Bumble is the free ‘feminist’ dating app designed to let women make the first move, so having tried her luck on Tinder a Huill Live reporter thought to give the app a go to see if she could find someone to snuggle with in time for Christmas.
This is how Anna Riley fared…
You can add up to six pictures and a short bio to describe yourself. When you have uploaded your pictures, there is the option to ‘verify’ yourself to prove that you are who you say you are in your images.
This is done through copying a pose on the app and taking a picture of yourself, which the app then checks against your snaps and then provides you with a blue tick once it decides you are the same person.
I thought it was a good feature as it means that you are actually meeting up with the person that looks like who they say they are in their pictures and they can’t use a old photo of a better looking version of themselves or even a picture of someone else.
There is then a choice to pick three questions and answer them to spice up your profile and create more talking points, and you can also add information about your exercise habits, height, whether you drink, smoke and have kids or want them in the future.
Finally you then set up the age range of people you want to match with, and set the maximum distance of how far away your match can be.
I went from my age of 28 up to 38 as I wouldn’t want to date anyone younger, and I thought about ten years older than me seemed about right. I also set a maximum distance radius of 20 miles.
There is the option to connect your Instagram and Spotify accounts and then it is just a case of looking through the profiles of your prospective partners and swiping right on their photo if you fancy them and left if you don’t.
If you both swipe for each other, it’s a match and it’s then down to the woman to message first, but she must do so within 24 hours or the match is lost.
If you really like someone, you can give them a ‘super like’ and there are up to three super likes to use per day.
There is also a cap on the amount of profiles that you can vet in one day, but you can pay for an unlimited account should you so wish.
This means there are no caps on the amount of swipes you can have, and in theory more opportunities to find a match.
For the past week I’ve been diligently scrolling through the guys in my area, and have made these observations along the way.
I liked that women make the first move
Bumble is known as a ‘feminist dating app’ and was designed to eradicate the damsel in distress attitude, where women are seen as needing a man to take the lead, empowering women to make the first move with a man she’s interested in.
It cuts out the polite chat you make with guys you’re not that interested in after they’ve messaged you and it makes you put in the effort and invest a bit if time into who you’ve decided to speak to.
There is also the option of ‘message hints’ in the app, which populates options for the woman to pick from in order to introduce herself to a man she’s matched with if she’s in need of inspiration and wants to say a little more than ‘hey, how are you?’
I went a bit out there with one of the pre-generated questions and asked: “If there was one thing you could change about society, what would it be?”, to which I got the response: “For the women on Bumble to use their own initiative and not to send Bumble generated messages”.
This made me laugh and also made me think that guys must hear a lot of the same questions, but I still thought it was better than just saying hi.
Some pre-populated messages really were a bit cringy though and I couldn’t bring myself to ask them and wondered if any woman would actually use them.
One in particular was “I feel like a kid again, because matching with you was like finding a prize in a happy meal “, and even reading it made me shudder.
Another nifty feature was the ability to send pictures in the app. Happily I didn’t get sent any d*** pics or anything else untoward and mainly used it myself to send pictures of my cats.
Writing a bio is hard – and so is adding the pictures
Summing yourself up in a certain amount of words is really difficult, especially when you don’t want to sound too full of self importance.
I went with what I thought was a jokey bio and it seemed to work as I had a fair few matches. But let’s be honest, the interest I got, without being narcissistic, was probably because of the pictures. As that’s really what everyone judges a potential partner on – how they look.
Speaking of pictures, with the option of only adding six, it was hard to decide which to upload. I had a couple of pictures of me on my travels that I wanted to use but then they were from a couple of years ago, so I wasn’t sure whether to add them or not.
I also didn’t have that many pictures on my own, but I decided not to put one in with my friends as it would be a bit of effort for the guy to work out who I actually was in the group.
Not that I’ve changed dramatically, but I thought some recent pics might be the best bet and added only the one selfie and a couple of full body shots as well as a travel picture that I still stuck in there.
In terms of the guys profiles, I was a lot more interested in chatting to those with a bio that showed interests that I could talk to them about, so I think they’re definitely worth adding. I kept an eye on the question about kids as I didn’t really want to match with a man with children.
Saying that, in the age group I was looking at a lot of fellas did already have children so this did narrow down my options.
So after all that swiping and chatting on the app, it gets to a stage where either the guys were asking for my number or vice versa as it’s so much easier to message on WhatsApp.
As you start speaking to a few people, you keep having to remind yourself who your are speaking to and to check you are not asking them the same question again they have already answered.
A guy that I gave my number to seemed really nice and funny when we continued messaging off the app and he asked me out for a drink, so I thought “what do I have to lose?” and arranged to meet up with him in the pub one evening.
But one of the hard things about online dating is the fact you’ve only seen what someone looks like from their pictures rather than in the flesh. This became a problem for me when I entered the pub as nearby the bar was a man that smiled and nodded at me when I walked in, almost like he was expecting me.
Hesitantly looking at him, I was thinking to myself that the bloke didn’t really look like my date did on his pictures, but then he kept smiling at me, which then had me questioning if the man was in fact my date and that my recollection of his appearance wasn’t up to scratch.
I was pretty much at the table he was sitting at and he smiled at me again, so I said hello to break the awkwardness and then he responded to me to ask how I was and I said I was good and asked after him and then he carried on smiling at me.
This confused me even more and made me think that maybe it was my date then, just a less attractive version of the guy I was expecting and being a little disappointed but not wanting to be rude, I thought I’d just have to go with it.
Then I really put my foot in it and asked if he’d been waiting that long, to which he pulled a bit of a face at me and said that he hadn’t, and then I asked him just to be sure if he was here to meet me for a date.
He said no and that was the sinking moment that I realised that the guy was just being friendly and I had made a complete fool of myself.
I scurried off to the toilet and messaged the man I was meant to be seeing to say that I was here, and really hoped that he hadn’t witnessed the whole embarrassing episode that had just unfolded.
He said he was at the bar, so I braved it to go back out and then was reassured to see the man was there that I had been chatting to who looked the same as his picture and I was most relieved.
To make matters worse though, the other bloke was still sat near the bar and witnessed me introducing myself to my actual date, and gave me a knowing smile as we went past him to find a seat, which was luckily not anywhere near him.
The date actually went really well though despite the initial hiccup, so that’s something. Granted, I later discovered that he had trolled me on Facebook by calling me a “silly cow” for an opinion I expressed in one of my stories, but luckily I saw the funny side and we could laugh about it.
My week of Bumbling gave me a new-found faith in online dating. It was a much better experience than I’ve had on Tinder, perhaps because I had to make the effort to instigate the messaging so I invested my time in it a bit more.
On the whole, the men on there seemed nice too so that was a bonus.
That’s other than one guy who told me his guilty pleasure was “watching obese people buy sugary snacks at the supermarket checkout and then imaging them gobbling the food down on the sofa whilst watching Judge Rinder “.
Needless to say, I didn’t reply.
These days it is really hard to meet a potential partner naturally as a single person. People don’t walk about with a ‘single’ badge on them to identify that they are on the lookout for love so I think dating apps are the way forward to have a try at finding that special someone.
Granted, it can be time consuming to constantly be swiping on the app and can leave your thumb sore. Keeping up with the messages that come in can also feel like admin and when you’ve gone through all the effort of chatting and decide to meet up with someone, you can, like me, go and introduce yourself to another person who you think is your date.
But you’re hardly guaranteed to meet a partner without putting yourself out there a bit, are you?
So for all you singletons out there, male and female, I’d definitely recommend giving Bumble a try – you never know, you could be left ‘buzzing’ if you end up meeting your future husband or wife.
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