Dating is changing. We don’t have meet-cutes in coffee shops or the gym, and we certainly don’t maintain prolonged romantic eye contact with strangers. Ours is the era of digital dating, where apps and websites like Tinder, Grindr, OkCupid, and Match.com prevail.
Now there’s Bumble. The app functions much the same as Tinder — swipe right across people’s Facebook-derived profiles to indicate interest, left to pass, and then send messages when you match up — but there’s one major difference: After you match, only the woman can make the first move. It’s the Sadie Hawkins of dating apps.
This is majorly progressive, as it challenges the tradition that men should always be the first to reach out. Whitney Wolfe, the company’s founder, hopes that the app’s unorthodox dynamic will help women work up the courage to pursue men. Wolfe also believes that the app will take some of the burden off of guys, as it lessens the pressure of making the perfect first move or losing a girl forever. Because the woman reaches out first, she is in control and expected to guide the conversation.
I’m not a shy gal by any means, but I am guilty of letting the guy make the first move more than I’d like to admit, so I downloaded the app and quickly noticed how different Bumble guys seem from Tinder guys. Not only did every guy I matched with have a job (!), but also most pictures showed them holding puppies or smiling at the beach — no flexing for the mirror or playing Gaucho Ball on here!
More importantly, I don’t feel uncomfortable scoping out profiles. I feel safe. I know that because I have to make the first move, I can afford to be selective. On Bumble, I won’t be getting any angry messages from guys I matched with but didn’t respond to because I’m sending the first message.
I made my first match and spent a good 15 minutes Googling funny opening lines and flirtatious banter. Striking up conversation with a guy I’ve never met was a lot harder than I expected it to be — and it’s even harder to wait patiently after sending out an opening line for a response. The app is making me sympathize more with guys, and it’s also seriously making me rethink my profile pictures, particularly the one of me at age four wearing a cowboy hat with a sassy hand placed on my hip.
I haven’t scored a date yet, but this app still seems worth a try. It forces girls to become more confrontational with the opposite sex, which is always a plus, and more importantly, it carves out a new dating trail. Gender roles are falling apart around us, which means that today’s men and women are given the opportunity to date however they, not society, see fit.
See for yourself if Bumble is worth the buzz by downloading it on iTunes or checking out bumble.com.