As quarantine continues, dating has been trickier than knowing a person’s sacred playlist and deciding where to eat. It’s stepping inside another virtual realm—in a time when, uh, we’re pretty much saturated with everything else virtual.
Luckily, Bumble offers users a safe and easy way of connecting with other people, whatever their reasons may be for downloading the app. Even if serious romancin’ isn’t your top-of-mind intention, downloading it does provide other benefits: a chance to meet new people, expand your social circle, and even satisfy any curious feelings you may have had towards the app itself.
It may be hard to step outside your comfort zone, especially in a time that discourages you from even stepping outside your house. But in case you’re still looking for a sign, here are three case studies from actual couples who made things happen with the help of Bumble.
Meet Lyshiel and Migs, Brie and Miko, and Meg and Tony as they dive into their tales of swiping right (and even accidentally swiping left).
Note: Some names have been changed in order to protect the safety and privacy of those involved.
So, I’m on Bumble. Now what?
Whether it was due to boredom, loneliness, or curiosity, these couples all saw Bumble as a way to reach out to others—even without romance.
“I guess I was sort of looking for a human connection? Not really specific to dating but just somebody to talk to and connect with,” Tony explains, who is closing in on being three months official with S.O. Meg.
Similarly, Miko’s motivation for trying the app was to come across “different perspectives on certain subjects and topics.” In early July 2020, he found an engaging discussion partner in Brie—and the rest was history.
Standing out may be a huge concern when setting up your account, but in the end, what’s important is making a profile you are happy with. Fill it with pictures you feel most confident with, even if it may come off a little extra to others. List down interests and hobbies you actually enjoy to create common ground for future conversations.
An online meet-cute? WDYM?
With all the people using Bumble, it’s easy for physical attraction to be a deciding factor when swiping right. But funnily enough, Lyshiel and Migs’ story started with a swipe to the left.
Thankful for Bumble’s Premium feature BackTrack, Lyshiel confesses, “I took it back after immediately regretting it,” saving what would eventually bloom into a potential relationship. Lyshiel even jokingly refers to their anniversary as “Almost Swiped Left Day” despite this happening before they made their relationship official a whole year ago.
For Brie and Miko, a picture of a burger was enough to seal the deal. In Miko’s mind, he “just wanted an image that would get [other users] to ask, ‘Why use this as a display picture?’ and luckily I had my image of me eating a massive burger.”
“I liked that he didn’t really give a damn,” Brie distinctly recalls, finding Miko more interesting because of it. Who knew that food would bring people together, even without the actual date.
In case you haven’t heard, a feature unique to Bumble is that only women can make the first move and start conversations. “It’s a nice way to sort of break that stereotype/mindset that guys always have to make the first move,” says Brie.
It’s easy enough to strike up a conversation with another person based on the list of interests and hobbies they post on their bio. But these only serve as a springboard for deeper talks, especially for Tony and Meg. “Minsan makakahanap ka lang talaga ng tao na meron kang natural chemistry with, and nahanap ko ‘yun kay Meg.”
(Sometimes you’ll just find someone whom you’ll naturally click with, and I found that with Meg.)
For the long run?
Defining the relationship isn’t so hard when you consider how you met in the first place. For Brie, she didn’t have to wonder “if he [Miko] was even interested,” as matching on the app was an instant giveaway.
Meanwhile, meeting online has taken off the pressure from Migs and Lyshiel in terms of always needing to meet IRL. “While I would absolutely want to see her in person all the time, meeting online helped establish our relationship as the status quo (quarantine/lockdown) stands,” Migs says.
Lyshiel is all for this “courtship phase,” which allows anyone to get “used to the motions of this online situation.” Dates are made up of watching movies together, playing online games, or even having silly PowerPoint nights all through video call.
Meg, whose dates with Tony are composed of Valorant and Genshin Impact, also believes this makes in-person encounters even more special.
Given that the Philippines is generally a conservative country, all couples agree that there may still be some hesitancy and stigma towards online dating. After all, it has a reputation for being a hotbed of shallow relationships, ghosting, or stranger danger horror stories.
For the hopeless romantic Brie, it was difficult to stray far from the IRL meet-cute idea. “Growing up with all those rom-coms, you kind of have this idea in your head of how you want to meet your partner.” But online dating, as Miko describes, is just a process of “meeting people in a different way.”
Lyshiel and Migs have even done thinking exercises, trying to map out how they would have met without Bumble. “We went to different universities. He’s two batches my [senior], we don’t have any mutual friends who could have introduced us to each other, and we’re in polar opposite professions.” Though Lyshiel does acknowledge that “not everyone who tries online dating gets this lucky.”
But ultimately, what makes Bumble worth the try? “Bumble allows multiple forms of communication with very strict safety features which let users freely be themselves and have fun,” says Migs.
Besides, even if it might not work out, what you’ll get is another form of human connection—something that is scarce these days.
Photos courtesy of Bumble
Art by BrandRoom