but I just don't know how to get the ball rolling.

If anyone has had success with Bumble, please let me know how to get started!
posted by winterportage to Human Relations (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I use Bumble occasionally and have not encountered any fake profiles. I also see the same thing where the majority of the men are ridiculously good-looking and/or their photos look like professional headshots. But I think it's really just that dudes on Bumble take more time to actually take photos that aren't completely fucking shitty like on other dating apps.

Also, a high percentage of Bumble dudes are there for hookups, moreso than Tinder, in my experience. Other single women I've talked to have said the same. So I would recommend it for hookups and if you want a monogamous and/or committed relationship, which it sounds like you do, I don't think you'll have much success there.

Honestly, Tinder sounds like your best bet. There are tons of Tinder dudes who actually want a real relationship, it's not used mostly as a hookup app anymore.
posted by a strong female character at 4:12 PM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

I too thought there were fake profiles on Bumble when I used it, but it just seems there are better looking guys or men who tend to take more professional looking photos on there. This was the case in nearly every city I've used Bumble in. It seems to attract more professional, yuppie, "I work in finance" or love to hike with my photogenic dog type of dude. It's just Bumble for you. I had to keep swiping to find some guys who leaned less preppy and were more artsy. A good chunk of dudes did not have much in their profile either, but I think this was because they knew women had to message them first if they were interested, and thus were a bit lazy with writing.

Contrary to the first poster, nearly every friend who has met someone on Bumble has gotten engaged or is in an LTR right now. I had more hookup experience on Tinder, but I also am in an LTR with someone I found on Tinder, so who knows. I think it really will depend. Try both apps at the same time if you want! That's what I did. I found that I was able to see a diverse group of people using both apps.
posted by buttonedup at 4:18 PM on December 5, 2017

From a male perspective there are a ton of fake looking bikini model or yoga goddess accounts. I have no idea if these are fake accounts or not, but they look fake to me. However I have heard that the more popular an account is, it will get promoted and shown to more people in a wider area. I hit the "end" of bumble more frequently than i saw any accounts with authentic looking pictures. Good luck.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:00 PM on December 5, 2017

Come up with an interesting opening line and cut and paste it in perpetuity. Make it something they can respond to in an interesting way to help you narrow the field.
posted by metasarah at 5:10 PM on December 5, 2017

When I used bumble for a period of time I didn't quite understand the interface (even though I had used tinder) and it took me a while to realize that it had a bio/profile section and that I just wasn't seeing it. It has been a while since I used it but I can't quite remember the specifics of why it was harder to find. Anyway, I always used a line about someone's interests to start a convo.
posted by raccoon409 at 5:13 PM on December 5, 2017

I haven't used Bumble, but in general you might try looking for men with 'real' jobs that have a creative component, e.g. Graphic design, or some kind of writing, as a way to find stable but creative prospects.
posted by Archipelago at 7:47 PM on December 5, 2017

You are not alone in your suspicion of Bumble. Dating podcast Why Oh Why had a couple episodes called "Hotter On Bumble" about this very issue.
posted by JDHarper at 9:15 PM on December 5, 2017

It's because women have to message first so only confident guys who know how to be attractive to women go on there, I think. They know what women want and they are willing to put in the effort to look the part. Which I , for one, appreciate.
posted by fshgrl at 11:24 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might have more success finding connections and attractions with various different kinds of men other than your “type” if you shift your focus away from trying to glean information about them from their profiles, and towards meeting up for IRL dates more frequently and quickly. I find OKC leans towards a slower process where “getting to know you” begins with the long profiles and longer message exhanges, whereas the way it goes on Bumble and Tinder is you match and then swiftly meet up, and then figure out if they have the qualities you’re looking for.
posted by mymbleth at 2:18 AM on December 6, 2017

I just don't know how to get the conversation rolling, and I don't know how to build an interest on my part without already being attracted to the witty repartee you find in Okcupid profiles.

You're overthinking it girl. Just write the word hi. This isn't an internet problem this is a talking to strangers problem. We as a society don't talk to enough strangers with enough depth, so be the change you wish to see in the world.

Like, being good looking and having a good job does nothing for me interest wise, whereas if someone plays a musical instrument or does something really creative, I'm already interested.

Just get a good looking guy with a good job and teach them to play a musical instrument. I'm tongue in cheek but human creativity is endlessly surprising. Do you play a musical instrument or do something creative by the way? Hopefully this isn't a reflection of society's sexist beliefs that everything worth doing is only done by men. Just checking, but maybe what you are looking for is just a guy smart enough to appreciate your creativity, which is not the same thing as being a creative type.

Last guy I liked was bisexual, polyamorous, a musician with no desire to settle down ever. I flock to these types like a moth to a flame, but I know it doesn't serve my long term goals.

Whatever, if that's what you like, that's what you like. The heart has its own reasons etc.
posted by karmachameleon at 2:47 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can literally make your opening line "hey what's up do you play an instrument" and just delete the conversation if you don't like the answer.

For what it's worth OKC changed their functionality so that people can only message you if they match with you, so randos can't just outright fill your inbox anymore. I think with your criteria that's a better avenue for you to actually sift through and favorite the profiles of guys who seem more like tortured artistes or whatever.
posted by windbox at 4:11 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm dating someone I met on Bumble late last summer; this is the craziest I've been about someone in a long time, so I'll call it a success.

First - where are you? When I first downloaded Bumble I thought most of the profiles must be fake, because there weren't actually so many lantern-jawed doctors of everything who look good while both rock climbing shirtless and salsa dancing in a tux in my city. But! I'm in a tourist town. These were guys just rolling through for a long weekend with Bumble on in their pocket. I sifted through likely tourists and started finding more actual profiles - I think someone above nailed it that there are men more likely to be confident that they will get messages rather than guys who rely on spamming OKC in hopes of getting any response.

Next - messaging first is hard. Like, really hard. Especially when there's maybe only a line or two on a profile. I honestly skipped a lot of profiles that were just pictures because I couldn't think of anything to say. I've sent the first message before, but on OKC where there can be a ton of information to be used for a conversation starter. Parse out what you can from the text they have, and if not, either skip it or go for something straightforward or from a picture ("How long have you lived here?" "Who's your handsome dog / cat / parakeet?"). My friend actually has a quite a lot of success with feedback from the question, "Do you like bread?" (YMMV)

Ultimately, I messaged a guy who had his cat perched on his shoulder in his profile picture and asked a few questions about the job he had listed from his Facebook. The burden is only on you to send the first message, not to keep the conversation going forever.
posted by mibo at 8:22 AM on December 6, 2017

Seconding the excellent advice to just say "hi." I haven't used Bumble but I met my husband on Tinder, and that's the very message I sent him.
posted by nonmerci at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2017

I totally agree with you about all the ridiculous pictures on Bumble! I live in a big city, and tons of the guys who come up initially on my Bumble seem to be exactly those chisel-jawed yuppies! Then they intersperse them with men who are a bit more normal looking. Eventually.

It's exactly that (which I think is a weird tactic on Bumble's part, presuming we're all so attracted to these Ken-doll types we'll keep swiping right) that ultimately put me off Bumble. I do know a couple of really nice guys IRL who are on it, which reassures me it's not awful, but I couldn't get over the 'I would have NOTHING to say and absolutely nothing in common with any of these suspiciously handsome men, also, they all look boring as hell' nature of it. Now I use OKC and Tinder.

You know you can filter shitty messages on OKC, right? Look in your settings – and just select every single filter available. OKC is a far better experience once you've done that. (Edit on reading above answers: it looks like they've changed the settings so you only receive messages from matches. OKC is good!)
posted by considerthelilies at 8:14 PM on December 6, 2017

I've heard about this phenomenon, it has to do with the way Bumble set up their algorithm. The stack of "cards" they show you is not ordered randomly. The people who have been swiped right on the most are shown first, so the guys you're seeing are ordered by "hotness", so to speak. They do this so the app will be perceived as being full of desirable people. This does mean that a few guys (and gals) who are at the top of the stacks get most of the matches. I suspect that if you keep swiping past them, you'll eventually start seeing lots more "normal" guys.
posted by dacoit at 1:44 PM on December 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

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