Bumble recommends new users go into the settings section upon activating their profile to customize their age and distance limits
Now it’s time to write a bio. You’re limited to 300 characters here, so stick to a high-level overview of who you are as a person that’s witty, succinct and inviting. Add your job and education details, which can be automatically pulled through from Facebook, and you’re ready to start swiping.
Understanding How to Swipe on Bumble
If you have used Tinder before, the swiping mechanism is largely based on the same principles; if not, the way it works is that you drag a user’s photo to the left of the screen (or “swipe” left) on a user you’re not interested in pursuing further, and right if you like the look of the person you’re seeing and want to try to match with them.
If the object of your affection also swipes right on you, it’s a match; if they choose to swipe left, you’ll never speak to them. Matching is subject to one large caveat, which is that women must make the first move (and more on that below), after which you are now able to message each other.
One useful feature of Bumble is that it gives you three free chances to return to a user you’ve accidentally swiped left on, known as the “Backtrack” feature. This is in contrast to Tinder, for example, where there’s generally no going back on an accidental left swipe unless you’re willing to pay for a “Rewind” (Tinder’s equivalent of the Backtrack).
That’s not to say that Bumble doesn’t also try to milk you for some add-ons, though: there’s a subscription feature called BumbleBoost, which unlocks a suite of additional features, including one similar to Tinder’s Gold option, where you can see people who have already liked you (that is, before you’ve matched organically); Super Swipe (like Tinder’s Super Like), to stand out to people you really want to match with; and “unlimited extends” to increase the 24 hour chat window a little longer. Wait, what’s this talk about “chat windows”? Let us explain.
How to Navigate Bumble Messages
So you’ve been swiping right on the Bumble users who have caught your eye, and now you’ve secured yourself a match. Congratulations! This is the point where you need to understand Bumble’s cardinal rule: once you match with a woman, she must message you first.
There is no ability for men to send an opening line first, not even for BumbleBoost users. (However, if the match is a same-sex match, either person can start a chat.) Women make the first move because Bumble was founded to challenge the antiquated rules of dating and has dedicated itself to ending misogyny by shaking up outdated gender norms. What’s more, if a female match doesn’t message you within 24 hours of the match occurring, it will disappear forever and neither of you will be able to contact each other.
This is an app where women hold all the cards in terms of the initial approach, and that’s the defining feature of Bumble. So, if that’s off-putting, this isn’t going to be the right dating app for you. It shouldn’t deter you, though, and there are many upsides to the “woman go first” rule.
For one, always having to come up with a strong opening line can be a tiring role conventionally always left to guys, so you might enjoy being the recipient of someone else’s creativity for a change. You’ll also realize how boring how many users on Bumble vs OkCupid? it can be when matches approach with stale opening lines, like an unadorned “hey”; and, conversely, women have more exposure to how difficult and nerve-wracking it can be to craft a slam-dunk opener, so both parties are able to better understand the position the other traditionally occupies.