Bumble, which by many has been labeled “The Feminist Tinder,” is not only one of my personal favorite dating apps, but it’s also one of the best downloads for single people who identify as 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 another person, 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 other people who identify as 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 people who identify as 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.
Similarly, David Bennett, dating expert and founder of Double Trust Dating tells Bustle it’s important to take swiping through Bumble seriously. “Some research shows that a lot of people get on dating apps for weird reasons: attention, wasting time, ego boosts, etc.,” Bennett says. “Unfortunately, many people view Bumble and other dating apps as something to do to waste time. However, this isn’t going to lead to meeting a great person. Just like anything else, if you want to meet someone high quality, then it will require thoughtfully engaging people on the app, in a timely manner.”
To give you an idea of what to avoid doing, here are a few mistakes most of us are guilty of on Bumble.
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 too 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 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 it 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. Being Too Negative In Your Profile
While striving to be authentic in your bio is always a good thing, it’s important to steer clear of being too negative. This can ward off potential matches, and not give them the impression you’re actually trying to achieve.
“One of the biggest issues I have seen is that many people use their profile to list out the things they don’t want in a partner or just send out a negative vibe,” Bennett says. “While this is understandable since many people are trying to repel incompatible people, it actually has the opposite effect. This creates an overall pessimistic vibe that may cause good people to swipe left, and invite matches with people that don’t care if your bio is negative.”
It’s important to be discerning, and be clear with what you want — especially on dating apps where people are often not on the same page — but a brief, humorous bio can take you a long way. Once you match, use your conversation as a gauge for whether or not you may be compatible.
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.
“On Bumble women make the first move, and despite many women lamenting that most people can’t be bothered to say more than ‘hey,’ many women open with something just as disengaging,” Bennett says. “If you want to stand out to the person you’re messaging, open with something unique. I usually suggest asking a question or making a comment about something in the person’s profile. If you’re going to just say ‘hey’ at least add an emoji with it.”
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. Being Too Strict With Filters
While filters can definitely help tailor your search to someone you’d find compatible, it’s important to keep your options open as well to not exclude potentially good matches.
“This may seem like it’s not a mistake, but when I work with my coaching clients, many of them describe their real life crushes, and in many cases their Bumble filters would actually exclude many of the people they really like,” Bennett says. “I suggest being more generous in your filters so you can give a variety of people a chance to see if a connection might happen. This is how love works in ‘the real world.’ This is especially true if you meet a lot of ‘duds’ whom you are finding through your strict filters. Maybe you don’t even know what you want, and you’ll find it better if you are more generous.”
7. Taking It Personally When Someone Doesn’t Answer
Because the shoe is on the other foot for women seeking men 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.
David Bennett, dating expert and founder of Double Trust Dating
Jennifer Stith, the VP of communications and brand development at Bumble