Let’s Get Ready To Bumble


Words and photos by Sam Blaufuss

Created in 2012 and exploding onto the media scene in 2015, the app known as Tinder revolutionized online dating by simplifying things down to a swipe of the finger. Its massive success (a tad greater than my personal success with it, but we’ll get to that) led to a multitude of copycat apps, including Bumble.

The details of Bumble’s creation set itself apart from its online dating competition. Its founder Whitney Wolfe was a co-founder of Tinder that left the company in 2012 following sexual assault charges she filed against other Tinder co-founders. Bumble is unique in that it fully shifts its controls over to the woman after a match — if both parties swipe right, the woman has 24 hours to initiate a conversation, or else the match disappears forever (in the event you match with someone of the same sex, this rule doesn’t apply.)

“In every situation, women are making the first move,” said Briauna Jurgensmeyer, KU’s Bumble Campus Ambassador.

Bumble is also not just limited to being an online dating app. Since its creation, the app has introduced a friend-finding feature, and an in-app professional networking platform is in the works. Riley Messina, another campus representative for Bumble, said that “Bumble is the Facebook for people you don’t know yet.”

These unconventional features may sound enticing to women considering the app, but for men like myself, Bumble may as well just be called Yellow Tinder.

I was initially excited as I read through about the way Bumble works. As a guy, so much is dependent on your opening message on Tinder. To have the pressure of that potential sweetheart not digging your carefully crafted name-related pun lifted off your shoulders sounded like a pretty great reason to download the app. As it turned out, doing less work doesn’t always pay.

In my experience, the problem with Bumble isn’t at all that women are afraid to message first; it’s that you hardly get any matches in the first place. Dating apps are all based on first impressions, and usually the first impression I get with women on Bumble is that they’re more than one year into college, have actual jobs, and might be seeking out a healthy relationship with someone that has their life together. Since this description does not fit me whatsoever, I feel like it may contribute to the desert that is my match queue. I’m sure there are other reasons for why my matches aren’t popping (upon completing this article I actually noticed that my profile stated that I’m still in high school, so there’s that.) Those are a few of the problems I noticed that are not nearly as common on Tinder, where I generally do okay.

Bumble’s purpose from what I can tell is to act as a version of Tinder where ladies don’t have to worry about their matches immediately sliding in unsettling and overtly sexual comments, and I fully respect that ideal. However, it has definitely led to much less interaction for me (maybe for the best). My only advice for any guys planning on putting their Bumble profiles together are this: Bumble is not the same playground as Tinder; you’ll have to behave a bit differently. Basically, if you make an overtly unsettling sexual comment, make sure it’s really solid.

Bumble Improves Women’s Self-Esteem

By Rebekah Swank

Although I am a little afraid of being judged, I’ll say it: I love Bumble.

I used to be an on-again-off-again Tinder user for several years. While studying abroad in Germany, I downloaded Tinder to learn more German slang. It worked pretty well, and I continued to use it every now and then when I came back to the U.S., but mostly for just for a good laugh. It was extremely entertaining; looking at all the kooks, weirdos and d-bags who put their best photos on an app to be seen by hundreds was a great way to make myself feel a little bit better about my own life. I matched with a few guys, chatted with a couple of them, but nothing ever came of it.

Tinder quickly became boring by the beginning of this school year. A friend told me about Bumble. “Oh yeah, the dudes are way hotter on Bumble,” she said. So I created an account and started swiping.

As much as I feel like an asshole for saying this, my friend was right. I didn’t run into nearly as many “I’m a practicing magician” bios, or photos of jabronis in flip flops and fedoras. Most of the men on Bumble seemed like real people I would run into on campus or around Lawrence.

However, the chatting aspect of Bumble still intimidated me. I am definitely not someone who initiates conversations with men whom I find attractive—not while I’m sober, anyway. The thought of typing out a flirty message and sending it off for another human to see was terrifying, but I did it. And I began doing it over and over again with each new connection I made. Eventually the sting of an ignored message faded, and I was able to simply have fun talking to new people.

Friends of mine who have used the app agree that women initiating contact is a nice change of pace.

“I think it’s interesting that the girls are the ones who have to message first because it forces you to put yourself out there and be confident,” my roommate said.

Since using Bumble, I have become much better at approaching others—men and women. I don’t have as much fear of rejection, and I have gotten more comfortable with being myself around people I don’t know. I’ve met several really nice guys through Bumble. I encourage women to try it out, even if they aren’t looking for a relationship or a hook up.