Hello and happy Tuesday. You know that a while ago I declared that OKCupid was banned for me for a month, but what you don’t know is that during that time I tried other apps that were new for me. Honestly, my ultimate goal was to try and see if I could find an alternative that would make me forget about OKC. In that search, I came across Bumble, so I decided to download it and see what it was all about.
Before I tell you about my personal experience with this app, let me talk about how it works. It’s very similar to Tinder, probably even from the same “family” in that your account is connected to Facebook, and your location tracker has to be working, and that you swipe right if you like a profile and left if you don’t. Now, those are basically all the similarities because what makes Bumble stand out is the fact that women must take the initiative by being the only ones allowed to message first.
The idea of women texting first was interesting for me, and I think it’s what gets people to at least try the app. It clearly is meant to avoid those annoying and sometimes even harassing messages women get almost by default in online dating apps. Now, this is cool and all, but other apps have starting to step up their game: the fact that you can only message each other on Tinder if you match is a way to avoid unwanted messages, and on OKCupid people now have to “like” a person in order to message them, and the recipient must “like” back to reply, so Bumble’s attempt is nice but it’s not the only solution.
Let me clarify something before I keep talking about this app: I am a heterosexual woman and I went into Bumble looking for dates. I don’t know how it works for someone who is looking for a same-sex match in terms of who is allowed to text whom, although my logic tells me in those cases anyone can text first. There are also versions of the app for people who are looking exclusively for friends and networking, but I wasn’t interested in those, so I can’t give you my thoughts on them. If you’ve tried those or for some reason you know how they work, tell us in the comments below because I’m someone might be curious.
My first impression, and I’m talking about the impression I got within five minutes of setting up my account, was that the “quality” of the potential matches was better than what I’ve found using Tinder. Now, it’s been a while since I wrote my thoughts on Bumble, but now that I’m putting them together in this post, I think I know why this is. I’m no programmer and I only know a tiny little bit about how algorithms in some dating websites (OKCupid) work, but I’m almost certain that the most “attractive” men (aka the ones that have gotten the most right swipes) are put first with the purpose of, you guessed it, creating a great first impression for new users.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? You have a great first impression, so you’re excited to use the app. My excitement died within an hour of downloading Bumble. This is 100% my personal opinion, but I don’t like having to do “all the work,” especially when I’m online dating because I have pretty much failed in the real world. Of course I know I have to make an effort in any app I download, even if it’s at the beginning setting up my account. I could spend days not doing anything on OKCupid and still score messages, although I prefer to be active on the app and look at potential matches, even message some if I’m feeling bold. On Tinder, there is more “work” to do in the sense that you have to actively be swiping in order to get matches, but then the effort is divided in a way because either you or your match could be the one to text first: it doesn’t *have* to be you. On Bumble, however, you have to actively swipe and once you’ve matched with someone, then you must be the one who texts first, and that to me is just exhausting.
There were other things I wasn’t a fan of, like the fact that I couldn’t change the maximum distance of my potential matches. I also didn’t know what the distance criteria was, so I wasn’t sure what the maximum distance for matches was. I didn’t really like the format of the profile either, which was the same as Tinder: six pictures and a short bio. That format is pretty much a guarantee that nobody will read what you wrote, so why even bother coming up with this supposedly innovative app if people are still going to judge others by their pictures anyway?
We all know that I’m a big online dating nerd, so I notice things regular people who are just “seeing what’s out there” don’t. Bumble, like Tinder, is the kind of platform you’d like if you want to get matches and basically set a date with them right away, you know? I say this as opposed to getting matches and talking to them for two months before meeting (or before ghosting the other person). I don’t know, I think when I move to Baltimore I might consider trying it again for that purpose…no promises though.
A cool thing that Bumble has and Tinder doesn’t, at least not the free version, is the possibility to “backtrack,” which means if you accidentally swiped left, you can go back to their profile and swipe right. You get like three “backtracks” a day or something, which, again, is pretty cool.
Let’s end this post with a confession, okay? My last comment on Bumble was the following: “Using Bumble only makes me crave my OKCupid account even more.” And it did. My resolve almost faltered and I almost broke my ban, but I didn’t, I was strong and for that I’m proud of myself. I’ll tell you more in detail about how my experience with my new OKC account has been and how I’ve applied the things I’ve learned through dating advice, but right now I’m sort of bored with OKCupid, you know? I keep getting messages from guys who ask me when I’ll be traveling to Baltimore, and I just don’t feel the energy to maintain something via text for the next month and a half. I think I’ll keep my account and see what happens, but I’m leaning towards trying Tinder (or Bumble, if I have the energy) once I’m there, and see if I can start casually dating.
In the comments below tell me whether you know any success stories regarding Bumble.
Love, Miss Camila