Okay, nothing’s wrong with Bumble. It’s working just fine. It’s the people…
Online Dating Categories for Swiping Left
NOPE (90% of profiles)
- Super young and looking for a sugar daddy
- Over glamourized (what are you hiding?)
- Uber fit and ready (to what, workout together?)
- Rich and ready to travel (or is that jet plane in the background from your last partner?)
- Scary profiles (I mean, why did you get on a dating app? Is your profile meant to scare me?)
- Don’t care messy hair (messy apartment, messy life)
- Uma Thurman is my mentor (too hot, too snarky, trying too hard)
- Big and beautiful (body positive, no matter what)
- Says they’re 40 but they are obviously 55
- Profiles with no effort (what? You like long walks on beaches too?)
- Kardashian values (the Real Housewives standard is gross folks)
And the apps think they are so smart. Bumble for example, during this “just looking trial” is offering me a lot of upgrades. At this moment, they say, 7 women are in my Beeline. All I have to do is pay them $29.99. Nope. And when I’m swiping left until my finger hurts, they keep showing me “You passed an opportunity.” I’m guessing this is one of my potential bees. If I just pay a little… Nope.
Online Dating Categories for Swiping Right
- Low on makeup, high on natural beauty
- The 1000-watt smile
- Fun and happy girl next door with a passion you can see
- Joy is written on their face and in their profile
- They are age-appropriate (8-years ± 2)
- Something magic happens when I see their first profile pic (often unexplainable)
- Mindfulness (the show a balance of realism and aspiration)
- Connections on sports (tennis for me) or music (Radiohead/Wilco/local music)
The Problem with Bumble
The app was designed for women to initiate the first contact after a “match.” All good. And then comes the monetization. The app is free. But, once you are inducted into the gamification of online dating you’ll be offered all kinds of ways to connect with your “bees.” The bee metaphors do get a bit cumbersome after a while. The Hive, The Beeline… And the prompts to pay them money becomes the primary focus until you actually pay. When you’re a free user, the only WIN for Bumble is to have you pay them. If you use Bumble in free mode and actually connect with a few bees, that’s awesome. But that’s not how Bumble (or any of the others) was designed.
The online dating industry is raking in a lot of money. And it’s not from the free versions that are working for millions of people. It’s from paying customers who are being teased with potential matches. And kept interested by a steady drip of “new users.” But, here’s the deal. About 30 – 40% of online dating profiles are bots and fake actors trying to get you to PAY to connect with them. So, if you’ve got 7 potential members in your Beeline, more than likely, 4 of them are paid employees of Bumble. If you try and engage with them, it’s funny how efficiently they can move the conversation along without committing to meeting in person. Ever. They can’t. They’re in Bangalore, India. Or, they are a ChatGPT bot powering a hot profile.
So, if you’ve got money and a lot of time to burn, go for it. I’d recommend getting on the big four sites, paying for the extra features (yes, I know I’m giving them what they want) and swiping your finger off. The bigger the pool you dip your own profile into the faster you’re going to find the %1 of potential matches that are real and interested in you. It’s a crap shoot. It’s a numbers game. Don’t be fooled by the fakes. Don’t be tricked by the boosts and hype offers. Just keep your membership in good standing, write a great profile, and reach out to other real people when you get a warm fuzzy.
You *Can* Win at Online Dating
I’m engaged to a woman today, who I met through Match.com. If you’re going to do only one site, it should probably be Match.com and not Bumble. Biggest data pool. The easiest tool to make contact and get to first base: the hello date.
One more tip, before I kill my test Bumble account and get back to my real life: Get out there in real life. Use the apps to inform your journey, but don’t rely on them. Of my real relationships since divorce, less than half were via online dating apps. I’m working on a few more books about dating outlined in these two posts:
If you’re stuck, I do provide dating coaching. I can help you define your goals, your best match, and your best first date, and then assist you in getting there. Your partner is out there looking for you too. Let’s discuss how a male dating coach can help you understand and find your next lover.
the complete single dad story with John’s new book: Single Dad Seeks (available in all formats)
The Dating a Divorced Dad series continues: