To Bumble or Not to Bumble? That is the Question


I was in a committed relationship for the majority of my twenties when suddenly I found myself single at 27 with no idea how to play the dating game. Not only had technology changed quite a bit during that time, I had never actually had a chance to practice dating. In my entire life I have been on 4 real dates – which I’m pretty sure either makes me really lame or really picky (let’s go with the latter). I met my current partner on Instagram, well technically we saw each other on Bumble then he proceeded to stalk me on Instagram, slid into my DMs (calling you out, babe) and asked me out for coffee. A year and a half later we can now confirm that it does, in fact, go down in the DMs.

These days it seems like that’s how everyone is meeting – on some sort of social platform. We can say a lot of things about how technology is affecting our relationships in a negative way, but this is certainly one of the positive effects of social media and the rise of the digital landscape. Yeah, sure, it’s a little weird – laying in bed, sitting on the toilet (you know you’ve done it) making dinner, hanging out with friends, watching a movie – all the while you can be swiping through a plethora of available men or women. Are we living in the future? Damn straight. You can try to de-digitize your life, but in reality, this is the world we live in and it’s only going to get weirder.

I got out of a 5-year relationship in December of 2016 and over the next 10 months proceeded to explore the modern dating world, aka Bumble. I was hesitant to join but my friends insisted I at least check it out, so I did. It’s funny because at the time I worked in a very people-facing job where eligible men would come and go and I was always out with friends, meeting new people – but for some reason, I chose to explore an online platform for my dating needs. The nice thing about it is that you know why people are there and you know whether or not they are into you (at least initially) due to the nature of the app. In person, it’s really hard to tell – like, are you single? Are you into me? Should we hang out? These are not questions we typically just straight up ask a person – it’s hard out there and we’re in a weird era of human history and communication. It’s kind of nice to sit back and let an app do some of the up-front work for you.

When I was on Bumble I would download it, swipe through all of the available men until there were none left (no doubt making quick decisions to swipe left or right based on their initial photo) and then proceed to delete the app. Sometimes I would wait to see if I matched with anyone and then delete the app. I probably downloaded and deleted the app 10 times. That’s normal, right? Totally normal. I’m fine. It’s fine. I was nervous at the thought of meeting up with some random person that I met online – who wouldn’t be? I sucked it up and told myself that I needed to “get out there” as they say, and even though I wasn’t necessarily looking for something serious right away, I could at least potentially get a free meal out of it, right?

All-in-all I went on 3 Bumble dates until finally landing with Alex (my now boyfriend). Around the time we went on our first date I was really working on listening to my gut – I almost canceled on him but something told me I needed to go. I’ll never forget walking into Muddy Water’s in Minneapolis and seeing his smiling face. We were both wearing all black and ordered whiskey on the rocks – that was it, done. We moved in together after 8 months, got a puppy at 10 months and I’ve never been happier or more excited for the future. It worked because we were both in the right place in our lives (mentally, physically, etc.), at the right time. If there’s anything the last couple of years have taught me it’s that life is all about timing – it’s also about going after what/who you want when you want it and learning to listen to your gut in that process.

If you’re single and loving it, more power to you. If you’re single and pursuing a relationship (or a companion in the least) and you’re wondering whether a dating app is right for you – I’d say, what do you have to lose? We’re all just out here trying to do our best and making a ton of mistakes in the process – keep doing that. Practice listening to your gut – and like I said in my last article, do what feels right, repeat.


Katie Weed is an anthropologist and philosopher at heart. A freelance writer, brand manager, and social media strategist by day. She’s usually one of three places: outside (most likely with her 9-month-old puppy, Finn), taking photos of said puppy, or at the gym. She resides in South Minneapolis with her boyfriend, Alex.

 

  • I tried to download Bumble BFF, but my old smartphone is so unimpressive it wouldn’t even load all the way. Guess I’d just have to do things the old fashioned way….or hide in my apartment all summer. 😉

  • Bumble messed with my head! I also created a profile after being in a long term relationship and then finding myself dating again in my late 20’s. At first it was fun and exciting. I went on a handful of dates. But as time went on I started to get discouraged with how fake it felt, which is a sentiment I guess you could generalize to all social media. I felt like all I was seeing was this perfectly poised version of these people, with their quippy bios and high-res photos… and that I was expected to have the same. Then you’d message with people back and forth for days or weeks before meeting them and realizing there’s no chemistry! After about 3 months I was exhausted and feeling down on myself. I didn’t like the change in me and deleted it. Then proceeded to go on a date with a guy I’ve known for 20 years who just suddenly happened to be single again too. We moved in together after 5 months, are insanely happy, and so in love. You are right on the nose about timing! It’s just hard to really see that until you’ve experienced it.
    I’m so curious about people who like online dating though— how do you stay engaged and positive!?!

    • I totally agree with you! It messed with my head at first as well. I was mostly just there for fun and like I said, I probably deleted it 10 times because I was completely weirded out by the idea of this orchestrated first impression. I’m happy everything worked out for you and who knows, maybe you wouldn’t have been in the right place had it not been for your mini-stint with Bumble! Haha 🙂 good luck with everything!

  • I also met my boyfirend on bumble after getting out of a serious (and tumultuous) 8 year relationship. I wasn’t looking for anything serious at first, but there he was! He was one of the first people I matched with and the only date I went on. Now here we are almost a year later and he’s moving into my house!
    As cheesy as it sounds, it really was just perfect timing and ~fate~!
    Even though he only lived 10 minutes away, I never would have met him without bumble, so I am very grateful for technology!

    • It’s crazy, right? It really is all about timing – starting out on the right foot, not forcing anything – it all matters. I’m happy you’re happy! Thank you for reading!

  • I’ve Bumble’d, Tinder’d, Coffee and Bagel’d… and I’m over it. It’s like shoe shopping but for a person. Weird. Anyways, I’m single and 30 and dating-app free! Is this a win? Idk. But I’m happy with that decision, and THAT is a win.

    • Haha, it is definitely weird – I had that same feeling when I first got on the app! Good luck with everything Abbi! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • For those on the pursuit of a relationship I definitely recommend Tinder or Bumble or whatever other ones there might be. I Tindered for about 6 years, went on countless dates but wasn’t ever looking for a serious relationship. But that’s exactly where I have ended up since the last Tinder date I went on last September with my now boyfriend. I always thought I can’t fall in love but it turns out yes I can 🙂
    But I can’t ignore the fact that these apps are very superficial and I know some people for whom they’ve been even damaging self esteem-wise.

    • Love your story, Teresa! It’s definitely not for everybody but it’s mostly just for fun, right? And if something good comes of it, great! Good luck with everything!