How Does Bumble Work: A Beginner’s Guide

A screenshot of the Bumble app showing how does Bumble work.

New to the beehive? No problem. Bumble isn’t rocket science, but it does require some insight into the art of swiping, profile creation, flirting, and a pinch of emoji play. If you don’t know already, on Bumble the women make the first move, which can change quite a few things about the dynamics of online dating and how things work. 

To help navigate the brave new world of dating on an app like Bumble, use this beginner’s guide:

Step 1: Ace your profile.

Your profile is your personal dating pitch. You’ve only got a few seconds to make an impact, so build it carefully. It’s also worth noting that Bumble tends to attract more relationship-minded people, so if you’re looking for a one-night stand, this may not be the app for you. Let’s break down the pieces of your profile: 

Your Main Profile Picture
Your dating profile pics say a lot. A good one should capture your vibe, values, and attitude. If you misrepresent yourself, you’ll turn off the people you’re trying to attract. A wrong outfit or backdrop will blur the lines between the fun, outgoing single look and the flashy party animal on the hunt. So pay attention to detail. Statistically, you’ll get more matches if you’re smiling and have a full body shot.

Your photos must be honest. That means no editing gimmicks to enhance your attractiveness.

Your Profile Description
Your profile advertises your dating qualifications. It displays your age, job, and a brief personal description. Whether you come across as quirky, funny, or serious is up to you, but include enough information so that other daters can get a feel for your personality and lifestyle. It’s also helpful to mention what type of relationship you’re looking for. Whether you want something casual or committed, being upfront will help you attract people who are looking for the same thing.

Step 2: Match with people. 

On Bumble, you swipe right for yes and left for no. While there are a handful of fun features, the main selling point is that in heterosexual matches, the women has to message the man first. (For same-sex couples either person can message first.)

Once the first message is sent, the recipient has 24 hours to respond. If she doesn’t reach out during that initial window, the guy can extend the period by another 24 hours. But sorry guys, you only get to do this once a day. Each dater is also entitled to three backtracks per day. If you’re swiping too quickly and passed on someone you might like, you can undo your mistake.

Step 3: Chat and flirt. 

The opener
A simple hi is not enough. Bumble is a sea of singles, many who are busy and impatient, so it’ll take extra creativity to win someone’s attention. Try standing out with a cute or funny opening line. A joke or tease referencing their profile is always a start. If you can make them smile, you’ve made an impression.

The chat
Keep the conversation light and playful. Witty comebacks and light sarcasm are always fun. Ultimately, you want to hook their interest, and make them eager to learn more about you. This approach also spices up the chat, but avoids unnecessary raciness. Being too sexually suggestive is a turnoff for many people, so tread lightly.

Asking questions
Keep your questions short and simple. There’s nothing more frustrating than when a person sprinkles tons of questions throughout a mile-long autobiography. Begin with something lighthearted. Ask them about their favorite dessert or movie. Find out what you have in common to get sparks flying.

Emojis
Emojis are like an energy drink for your flirting. They inject life and personality into your chat and make the message feel upbeat. As you learn to express your feelings over text, you’ll be able to hit a diverse range from cheeky to silly to coy to sweet. But whatever you do don’t overuse emojis.—you’ll come off as hyperactive if you flood the convo with them. Play it cool.

Step 4: Prepare for the realities of online dating. 

A tough Bumble reality is that often people don’t respond or follow through on plans. If they lose interest, they’ll ghost. It’s mean, but it’s tough to expect a stranger to come out and say why they chose to cut off communication. They think since they barely know you, they don’t need to provide an explanation. This way, the person can avoid the awkwardness and continue on their merry swiping way. Be prepared to have thick skin.

With the ups and downs of Bumble, you’ll need to practice these routines to become successful in online dating. Beyond all the silliness of ghosting and playing the odds, there’s an amazing match out there waiting. So be brave and positive. You’ll get there.

Rachel Esco

Freelance Writer

Rachel is a lifestyle blogger, based in Toronto, who specializes in dating and relationships. Her articles have been featured in publications, including “Huffington Post”, “Life Hacker” and “Women’s Post”.

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